90 years together, looking forward
2017 is a special year for us all because our company is celebrating its 90th anniversary - a unique occasion that we wish to celebrate by linking the past with the future.
It is not merely a look backwards, but rather an occasion to imagine our tomorrow – in order to continue to better ourselves, as people and as a Group; to be more open and collaborative, always aiming for the capacity to understand the needs of doctors and patients, which is the compass of our growth.
Our gaze is towards the future, therefore, as can attest the many chapters of this story that we have realized and those that have yet to be written, together.
Ninety years of farsightedness: from chemistry to life sciences
We have come so far since Elio Bracco founded the Italian company Prodotti E. Merck in 1927 with 17 people on via Plebisciti in Milan. In 1931, the first plant was inaugurated on via Fucini, with a pentagonal structure that would inspire the shape of Bracco’s future logo. In 1935, there were 82 employees: 41 workers (of which already 30 were women), 26 office employees, 12 chemists, technicians and doctors, and 3 executives. That is our core. Today we are benefitting from the legacy of those men and women with whom it all started.
This foresight that has entwined Bracco’s history with that of the Italian chemical industry and which helped us overcome both the difficulties of the world war and the pharmaceutical crisis in the 1970s. Betting on research and contrast agents as the frontier of medical innovation made us a major healthcare multinational, present in over 100 countries (the United States and China are our first and second markets), and a global leader in a very technologically advanced sector: life sciences and imaging.
From treatment to prevention
Based on the intuition that, following breakthrough discoveries, innovation would shift the axis of medicine from treatment to prevention, we saw to it that our research, each day, would help the work of doctors and improve people’s quality of life.
The world today is more and more focused on prevention and the early diagnosis of illnesses, and they value our products. One in three X-ray diagnostic procedures is performed with Bracco contrast agents: a greatly satisfying statistic for us who work here and, I believe, for Italy.
An imperative to innovate
Innovation, quality, and growth are, and will always be, an imperative for us.
The research centers in Colleretto Giacosa, Geneva, Losanna, Princeton and Minneapolis are precious gems. There we find cutting-edge research with ultrasound, magnetic resonance, nuclear imaging and medical devices representing the most promising modalities and in which we invest around 10% of the Group’s turnover; research that involves around 300 scientists and technicians (12% of employees) committing themselves daily to ensuring the drive for innovation, in line with users’ and the market’s needs. It is also open to collaboration with universities and public and private research centers, in a continually evolving scientific and business sector.
Families, women and the youth
I am proud of the four generations of my family’s work, which over the course of the years has provided an opportunity to thousands of people. I was touched when the mayor of Cesano Maderno dedicated a street to Fulvio Bracco, thereby affirming the ties with that territory where we have been engaged for so many years, also in community projects.
I am likewise appreciative of all of the workers who have dedicated their commitment, much enthusiasm and even sacrifice for the growth of our Group, in Italy and abroad.
I am grateful to the women of Bracco, busy as always on several fronts, driven by will, reliability, and courage, always looking beyond the horizon, and at the same time practical. They themselves are models of “researchers”- patient, tenacious, determined to change.
And I am thankful for Bracco’s young people. Many are under the age of 35 (over 21% of our employees): they are the future of the Group. We want them to grow by developing their talents, their potential, their energy. To this end we have just launched a special training program called “Future Leaders”; one that will promote our most promising resources that may assume positions of greater responsibility and are interested in their career development.
An important initiative of international scope, also to benefit young people, was announced at the last European Congress of Radiology: “Bracco Fellowships”, 90 scholarships designed to support talented young radiologists in their training and professional careers.
It represents yet another affirmation of our posture towards the future.
People are central and our social responsibility
I have this in mind when I say that companies have a soul - a soul that is nourished by strong principles like responsibility, that then becomes social, sustainability and the centrality of people. Bracco is a community, with a patrimony of common values.