At UCB, we know that fostering a strong employee culture and a rewarding work environment is critical to continuing to innovate for patients living with severe immunological and neurological conditions. Over the past year, the future of where and how we work and collaborate has been put to the test by COVID-19. Thankfully, we had a head start on reimagining the workplace well before the global pandemic forced other employers to do the same.
In 2019, we launched our inspace project, designed to provide employees at our U.S. headquarters in Atlanta with a reimagined workspace in the form of a newly renovated campus to support their individual growth and inspire creativity. We could not have envisioned this work would crossover with a global pandemic that now has employers across industries reassessing how to create safe, adaptable environments that foster social capital, enable collaboration and empower employees to do their best work.
Our Atlanta campus renovation was inspired by the 2018 renovation that began at our headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, which enabled the launch of UCB’s inspace model—an activity-based work environment that stimulates innovation through enhanced collaboration and co-creation opportunities. The model was quickly adopted and enjoyed by employees, and in a brief survey, UCB employees said inspace improved their professional relationships, decreased the number of meetings, allowed them to change their work environment daily and meet the needs of both introverts and extroverts. This inspired our U.S. headquarters to take a similar approach.
At UCB, we are proud to be a part of the greater Atlanta community and of our investment in the growth of its healthcare ecosystem. As part of our commitment to the community, we are investing about $47.5 million to expand our 47-acre U.S. headquarters as part of the inspace project. We expect to create 100 new roles in Cobb County, supporting our long-term commitment to create jobs and contribute to the growth of the local economy. We seek to welcome not just the best and the brightest, but those who care about making a meaningful difference in the lives of people living with severe diseases.
We broke ground on this work in early 2020 in partnership with Collins Cooper Carusi Architects (CCCA), and now are in the second phase of the project, with the goal of a grand opening of the new space by the end of 2021. The space will include more than 60,000 square feet of workspace for individual work, group work and collaboration. With the capacity for 950 people, the first space will house three of the four inspace environments, including Focus inspace, Our inspace and Pioneer inspace. We also plan to renovate the another existing building on the Atlanta campus in the near future, to house the fourth environment – My inspace.
From quiet workspaces that promote individual tasks and intimate discussions, to open workspaces where employees can connect, the distinctly designed areas within inspace allow employees to tailor their environment to best suit their needs. The model stimulates curiosity and creativity and improves access to knowledge-sharing and supports employees as they follow their passions and deliver solutions that will enable patients to live their best lives.
As part of UCB’s U.S. Leadership Team, the inspace project has provided me with a unique opportunity to connect with employees to discuss how the workspaces in the inspace model will meet their individual needs and enable them to bring their visions to life. We were recently recognized as a 2021 Top Workplace by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and we are confident in our ability to build on this accomplishment by continuing to put our people first. Our commitment to the well-being of our employees allows us to live the UCB mission every day and positively impact the patients, people, and communities we serve. We are proud of our caring, collaborative culture based on scientific rigor and our employees’ constant curiosity to learn, adapt and grow.
Having lived in Georgia for nearly 30 years, Atlanta has become part of who I am, and I know the city is also special to many of our employees and partners in the area. Today, Georgia has a thriving and growing healthcare, health technology and life sciences ecosystem and provides a rich network of passionate leaders who are actively innovating solutions to some of the most challenging unmet health needs locally and globally. I am proud to say that UCB is part of driving that growth and delivering new solutions.
If this last year has taught us anything, it is that we must be intentional in the way we work. Through the inspace model, our commitment is to create a safe, inclusive, vibrant work environment for our employees that inspires a kind of culture and innovation that will enable UCB to continue to bring innovative and break-through medicines so that patients can live their ideal lives.