Looking into the inspiring journey of Greater Bay Area’s global hub for vaccine innovation

The Greater Bay Area International Vaccine Innovation Centre offers a comprehensive innovation space that seamlessly integrates elements such as public education, knowledge exchange, academic collaborations, industry discussions, and innovation incubation.

Sanofi is an innovative global healthcare company driven by one purpose: to chase the miracles of science to improve people’s lives. By discovering, developing, and delivering medicines and vaccines for millions of people around the world, Sanofi is dedicated to build a healthier, more resilient world. The company remains committed to transformative growth, with an emphasis on immunology, where vaccine plays an important role. It anticipates generating over €10 billion in annual vaccine sales by 2030 and, with the launch of nirsevimab, exemplifies its dedication to pioneering disease prevention.

Sanofi China, established in 1982, is a pivotal player in the country's healthcare landscape, boasting 12 offices, three production sites, four R&D facilities, and a digital innovation hub. Sanofi China has a diversified business that mainly ranges from pharmaceuticals to human vaccines. Committed to introducing innovative medicines and vaccines rapidly, Sanofi aims to transform the practice of medicine and vaccines to serve the broadest base of the Chinese people and contributing significantly to the well-being of the Chinese population. Sanofi also has been deeply involved in the Greater Bay Area for decades. In 1986, Sanofi became one of the first multinational pharmaceutical companies to establish an office in Hong Kong. In China, it has actively engaged in public health initiatives, investing in a modern flu vaccine factory in Shenzhen since 2007, achieving localised production of trivalent and quadrivalent influenza vaccines. 

In December 2021, the Greater Bay Area International Vaccine Innovation Centre was inaugurated in Shenzhen. Co-developed by the Shenzhen Pingshan government and global healthcare company Sanofi, the Innovation Centre marks a key milestone under the Memorandum of Understanding on Strategic Cooperation in Vaccine Innovation signed by the heads of state of China and France in 2019.

The Greater Bay Area International Vaccine Innovation Centre—China's first international innovation hub focused on vaccines—exemplifies Sanofi's commitment to innovation in the region. It plans to leverage GBA's potential for innovation, reinforcing its dedication to R&D and manufacturing in China, and aligning with its robust commitment to the Chinese market. Sanofi believes that innovation is not just in technology. The company innovates experiences as well. Here people can see how the digital transformation that it has embarked on over the past years allows vaccine companies to reach customers more accurately and efficiently, to expand geographical outreach and hence to drive business growth. Furthermore, it displays how digitalisation is helping the industry build an intelligent and digitally smart supply chain, especially a fully traceable vaccination.

It actively engages the government, industry, and general public in a holistic innovation space that integrates public education, insight sharing, academic exchanges, industry dialogues, and innovation incubation.

The centre is designed to enhance communication and engagement between the government and businesses. As a global exchange platform in the realms of public health and disease prevention, the centre helps showcase the significance of leading imported vaccines to local governments, highlighting that vaccines are crucial for national health.

It also offers a platform for emerging players to demonstrate their cutting-edge technologies and achievements. Through high-profile academic events or conferences, the centre helps converge ground-breaking ideas as well as unleash industry potential and shed light on future policy priorities.

Looking ahead, the centre envisions securing recognition as a popular science education hub and child-friendly training centre in Guangdong Province to enable broader outreach across the Greater Bay Area. It is also going to champion the incubation of vaccine technologies and public health cases, contributing to the establishment of a thriving biopharma industry hub.

Since its inception, the centre has garnered widespread attention from governments, industry partners, academia, and the public, even amidst COVID-19 restrictions. As of the end of 2023, it has hosted 108 diverse events, welcoming 10,696 visitors.

Sanofi’s effective facilitation of collaborative innovation between governments and businesses in the Greater Bay Area through the vaccine innovation hub has been lauded at the HKB Greater Bay Area Enterprise Awards 2024. The distinguished achievement resulted in Sanofi securing victory in the Healthcare category. Mike Zhang, Head of Vaccines for Sanofi Greater China, graciously accepted the prestigious award.

In addition, Sanofi is committed to introducing innovative products in the Greater Bay Area, spanning various fields such as diabetes, cancer, rare diseases, etc. Simultaneously, the company is dedicated to assisting healthcare professionals in the Greater Bay Area in understanding the prevalence and management of relevant medical conditions.

The esteemed awards programme recognises the remarkable endeavours of companies in the Greater Bay Area, celebrating exceptional initiatives that promote collaboration, investment, and development within the region.

The HKB Greater Bay Area Enterprise Awards is presented by Hong Kong Business Magazine. To view the full list of winners, click here. If you want to join the 2025 awards programme and be acclaimed for your company's initiatives in the Greater Bay Area that foster mutual cooperation, investment, and development, please contact Jane Patiag at [email protected].

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