Research and development is the backbone of the pharmaceutical industry. In this interview, Angelo Viola, Head of Development Unit in SUANFARMA Italia, talks to us about how an R&D team operates.
What does it mean to do R&D in a pharmaceutical company?
Doing R&D first and foremost means innovation and curiosity as well as keeping alive the idea and the desire to confront continuous challenges from all over the world. Being up to date with what is around us from a chemical/pharmaceutical perspective and trying to improve by innovating what is already there or trying to do what no one has done yet has to be the spark for continuous improvement. An R&D team of a pharmaceutical company like ours is always required to compete with other fierce players in the industry who, of course, want to do right by their company by raising the level of global competition for which one has to be ready to put oneself on the line.
What determines the success of an R&D team?
I believe collaboration is what makes a team capable of achieving any goal. Industry knowledge is definitely the foundation on which to base a team project but, only by collaborating can an R&D team expect to achieve what is really asked of them. By collaborating, the knowledge of each individual team member can not only be utilized to the fullest extent but also enhanced for collective growth by making sure that those who benefit are the whole group and thus the projects that particular group pursues.
What is the most satisfying part of your job?
Definitely seeing real results after applying what was hypothesized in theory based on studies and considerations. Applying one’s knowledge this way after years of study, so as to get real-life results in the field, and seeing that what one has developed is working I think is one of the most satisfying things about being Researcher. Even better if this satisfaction is shared in a team where everyone has espoused the cause.
How is the pharmaceutical industry developing in your field?
There are always new challenges to overcome, and technological advancement can make a big contribution. In research and development everything is changing very fast, and those who are not up to speed risk being left behind. An eye is increasingly being given toward sustainability and respect for the environment around us. I believe this will be one of the cornerstones of the pharmaceutical industry for the next few years, and our company is already working in this direction.
Three words to describe SUANFARMA Italy.
Open: we do not limit ourselves, there is a lot of desire to do things and we try to listen to everyone’s ideas in order to always improve.
Young: many relevant positions are entrusted to young people. This means a desire for change and innovation without forgetting the momentum that young people, well mixed with experience, can and should give.
Innovative: both we as R&D but also the whole company is always prone to innovations. Awareness of this can only lead to growth from a cultural point of view with a view to continuous improvement.