Interview: Thomas Maischberger - Research and Development at ZETA

08. February 2024 by Andreas Pompenig Biotech, Digitalization, Process Expertise, Products, Research & Development

Innovation - The core of the corporate culture

At ZETA, innovation is deeply rooted in the core of the corporate culture. Even the declared mission "Accelerating the process of bringing drugs to market in order to save lives" calls for innovative approaches and supports them at the same time.

Thomas Maischberger recently became Corporate Head of Research and Development. Today he gives us an insight into his experiences and the focus of research at ZETA.

Whether in the research of new technologies or the development of innovative products - at ZETA it is always about creating a concrete benefit or added value for the customer. Can you give us a few current highlights?

An important focus of our research is the characterization and optimization of bioreactors. Another major topic is magnetic mixing technology, which thanks to ZETA has made enormous progress in recent years. We are also constantly developing innovative equipment components, such as reusable sterile connectors for liquid transfer. Moreover, ZETA is driving digitalization forward - with Smart Engineering Services, the Smart Maintenance Navigator, Integrated Digital Testing.

Experimental studies at TechCenter ZETA.

Experimental studies at TechCenter ZETA in Lebring/Styria.
Prototype development.

Prototype development.

This list of innovative solutions and products could go on and on! What is the secret of ZETA's success?

We pursue a customer-centric approach - the aim is always to generate significant practical benefits. We work in an application-oriented manner and usually start from very specific problems. We work very closely with our customers and often also with universities and other research institutions.

A central feature of ZETA is its integrated research approach, in which research and engineering go hand in hand in interdisciplinary teams.

The TechCenter ZETA in Lebring offers an important research environment. However, it is by no means the only location where innovative concepts are developed. Where else is R&D particularly active at ZETA?

The TechCenter ZETA in Lebring offers space and infrastructure for various experiments and test series. The topics of digitalization and data science are concentrated at the ZETA headquarters in Lieboch. In the field of automation, the Innovation Hubs conduct research at the ZETA site in Halbergmoos (ZETA Munich Airport Business Park) and at our subsidiary SIGMA in Goldbach, Germany.

ZETA in Vienna has a strong focus on process innovation. And the colleagues at our subsidiary Biotree in Bangalore (India) are responsible for operator training. ZETA Innovation Hubs sees itself as a hub for various talents and brings together entrepreneurs, researchers, investors, and experts.

Contact Thomas Maischberger - Deputy Corporate Head of Project Development

We pursue a customer-centric approach - the aim is always to generate significant practical benefits. We work in an application-oriented manner and usually start from very specific problems.

ZETA currently has 1400 employees at 28 locations - an enormous potential of know-how and creative ideas. What strategies is ZETA pursuing to make the most of this potential and put the spirit of innovation into practice?

It is very important to our company to create a research environment in which all employees can contribute with their respective expertise. With regard to R&D, we are currently working on adapting our structural organization, which will enable us to work together even more efficiently.

An integral part of the ZETA innovation strategy is a small permanent R&D team, which is flexibly supplemented by experts in the respective research field, project or specific question, coming from various departments. A suitable team is put together for each research topic.

Attempt a brief prognosis of the future! Which new topics will occupy you personally the most in the next few years? What challenges will the pharmaceutical industry face?

Our medium-term pipeline will produce products and services in the areas of modularization, process intensification and integrated engineering. In the long term, AI and personalized medicine will be major focal points on our R&D agenda.

Over the long term, serious issues relating to climate change, resource scarcity and incurable diseases will take center stage. As an interdisciplinary team, we will be challenged more than ever to answer complex questions as quickly as possible.

What fascinates you most about your work?

It is curiosity that drives us humans and there is always something new to learn. This curiosity drives us to create ideas, to derive tasks and new projects from them and to develop new products as a result - it's a lot of fun and a challenge every day.
Defining questions clearly, breaking them down into the smallest individual parts and then working as a team to come closer to an innovative solution piece by piece - that's the "kick" in our work!



Whitepaper Download

Contact Thomas Maischberger - Deputy Corporate Head of Project Development
Contact: Thomas Maischberger
Corporate Head of Research & Development

Our expert is looking forward
to hearing from you!

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