The renowned business magazine Forbes has named CSL Limited, the parent company of CSL Behring AG, as one of the best employers in the world. A survey has revealed that, in Switzerland too, the subsidiary is among the best in the scientific field.
Every year, the global employer branding agency UNIVERSUM issues a ranking of the best employers, which it publishes in a magazine. In the area of “Scientific Employers”, CSL Behring is becoming increasingly popular as an employer both among professionals and university graduates. As of this year, it is one of the top 20 employers in Switzerland. Last year, the company ranked 24th.
In an interview with the agency, Michael Bieri, Director Advanced Methodologies & Innovation (global) & Process Engineering Site Lead Bern, gives us a glimpse of his work at CSL Behring, and tells us about an extraordinary partnership spanning different geographical regions, businesses and disciplines, which enabled the rapid and safe development of a potential drug against COVID-19.
What is your most important project at the moment?For me personally and for us as a company, there was a truly unique project in 2020: the development of a drug to treat COVID-19. Firstly, because it was incredibly motivating to work on a drug that has the potential to help so many people around the world. Secondly, because the whole project was extremely ambitious in terms of time frame and scope. We started development in March and by mid-July we were able to fill the first units, which then went into clinical trials worldwide. The project also has a unique setup: In order to be able to deliver tangible and reliable results quickly, we have joined forces with other companies to form the CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance – a partnership of leading plasma groups, including CSL Behring.
How important is cooperation when facing a pandemic?Cooperation is a basic requirement if you want to speed things up. It was therefore a big step forward for all of us when our management decided to enter into a partnership of this magnitude with other companies. Incidentally, there was also particularly intensive collaboration within our company: Colleagues from development, the different areas of production, packaging, logistics and the legal department worked together very closely and with great commitment. For myself, it was a first that lawyers from the various stakeholders participated directly in the meetings in order to steer the partnership from a legal perspective.
How would you describe your role?
I am the link between research and production, so to speak. In this project, my tasks also included connecting our top management and that of the other plasma manufacturers, as well as prioritizing, triggering or holding back activities – and thus influencing the direction we take. To do this, we all had to communicate very openly, honestly and meaningfully with one another and be especially proactive. Production is now complete, and I am proud that the planning went so well! It probably helped that I am quite good at getting people to communicate and at making connections between things. But apart from that, I simply enjoy bringing different worlds such as research and production together. I like sharing success – that way you get more of it (laughs).
" For me personally and for us as a company, there was a truly unique project in 2020: the development of a drug to treat COVID-19. "Michael Bieri, Director Advanced Methodologies & Innovation (global) & Process Engineering Site Lead