Observation and freedom of action are key to IBSA innovation
Conversation with Tiziano Fossati, Head of Research & Development, Pharmaceutical14 October 2020
In every area, from every point of view, innovation is the only effective way to refine, optimise, achieve excellence and even make new scientific discoveries or come up with technological inventions. This has always been a fundamental cornerstone of IBSA and a guiding value for both product and business development.
Tiziano Fossati, Head of Research & Development Pharmaceutical, explains this philosophy in his field of work. “IBSA’s mission is to innovate existing products so that they respond more effectively to a particular physiological need or have better performance characteristics than the products currently on the market. These aren’t completely new products, but improved products in terms of quality of life and responding better to people’s health requirements. These refinements require insight, commitment and work, and they create a balance between perceived quality and actual quality. As a general rule, we should always bear in mind that there’s no optimal product for everyone, because any assessment incorporates individual needs, tastes and a perceived psychological component. These aspects are very clear and rooted in the organisation in which we operate.”
This way of approaching the various aspects of the situation is based on a number of methodological considerations that form the basis of IBSA’s approach to product creation. “A product may arise in the field, for example from an analysis that enables an improved treatment solution to be offered, or it may come about through basic research or by observing particularly innovative programmes such as start-ups.
We may say that the internal invention process pays particular attention to any external innovations. For us, innovation arising from an assessment of the surrounding environment is always complemented by an ability to implement a specific product in line with company expectations.”
The perception of IBSA also plays a key role.
“The company is now very visible and is considered a benchmark in its sector. This generates a lot of interest in the development of new ideas and applications, not only on a scientific level, but also in terms of marketing. The insights on which product development is based come from both marketing and market. So, to understand if an idea is valid and to set priorities, firstly the most scientifically innovative and specific products are selected, as well as those most in line with specific market demand and most aligned with marketing needs. Finally, the quality/price ratio is another very important aspect that comes into play, requiring careful management to ensure that the innovative elements are actually feasible. There is a constant component of risk in this field, which has to be managed with experience and continuous improvement.”
To close the circle of innovation, we come to another cornerstone of IBSA’s philosophy: people and their development. ‘Over the years, IBSA has changed its approach both in relation to the professional growth of its internal resources and the increased financial resources that have generated a great deal of room for overall improvement. In 2000, we had perhaps fewer than 10% of the employees currently employed in the Group, but even then, the company was already quite dynamic and had a huge amount of intellectual freedom of action. The same remains true to this day, which is why IBSA is the ideal place for anyone who isn’t afraid to get involved!