Investment in human capital
Pfizer’s investment in Thessaloniki is mainly an investment in human capital, says Nico Gariboldi, senior director at the pharmaceutical company’s Global Digital and Technology Hub. Speaking to Kathimerini, he describes the timetable of the American pharmaceutical corporation’s investment in the northern Greek city and the profile of scientists currently staffing the digital hub.
“We are very close to reaching the target of 200 employees,” Gariboldi notes, stressing that the people who make up the personnel of the Thessaloniki hub are employed in sectors of high expertise, with several having specialized in domains such as information technology.
By tapping the endless potential of digital technology, the hub’s team is focusing on the digitalization of the sector of drug research and development, while also planning to develop synergies with universities, research centers and startups, creating a positive effect also for the national and the local economy.
He says that the digital hub, one of six such centers that the company is planning globally, has highlighted the potential that Thessaloniki holds successful investments in the near future: “We are excited that the successful implementation of the hub has assisted in the company’s decision for an additional investment in another hub in the future,” which Pfizer Chairman and chief executive Albert Bourla recently announced. “This second hub will assist Pfizer in its internal operation,” says Gariboldi.
He elaborates on the Thessaloniki center, saying that “the creation of this hub was implemented by Pfizer within about a year. In capital terms this is not an expensive investment; however, it is an investment with a multiple effect on the local and national economy. We estimate that the positive impact on the economy will be disproportionately large. Our plan is to expand further for the 2021-22 period,” he tells Kathimerini.
“Digital technology currently constitutes the main component of Pfizer’s strategy and is expressed to a great extent through the activity of our hub in Thessaloniki too,” Gariboldi stresses.