Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. (BIVI) recently opened a new research and development facility at Iowa State University Research Park in Ames, Iowa and ZimmComm’s own Jamie Johansen had the opportunity to tour the facility prior to the official kick off of the 2016 World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa. The Health Management Center (HMC) is also located on the same campus and was founded to enable deeper investigation into debilitating swine diseases such as Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) and Porcine circovirus Type 2 (PCV2).
During the tour Jamie had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Marc Eichmeyer who is the director of international project management – vaccines for BIVI. He has been with them for nearly 15 years with a focus on swine research, but in his current role he also works with vaccines for companion animals and cattle.
BIVI’s is well known for it’s mission: provide value through innovation, and prevention is better than treatment. Eichmeyer said that this new facility was born out of innovation and one key area of focus for the company is creating new vaccines and products that really meet market needs and are not a copy of what’s already available.
The new 52,000 square foot R&D facility in Ames has 75 scientists on staff with the ability to grow to 100. There are researchers from around the world including Kenya, India, Germany and the Philippines. The scientists are 60 percent female and 40 percent male. Eichmeyer said the philosophy of the building encompasses openness and light and scientists from senior to junior and across disciplines all work together in the open lab fostering collaboration. He also said the Ames location is ideal because not only is Iowa State nearby, but the USDA and other organizations have offices and labs in the community and they have already been able to collaborate with these entities on their research.
To learn more about BIVI’s swine research history as well as their new Health and Management Center, listen to Jamie’s interview with Dr. Marc Eichmeyer: Interview with Dr. Marc Eichmeyer, BIVI