PiPH Collaborate | Innovate Innovation Challenge

In 2014, the Collaborate | Innovate Challenge called on non-profit patient, provider, and professional associations to partner with other associations and/or academic institutions to propose new approaches for translating patient insights into improvements in the drug development process.


Veterans Advancing ALS/ MND

Awarded $100,000 grand prize

Veterans Advancing ALS/MND identifies opportunities in ALS research by testing efficacy of therapies within ALS patient subgroups and building an online forum for researchers and patients to interact. The Veterans Advancing ALS/MND team consists of partnering organizations Innovative Solutions Consortium and the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins University.


Combating Muscle Loss

Capturing patient voice on muscle loss and impact on quality of life to improve recognition of sarcopenia. Insights from a simple survey for older patients will assist pharma, researchers, and regulatory to develop treatments, while a new function on aginginmotion.org will encourage patients to learn about emerging research and clinical trials.

Partnering Organizations: Alliance for Aging Research, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Glu Real-World Research App

A living laboratory for type 1 diabetes research inside an app. Patient data and interaction from the Glu app will drive research creation, preclinical ideas, patient engagement and education, and co-creation of activities.

Partnering Organizations: T1D Exchange/Unitio, Inc., MIT Hacking Medicine

Medical Heroes Science Exhibit

A unique traveling museum exhibit dedicated to recognizing the gift of volunteer participation in clinical research. A first of its kind, the 12-city, 3-year exhibit tour targets children through high schoolers and their families. The aim of the exhibit is to change public perception, and build appreciation and support of clinical trials by showcasing volunteers’ experiences, engaging visitors in interactive educational activities, and connecting research participation to advancements in public health.

Partnering Organizations: The Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP), Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP), Association of Clinical Research Organizations (ACRO)

About the Challenge

A treatment breakthrough can cost billions of dollars and decades of time to research. Patient organizations are in the position of helping patients and their constituents to play an important role in research and development (R&D). Patient involvement in the entire process can lead to improvements in efficiency and effectiveness of industry efforts in developing new therapies.

This Innovation Challenge promotes collaboration across a diverse community of patient advocates to put patients at the heart of the R&D process, which can ultimately improve their health outcomes and those of others who will benefit from access to new and innovative solutions. 

Marc Bonnefoi, Head of North America R&D at Sanofi

Luminary Labs designed, developed, and powered the Collaborate | Innovate Challenge.


Submission Form


Call for Submissions – December 9, 2013

Submission Deadline – February 23, 2014

Finalists Announced – March 17, 2014

Four finalist teams announced via the Collaborate | Innovate website.

Virtual Accelerator – March 18 – May 8, 2014

Four finalist teams received mentorship to transform their concepts and develop implementation plans.

Demo Day – May 9, 2014

Four finalist teams presented their refined concepts and implementation plans to the judges during the Finalist Event at Sanofi.

Winner Announcement – May, 12 2014

Veterans Advancing ALS/ MND is announced as the winner and awarded $100,000.


Total Prize Pool


From all of the submissions, four finalist teams were selected by the judges. The four finalist teams had the opportunity to participate in the Virtual Accelerator, refine their concepts and develop implementation plans in preparation for the Finalist Event.

Following the Finalist Event, one winning team was selected by the judges to receive $100,000. The winner had the opportunity to access additional expertise and resources (nonmonetary) through Sanofi US.


Bonnie A. Brescia
Founding Principal, BBK Worldwide

Kim Folger Bruce, PhD
Director of Research Partnerships, Institute of Translational Health Sciences,
Seattle Children’s Research Institute

Orlando Gonzales, MPA
Chief Staff of Engagement, PCORI

Victor Nizet, MD
Professor of Pediatrics & Pharmacy and Chief, Division of Pediatric Pharmacology & Drug Discovery, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine

Richard Polisson, MD, MHSc
Head of Translational Medicine and Early Development, Sanofi-Genzyme R&D Center