The intention of the American pharmaceutical company Pfizer to continue the recruitment and investment in its digital hub in Thessaloniki in 2021 and possibly in 2022, was announced today, during an online press conference, by its head, Nico Gariboldi (Nico Gariboldi), who added The company is now “close to the target” for the completion of the recruitment of the first 200 employees by 2020 to the employees in the digital hub. the head of the pharmaceutical industry, Albert Burla. The participants in today’s press conference referred to specific announcements on the topic “in due course”).
3500 applications for 200 positions,
Already, for these first 200 positions in the digital hub (digital center of technology and innovation) of the company, Pfizer has received 3500 applications, at a rate of 20% coming from abroad, mainly by Greek and Greek scientists, living and working in other countries, while more than seven out of ten applicants (74%) hold a master’s degree.
The company’s digital hub, which is already operational, with its scientists working on global projects (s.s. but is expected to be fully operational by 2021), will develop activity in the fields of artificial intelligence, Big Data and analytics, with the aim -among other things- of improving and developing new drugs, accelerating their discovery and creating digital platforms that will support doctors and patients worldwide.
In anticipation of the full staffing of the center, the pharmaceutical giant has already begun to “run” the effort to develop synergies with the major universities of Thessaloniki. According to Mr. Gariboldi, contacts have been made with the Aristotle University and the University of Macedonia and two objectives are being considered: on the one hand, the writing of protocols (curricula) to find more talented scientists and, on the other hand, working together with start-ups (or spin -off), active in the Thessaloniki environment, on ideas for co-financing.
As for the reasons why Pfizer chose Thessaloniki to install one of its digital centers in the city, Mr. Gariboldi pointed out thatThe reasons are multiple, mentioning among others the secure political environment, the “very supportive Principles”, the country’s strong commitment to development, through the National Digital Innovation Strategy, the excellent human capital, the rapidly growing digital and business ecosystem, but also the fertile ground formed by the recent signing of the technological-scientific agreement between Greece and the USAA (s.s. the agreement was signed in Thessaloniki last September, on the occasion of the visit of US Secretary of State Mark Pompeo to Greece).
In terms of human capital, Mr. Gariboldi described Thessaloniki as an educational hub for Greece and the Balkans, referring to, among others, the educational institutions of the wider region (AUTh, University of Macedonia, International University of Greece, Democritus University of Thrace, American College) and its nine – world-wide, as it characterized them – research centers.
“Greece provides very remarkable talents at very competitive costs and a growing environment for start-ups. As a result of these factors, the country has been the center of some new investment options by some of the largest multinational companies in the IT and communication technologies sector, while at the same time it has increased its technology-related exports by 7% in 2008. at 10% in 2017 “he added.
“One of the reasons we chose to set up the hub in Thessaloniki is because the city has a very vibrant and vibrant ecosystem in terms of technology companies,” said Jeff Hamilton, head of the company’s global digital technology network. , who was asked if Pfizer intends to move its digital hub (currently located at Phoenix Center) to the 4th generation Thess INTEC technology park (expected to be operational by the end of 2023) , he replied: “we are exploring various opportunities in terms of space, but at the moment there is nothing definite”.
What specialties does Pfizer require for the digital hub and what is the recruitment process
The specialties that Pfizer requires for its digital center in Thessaloniki are those related with software development (software development and engineering), flexible project management (agile project management), machine learning and Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, business architecture (enterprise architecture), process automation (process automation), product design and experience (product & experience design) and customer analytics.
For evaluation of candidates from the universities and the recruitment in the hub the company implements the strategy of the so-called “Bootcamps”, ie intensive educational programs, in which it gathers candidates (usually 25 for each class), trains them in the most advanced technologies and hires those who are considered most suitable ( on average 70% of the candidates participating in Bootcamp are recruited).
At the end of the training each candidate presents a technological project under the supervision of technology mentors, to Pfizer senior executives. The first five bootcamps, which over a period of about six weeks covered a wide range of subjects (project management, software engineering, flexible projects, solving technological problems, decision making) have already been completed and the next ones are being prepared.