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Snapshot: Boehringer Ingelheim

Boehringer Ingelheim
Name: Ralf Otto, Ph.D.
Title: Vice President Biopharma Operations USA, Site Head
Company: Boehringer Ingelheim
Location: Fremont, CA
Boehringer Ingelheim
Year Founded: 1885; Fremont site acquired in 2011
Number of Employees: 300
Description: Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) was founded in 1885 by Albert Boehringer in Ingelheim am Rhein, Germany. More than 125 years later, the company is still family-owned and is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. The Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation currently has more than 42,000 employees and 145 affiliated companies spread across the globe. BI has six facilities in the United States.

What are you looking for in employees?

Besides technological skills, we expect entrepreneurial mindset and team spirit. We are a sustainable, family- owned company with a successful 127 year history and more than 300 pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals launched to market. Based on our values, we emphasize both personal and professional development and encourage employees to never stop learning. Our employees have a broad spectrum of degrees from community college to post doctorate and we will continue to hire high-tech experts and leaders.

Why did you select California for manufacturing?

First of all, the site is not only a manufacturing site but also strongly focused on development, innovation and technology for BI and client projects. Vast experience of our employees and strong leadership ensures that the site delivers projects or supplies always on time in full.

Additionally we want to leverage the unique location in the biotech hub and plan to open an office for the BI Venture capital fund on site. We want to build a center for innovation and technology for the whole biopharmaceutical network and are proud to be a partner of the Bay biotech community.

Northern CA is the hotbed for intellectual capital in this arena. The innovation in the region is unparalleled anywhere else in the world. We purchased the Fremont facility because we wanted to be a part of it.

What could be done to make manufacturing in California easier / better?

While innovation and opportunity in CA is limitless, tax law, labor code and environmental regulations are like no other in the country. Although BI cares deeply about our people and the environment, the associated bureaucracy increases the cost of doing business. Paying both sales and property taxes on our development and manufacturing activities most definitely limits our ability to grow.

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