Pfizer, the American multinational pharmaceutical corporation, is planning to establish a digital research hub with a focus on artificial intelligence and big data analytics in Thessaloniki, Greece it emerged earlier in the week.
The Thessaloniki hub is part of a planned multinational network of digital research centers to develop technology that can be incorporated into Pfizer’s development pipeline of medicines and vaccines.
“There is a high concentration of digital talent in Greece,” a company spokesperson told an interviewer at FierceMedTech.
“Pfizer plans to partner with universities and local innovation incubators to assemble a world-class team in Thessaloniki—one that will help us further advance our purpose: breakthroughs that change patients’ lives,” the spokesperson added.
Pfizer expects the facility, the first of six, to become operational in 2020, providing up to 200 jobs.
The conglomerate’s CEO, Albert Bourla, is a Greek from Thessaloniki and this is thought to have contributed to the company’s decision to establish the hub in the city.
Bourla has more than 25 years of experience at Pfizer and has held a number of senior global positions across a range of markets and disciplines, including Group President of Pfizer’s Global Vaccines, Oncology and Consumer Healthcare business and President and General Manager of Pfizer’s Established Products business.
He joined Pfizer’s Animal Health Division in 1993 as Technical Director of Greece. Prior to joining Pfizer, Bourla was a practicing veterinarian in Greece.
Pfizer, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, is ranked 57th on the Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue for the year 2018.