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Berlin to go, english edition 2/2015

  • Text
  • Berlin
  • Healthcare
  • Innovative
  • Scientific
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Germany

DISCUSSION THE “BERLIN

DISCUSSION THE “BERLIN EFFECT” Since March of this year, Peter Albiez has been steering the destiny of Pfizer Germany – the group values the capital city in particular due to its diverse networking opportunities “Berlin is the place to be”, says Peter Albiez. The boss of Pfizer Germany loves being in and around the city not only as a passionate cyclist, but also due to its wealth of commercial possibilities. Berlin is changing on a daily basis – one might even say almost hourly – and it is precisely this dynamic that Pfizer utilises. In 2008, Pfizer relocated from Karlsruhe to Berlin, and established the fourth largest Pfizer site in the world and the largest in Europe. A major decision. “And looking back, the right decision”, says Peter Albiez. He has been the board’s new chairman since the 1st March this year. But Albiez has known the company itself a bit longer. The qualified biologist embarked on his career with Pfizer as a pharmaceutical consultant back in 1996. At that time, the German head office was still located at the site in Karlsruhe. Today, he and his team of around 700 employees operate from the capital city. “We have profited from the move to Berlin”, Albiez concludes. Because the arguments in favour of relocation were not only Berlin’s solid position in relation to the global competition, but also its close proximity to the local research institutions. With the company itself conducting no on-site research, it has instead established close links with Berlin’s research centres – for example the Charité or the German Rheumatism Research Centre. And the same is true in the field of biotechnology. “Berlin stands out due to its broad range of medical establishments”, says Peter Albiez. Relocation does not automatically also mean a paradigm shift, although Pfizer has certainly gained new perspectives with its move to the city. For example, it has utilised innovations generated by the numerous start-ups. In particular given the increased confrontation with the digitalisation of the company, Pfizer seeks to understand what drives start-ups and what The Pfizer head office in Berlin on Potsdamer Platz. 14 BERLIN TO GO

DISCUSSION photo: Pfizer is important to them. Developing and investing in collaborations is a attitude of Pfizer. Because the pharmaceutical group is facing new challenges in healthcare IT in particular. “Digitalisation will change the company and medicine as a whole. Numerous opportunities will come about, which will help people to overcome their diseases on a more personalised and targeted basis. We want to co-shape this”, says Albiez. At the same time, the company is working on determining what it can offer based on the digital patient data already available today. “The Scandinavians are ahead of us in this area, in particular when it comes to the legal situation and acceptance by the population”, explains Peter Albiez. The aim must be to access data such that treatments can be configured on a more targeted and sustainable basis, and so that the side effects profile can be controlled in a more favourable way. Data protection must always be respected here. “What we wish to develop for the future are platforms that allow us to network more strongly with other companies, for example start-ups – also at international level. This is a challenge that Pfizer is setting itself.” Berlin attracts specialists And the Berlin site must also hold its own within the group too, in order to generate resources and create the best opportunities for employees. It is necessary here to make Germany’s innovation potential even more clearly apparent. “For this reason too, it is important that we enter into further collaborations, and strengthen and develop these”, stresses Albiez. Incidentally, the group’s German branch is delighted to play one particular trump card here: Berlin, as an attractive location for employees. Specialists and highly qualified personnel are happy to come here. Because the city draws talented employees from around the world with its open and cosmopolitan setting. The company’s head office, close to Potsdamer Platz and therefore right at the heart of Berlin, has particularly strong appeal. “For us it’s great that we can recruit top personnel for our company in this way”, enthuses Peter Albiez – clearly delighted with the “Berlin Effect”. gsk Pfizer – Facts, figures and data • Over 10,000 researchers • Around 80,000 employees worldwide • The world‘s most renowned prescription-free products: ThermaCare, VitaSprint and Centrum. • Focuses of research: Cancerous diseases, pain, inflammatory diseases and diseases of the central nervous system, vaccines. • In Germany, Pfizer currently employs over 2,000 staff members at three sites: Berlin, Freiburg and Karlsruhe. The head office of Pfizer Germany in Berlin is home to the human medicine and consumer healthcare divisions. Furthermore, Pfizer controls its cancer division for Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the regions of Greater China and Asia-Pacific from Berlin. BERLIN TO GO 15

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