Novartis in Slovenia successfully completes the first Data Science Hack

21. 4. 2021

In mid-April, the first Pharma Data Science Hack was completed, carried out by Novartis in Slovenia in cooperation with the company  Axiologo. The competition was  intended for experienced data scientists who have been solving various data  challenges they face at Novartis in Slovenia for a month. Such collaborations stem from Novartis’ focus on development and innovation, as well as its  connections with talented professionals from various fields.

From 15 March to 15April, Novartis in Slovenia and the company Axiologo organized the first Data ScienceHack, in which five data scientists competed to solve three data challenges that the employees of Novartis in Slovenia face.

The winning team, consisting of Guillaume Azarias from France and Parag Mehta from India, successfully solved the challenge from the production of solid products. “DataScience Hack was a very demanding and rich experience. Although we come from different backgrounds, we have strived to combine our capabilities and develop a solution that can be beneficial to a production team.The Novartis team provided us with the maximum amount of material for the development of our solution, whileour mentor from Axiologo steered the development of the project in the right direction. I really enjoyed this challenge and was able to learn a lot on the way both from my teammate as well as from the lecturers who gave great advice,” said one of the winners of the challenge, Guillaume Azarias.

Digital technologies and data science are key to further medical innovation.Novartis in Slovenia is aware that in the future the most successful companies will be those that see digital transformation as an opportunity and will be able to take full advantage of the power of data and digital technologies. “At Novartis, we want to make the best use of the data, as we believe it can be our key strategic asset. Novartis is uniquely positioned to lead the digital revolution in pharma, spearheading approaches across R&D that converge data, technology and design with our deep scientific and human biology knowledge, our innovation expertise, and the vast datasets we’ve established from having conducted many thousands of studies of hundreds of diseases over the past decades. We already use advanced digital technologies, analytics and artificial intelligence at work, which help us to encourage innovation and improve efficiency,” said Matjaž Tršek, Head of Sandoz Development Center Slovenia, about the future of the pharmaceutical industry.

The organizers also prepared an additional training program for the participating data scientists, in which the participants listened to various workshops and lectures on data visualization and the effective use of data science in pharmaceutical development. “For quite some time now, people working in the pharmaceutical industry do not come from natural sciences only, our profession has become increasingly interdisciplinary and our challenges and solutions increasingly intertwined with the social sciences and technical sciences. At Novartis in Slovenia, we are in constant contact with talented, promising experts from various fields, who may one day continue their careers in Novartis’ international environment. We also fulfill our ambition to become and remain the leading pharmaceutical company in the world through numerous collaborations and exchange of experience, which bring added value and new knowledge to all involved,” said Darja Ferčej Temeljotov, Head of Strategic Programs at Novartis in Slovenia.