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Bristol Myers Squibb boosts innovation during their 1st Hackathon @ Antwerp wavespace

The future looks bright. Also for Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), one of the world’s largest global Biopharmaceutical companies, whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. Last year was a landmark for the BMS European Cluster in coming together and driving BMS forward even in the most uncertain of times. In the same spirit, BMS decided to kick off 2022 by embracing collaboration and empowering innovation to accelerate the EUC together.

The cluster took a leap and hosted its first EUC Go-Create Hackathon in collaboration with EY. Over two days, BMS aimed to bring together the BMS community with partners & people to look beyond their status quo and set the agenda for tomorrow’s way of working across the cluster, by breaking down barriers both internally & externally to reach the next, now.

The hackathon teams developed new ideas in only 2 days’ time

Moving the needle on innovation within the EUC

On the 23rd and 24th of March 2022, from the early morning till later after working hours, EY Antwerp wavespace™ welcomed 70 BMS employees from the Nordics, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Benelux. They traveled to Antwerp for a high-paced 2-day hackathon, aimed to empower the BMS EUC community to collaborate on driving dynamic solutions for some of BMS’ most pressing areas of transformation.

Over a span of 36 hours, 9 teams, each consisting of 6 BMS cross-border and cross-function colleagues, intensively prepared their pitch for a project they desire to see developed within BMS. On the first day, prof. Koen Kas from HealthSkouts, inspired the participants with a keynote on healthcare and innovation. The teams, spread around the entire wavespace center, carried this new knowledge with them in their continuous brainstorming, design thinking processes and business model mapping of their projects. During the hacking hours, EY mentors (a collaboration of EY The Factory, EY wavespace, EY VODW, EY Germany, and EY HR) advised the BMS groups in shaping their thinking, strategy, product and ultimate pitch. Everyone was also invited to follow workshops throughout the 2 days, one on Business Model Innovation and one on Pitching, given respectively by EY innovation enablers Jan De Clippeleer and Johnny Waterschoot.

Creating the future, fast

The hackathon functioned as the culmination point of an innovation trajectory which started over 6 months ago. A diverse international team of EY colleagues cooperated to make this project a success. Together with EY Doberman and EY Germany, BMS first set 5 challenges of areas in need of innovation. Second, their employees had the chance to submit innovative ideas to answer these challenges. 150 ambitious ideas were submitted. The platform they used, EY CogniStreamer, provided a clear and user-friendly interface for this ideation phase. 9 ideas were developed into a prototype/ mockup/ platform by 60 innovation enablers from BMS.

“Most of all though what I will remember is the passion of our people across the region to submit over 150 ideas and the determination, curiosity & positive mindset of those 60 colleagues that joined us in Antwerp to work on 9 of those ideas. What a journey it has been and it is only the beginning!”

Evris Michalopoulos, Strategy & Operations Head – EU Cluster Bristol Myers Squibb

Co-creating the future, together

This hackathon was a high-level and fruitful collaboration between various EY global entities, such as EY Germany, EY wavespace, EY Belgium, and EY Doberman. One of the first in many.

EY wavespace™ is an innovation center, where companies find support and guidance in innovation projects. The center is specially designed to stimulate creativity and cooperation between different parties. In other words, the perfect location for this hackathon. At the Antwerp wavespace, we’re all about open innovation, helping big and small companies to innovate together. If you’re looking to kickstart your company’s innovation trajectory, click here.