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Based in Milan, Italy, Angelo Bernardis is Wood’s Global Technical Leader for Life Sciences, part of our Global Technical Expert Network (GTEN). Angelo sits down with Au’Janae Roberts to share how we design, engineer, construct, and operate large-scale facilities that help manufacturers develop the products and vaccines needed in today’s challenging healthcare environment.
I recognised the challenges of the life sciences market back in 1995 when a fatal outbreak of Ebola virus spread across the Democratic Republic of Congo, infecting more than 300 people. As news of the viral infection led headlines worldwide, I knew there would be an increased need for sustainable infrastructure in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry to meet expanding demands and the threats of global pandemics. That same year, I joined Wood to manage the process design department in the heart of Milan, focusing on the development of pharmaceutical facilities that manufacture quality products essential for improving human health.
Ageing populations, rising healthcare costs, a drive to reshore manufacturing, advances in biotechnology, innovation-driven trends, complex regulations, and costly infrastructure are putting mounting pressure on the global healthcare market. The issues facing the healthcare industry today have been further exacerbated by COVID-19, one of the most unprecedented global pandemic crises of our time.
Throughout the ages, the world has tackled an endless string of outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics, underscoring the growing importance of vaccine production, oral solid dosage manufacturing, as well as safe, innovative facilities to investigate and treat highly contagious diseases.
With the growing demand to build a more sustainable healthcare system, manufacturers are increasingly in need of innovative infrastructure delivery partners who can help them flexibly adapt production processes, operate cost-effectively and maintain the safety and efficacy of their products. As the Global Technical Leader for Life Sciences, I work with subject matter experts to develop advanced technical solutions from across all sectors of our infrastructure capability, supporting the building, testing, qualification and the ongoing certification of facilities.
Wood’s expertise spans all aspects of pharmaceutical research, development and manufacturing, including biopharmaceuticals, liquid and solid dosage forms, pilot plants, research laboratories, and consumer health products. We are a single-source provider of cost-effective design, engineering, construction, operation, and maintenance solutions. Our comprehensive capabilities help clients develop large-scale facilities that enable the discovery and development of innovative medicines and life-saving treatments for chronic conditions.
As more manufacturers look to increase value by using emerging innovations, our experts apply advanced tools and proprietary project management technologies – such as virtual reality, digital twins and process modelling – to enhance the efficiency and performance of our designs. Within every stage of the design process, we build sustainability into the blueprint, offering environmental impact assessments and sophisticated energy conservation techniques. This lays a solid foundation for developing high-quality, resilient infrastructure. To ensure the successful start-up and operation of facilities, we design and validate them for compliance, providing project and design documentation tailored to suit pharmaceutical regulatory requirements. With this approach, we provide cost-conscious engineered solutions in one of the most highly regulated industries. This is critical since manufacturing is becoming ever more competitive and profit margins under strain.
Efficient product flows, higher production rates, lower cost of utilities, and greater operational up-time are all essential to improving the utilisation of equipment, reducing required capital investment, and driving down the expenses. We provide the equipment and facility expertise, full CQV know-how and proven project execution capability to help get our clients’ products to market quickly and cost-effectively. Our focus on process architecture, ensures that product, people and material flows are optimised to deliver a well-coordinated and seamless manufacturing operation.