Boehringer Ingelheim opens second branch of digital lab BI X in Shanghai

  • Initial investment of 3 million euros for tailored digital solutions focusing Chinese patients and customers
  • 20 new jobs for digital talents 
  • Close collaboration between BI X China and BI X Germany
  • Boehringer Ingelheim is among the first wave of pharmaceutical companies to build a dedicated digital innovation business in China

Shanghai, China, March 30, 2020 –  Boehringer Ingelheim has announced today that it will open a second branch of its digital lab BI X in July this year.
The company is therefore moving to the emerging start-up hub Shanghai in China. Boehringer Ingelheim invests an initial 3 million euros and creates 20 new jobs for digital talents developing innovative solutions for Chinese patients. The BI X headquarters in Ingelheim and the new subsidiary in Shanghai will work in close collaboration.

The concept of BI X is to use digital innovation to accelerate the development of healthcare solutions and to help discovery of breakthrough treatments for humans and animals. Since its start in 2017, BI X has delivered many projects with a strong impact worldwide. Using iterative processes and continuous development, Scrum Masters, Data Scientists, Engineers and UX Designers working at BI X test and prove new applications within months. 

Compared to other parts of the world, the Chinese digital landscape shows great differences. By opening BI X in Shanghai, Boehringer Ingelheim wants to better identify topics and needs relevant to Chinese patients and customers: “With this step we are strengthening our footprint in a market that is very strong in digital innovation in healthcare and has a unique technological landscape. The close proximity to our Chinese patients and customers will enable us to develop better disruptive products for them and tap into the high digital capabilities in China”, states Michael Schmelmer, Member of the Board of Managing Directors with responsibility for Finance.

Boehringer Ingelheim entered the Chinese market 25 years ago and has since locally developed and grown: “Today, China is one of the most important markets for Boehringer Ingelheim. Moreover, it is one of the epicenters of digital health innovation in the world”, explains Felix Gutsche, Country Managing Director China at Boehringer Ingelheim.

Boehringer Ingelheim relies on external partnerships and collaborations for its new digital lab, for example with domestic start-ups. “As one of the very few pharmaceutical companies who are taking the lead in riding the wave of digitalization in China, we very much look forward to building a dedicated digital innovation business in China and to offer our patients and customers purposeful and disruptive new solutions”, adds Gutsche.

Boehringer Ingelheim
Improving the health of humans and animals is the goal of the research-driven pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim. The focus in doing so is on diseases for which no satisfactory treatment option exists to date. The company therefore concentrates on developing innovative therapies that can extend patients’ lives. In animal health, Boehringer Ingelheim stands for advanced prevention. 

Family-owned since it was established in 1885, Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the pharmaceutical industry’s top 20 companies. Some 50,000 employees create value through innovation daily for the three business areas human pharmaceuticals, animal health and biopharmaceuticals. In 2018, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of around 17.5 billion euros. R&D expenditure of almost 
3.2 billion euros corresponded to 18.1 per cent of net sales. 

As a family-owned company, Boehringer Ingelheim plans in generations and focuses on long-term success. The company therefore aims at organic growth from its own resources with simultaneous openness to partnerships and strategic alliances in research. In everything it does, Boehringer Ingelheim naturally adopts responsibility towards mankind and the environment. 

More information about Boehringer Ingelheim can be found on or in our annual report.

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