IRI DEI Thought Leader Interview – Bernardita Chirino Chace, Innovation Manager, Novartis

Resource Type
Audio Presentation/Podcast
Publish Date
Lee Green, Bernadita Chirino Chase
Leading Innovation Organizations, Talent Management, Organizational Vision
Associated Event
IRI DEI Thought Leader Interview – Bernardita Chirino Chace, Innovation Manager, Novartis

March 2022

IRI’s Lee Green and Bernardita discuss the ways that Novartis has integrated inclusion into their innovation program, including bringing together people from across the organization – functionally and geographically – and fostering a sense of psychological safety to ensure staff are bringing their whole self to work and to the work of innovation.  Learn also about Bernardita’s work with the One Young World community and how Novartis has used ‘meeting observers’ to improve inclusion in their meetings.

Bernardita Chirino Chace
Innovation Manager

Bernardita is biochemist educated at the University of Chile (BS, MS), and in Management of Technology & Entrepreneurship from EPFL Switzerland (MS), with a minor in Areas and Cultural Studies. She is passionate about environmental sustainability and was recognized as the first Chilean environmental biochemist for her work on extremophiles (extreme microbes) from Antarctica, conducted in collaboration with a non-profit research institute and the US government. She has extensive experience navigating European and Global life science innovation ecosystems. Since joining Novartis as Innovation Manager in early 2019, Bernardita has played a key role in activating and evolving the Technical Research & Development (TRD) Innovation Program. Her contributions to this enterprise program were recognized by Innovation Leader (regarded as the premier resource for corporate innovation programs) through their 2020 Best New Initiative Award. She has been heavily engaged in the Novartis cultural transformation, promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives and their impact on innovation. She led and hosted the workshop “How diversity and inclusion fuels innovation” for the Novartis Basel community in 2020 and published a manuscript in the International Journal of Innovation Science entitled “Cultural Diversity Drives Innovation: Empowering Teams for Success” which analyzed the impact of cultural diversity on team dynamics. She is certified Innovation Coach and is a key team member for the Novartis Genesis Labs, Operation Planetary Health and TRD X-FIT innovation funding programs. She is part of the One Young World community and in 2021 hosted Novartis OYW Caucus and its ideation program.