COVID-19 was an event that literally every country was unprepared for. In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19- a pandemic, and millions of people were impacted by this deadly virus. As economies began to shut down, clinicians, scientists and governments across the globe started working together to find answers. The bright side is that the mobilization of medical technology in response has been phenomenal, and in a relatively short period of time.
While we are still in the midst of surging cases, fortunately we are now better prepared within the medical community , have a better understanding of the disease and we have new therapies and vaccines that will improve the recovery time and save lives.
Responding to the pandemic
As a world leader in serving science we are proud to be on front-lines, working closely with governments, health agencies and other companies fighting COVID-19. Our customers rely on us and the impact our technologies have in helping them to respond to this pandemic is tremendous. As a company, we are all driven by our purpose – and that’s our Mission which is to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. The past year shines light on the importance of that Mission and the meaningful and positive impact it has on the society. We played a central role in the global fight against the pandemic. Our motivation was to serve customers and society and we overcame significant challenges in the execution. When the pandemic struck, we had to move with unprecedented speed and scale. Our talent and organizational resources gave us the ability to adapt, execute and accomplish our goals, and our culture allowed us to sustain our performance to meet the evolving needs.
Innovations and investments strengthening our customer value proposition.
At Thermo Fisher, our growth strategy starts with our commitment to continuous innovation. As the innovation leader in our industry, we continued to develop products that set new standards for speed, accuracy, and ease of use to help our customers advance their important work. For example, in 2020, globally we made significant investments to increase our depth of capabilities for our customers. This included over $1 billion in R&D to launch high-impact new products across our key technology platforms.
In addition, to support our customers during the pandemic and be a better long-term partner, we invested to expand capacity and capabilities in Pharma Services, Bio Production, Laboratory Plastics, Biosciences, Genetic Sciences, as well as other businesses across the company. These investments reflect our commitment to ensure customers across industries have access and experience of our cutting-edge solutions to enable their success.
Leadership lessons reinforced
The pandemic also provided opportunities for us to evaluate and assess traditional paradigms. Foremost, we significantly deepened our relationships with our customers and colleagues. The pandemic allowed us to leverage each other’s strengths and operate more effectively. Keeping customers at the center, we embraced technology and digital capabilities to offer end-to-end capabilities that reflect a unified voice about our extensive product portfolio.
Second, our agility in scaling in record time. Right from the start, we realized the need for accurate, proven and gold-standard technology. The company worked on global scale to accelerate innovation with urgency. And that’s why Thermo Fisher Scientific is leading the world with COVID testing. We realized how important it is to have access to reliable supplies of COVID-19 testing and the company invested to increase its manufacturing capacities to offer supply chain flexibility.
Lastly, reinforcing the importance of empathy, resilience, and transparent communication with colleagues. These approaches helped in rallying the team to ultimately fulfill our Mission.
2021 and beyond!
While tough times may be still ahead, and immediately in front of us, better days seem to be in the horizon. It is encouraging to see COVID-19 vaccines roll out and I’m very proud of Thermo Fisher’s part in this effort. We learned a lot in 2020 – as individuals and as a company. Our industry leading capabilities, exceptionally talented global team and commitment to our customers, the company is positioned for a bright future.