Extension of a production site in Shanghai is a small part of the big aspirations Thermo has for China and Asia Pacific.
Last month Thermo expanded Nunc Cell Factory production capacity in Shanghai but has much bigger aspirations for China, Chuck Kummeth, president of the laboratory consumables business at Thermo, told in-PharmaTechnologist.
Kummeth has seen the growth of other industries in China and believes Thermo has to invest in the country. One element of the strategy is addition of manufacturing capacity to serve APAC-, and more specifically China-, based clients. A number of sites are in the planning stages.
Establishing local production capacity is a key element of Thermo’s strategy. Kummeth said operating local manufacturing sites helps companies identify country-specific needs. As Thermo becomes more aware of the needs of China-based clients its portfolio will change accordingly.
Thermo’s priorities in China are currently being driven by the needs of the local vaccine market. This sector differs from the US and Europe, which are fairly similar markets, because China has different vaccine targets.
“Where the assets are innovation will occur”
Investing in meeting the unique needs of Chinese clients could lead to innovations developed for the local market spreading to other geographies, such as the US and Europe. “Where the assets are innovation will occur”, said Kummeth.
Thermo is using its assets to expand all operations in China. In addition to adding production capacity, in Beijing as well as Shanghai, Thermo is investing in application and demo centres in China. Expanding all areas of the business will help Thermo understand and meet clients’ needs.
For now the focus in APAC remains on China but in the longer term adding infrastructure in India might make sense, said Kummeth. As in China, increasing its presence in India would help Thermo better understand local needs and adapt its offering accordingly.
Thermo is working towards offering clients equipment covering the complete end-to-end workflow. Integration of this equipment would allow clients to use Thermo products for all their bio-production tasks.
Kummeth said Thermo is still working towards offering a seamless, end-to-end portfolio of products. Achieving this would differentiate Thermo from competitors, said Kummeth, and give it a competitive advantage.