Roche Diagnostics GmbH
Spokesperson executive board:
Dr. Ursula Redeker
“Baden-Württemberg can do a lot more than make cars, especially in the health sector and the field of medical technology. The conditions here are really good.” Dr Ursula Redeker is not only spokesperson for the executive board of Roche Diagnostics – she is also a great advocate of Baden-Württemberg.
Looking at the Rhine, which meanders past her office, she asks: “Do you know what I like so much about Baden-Württemberg? It is firmly rooted in tradition and cosmopolitan at the same time, which is quite an accomplishment.” The adherence to tradition on the one hand and the courage to develop innovative ideas and try them out on the other. “I greatly enjoy this aspect of living here.”
More than 28,800 people work in the pharmaceutical industry in Baden-Württemberg, 10,000 of them for Roche, and all with the single aim of helping patients around the world with diagnostic tests and medications.
“We want to develop new products that don’t yet exist, products that enable us to take new approaches in diagnostics and medicine,” says Ursula Redeker. “In order to do so, we depend on working in an appropriate ecosystem that gives us the support we need.”
She quite deliberately calls it an ecosystem, primarily because Roche always seeks academic solidarity with the science partners it can collaborate with and also with the “suppliers of meticulously designed special-purpose components”, as she calls them. With its excellent universities and a great many inventors from medium-sized companies, Baden-Württemberg serves both purposes very well. “And then, of course, an ecosystem also includes a beautiful place in which to live. We don’t just want to work the whole time,” she says, laughing.
“Being firmly rooted in tradition and cosmopolitan at the same time is quite an accomplishment.”
Whether life-prolonging medication to combat cancer or products that help people with diabetes or cardiovascular disease, first and foremost, Ursula Redeker sees high-tech medicine as something that requires foresight: “I cannot just simply react; I need to develop a vision from all these scientific breakthroughs and my understanding of their significance.” At Roche, this vision is known as personalised HealthCare.
However, the greatest vision will get you nowhere if you fail to find the right people to make it reality. “Ultimately, you simply need great people as well; excellent people at all levels. To the extent that they are present, that they observe, and that they understand. And we find these people here in Baden-Württemberg, too.”
Partly in, and through collaboration with, schools, universities and the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW). “And I have to admit that we are sometimes envied within the Group for the quality of our staff.”
The people here are both highly qualified and extremely reliable. And that has also proven to be an indispensable factor: “Sick people are often very vulnerable and unstable.” To a far greater extent than in other fields, a product therefore needs to fully do what is required of it, which is only possible with a high degree of responsibility and thoroughness.
Accordingly, the advice Ursula Redeker wants to give entrepreneurs who are considering settling in Baden-Württemberg: “Be open for this thoroughness.” She sees this quality as based on intensively thinking things through and a pronounced orientation on finding solutions. Or as she neatly puts it: “Here, things are never left to chance. They always have to be right.”