Pfizer and Ghent University’s Innovation Cluster CESPE join hands to improve and innovate Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

Ghent (October 5th, 2023) – It is with great pleasure that Pfizer Puurs and Ghent University (UGent) announce that Pfizer has officially joined the CESPE innovation cluster, a multi-partner innovation accelerator in the field of pharmaceutical engineering and manufacturing.

We are proud of our footprint in Belgium and our worldwide impact, and happy to expand it further through this collaboration with CESPE at Ghent University.
As we continue to innovate and improve our manufacturing processes and expertise, it is critical that we collaborate with the best and brightest, and we are confident the team at CESPE has the right expertise to make this partnership a great match.

Gudrun Coppens, Director Manufacturing Science & Technology at Pfizer Puurs

The close collaboration between industry and academia in this strategic partnership, combined with their drive to innovate, will play a key role in future pharmaceutical manufacturing.

We are thrilled to welcome Pfizer Puurs to our fast-growing CESPE community of leading innovators in (bio)pharmaceutical manufacturing. We are excited to embark on this inspiring collaborative journey with Pfizer Puurs . This partnership also plays a pivotal role in nurturing local talent and fostering a culture of continuous innovation reflecting the spirit of the thriving Belgian pharma/biotech ecosystem, and particularly the flourishing region of Flanders .

Dr. Dominic De Groote, Business Development Manager at CESPE
Copyright Pfizer

About Pfizer Puurs

Pfizer Manufacturing Belgium is the largest production and packaging site of Pfizer worldwide, specializing in aseptic production and packaging. The Pfizer Puurs facility covers 100.000m², and manufactures more than 400 million units of injectable medicines and vaccines every year (excl. Comirnaty). The product physiology ranges from sterile solutions, to sterile suspensions, sterile gels, and freeze dry products, all packed on site in ampoules, vials, plastic bottles, syringes, or cartridges for pens. The medicines and vaccines made in Puurs are shipped to patients in more than 170 markets. 30% of Puurs production is destined for low income countries, in collaboration with UNICEF, WHO, GAVI, and NGOs.

The site has an extensive manufacturing setup with a range of formulation booths, filling lines, automatic inspection lines, packaging lines, freeze driers, and lab facilities. With their clinical pilot plant and experimental plant the Pfizer Puurs is also known as a Launch Site within the Global Pfizer network, providing them the ability to quickly scale-up to commercial manufacturing of a new product.
The last 10 years the number of employees in Puurs has more than doubled, bringing the total number of employees to more than 4.500 in 2023.

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About UGent-CESPE

Ghent University (UGent) is a top 100 university and one of the largest Belgian universities in the heart of Europe. It is an active partner in national and international educational, scientific and industrial cooperation. The organization is committed to research and innovation with an annual research budget of more than € 600 million and more than 5,500 researchers active in a wide range of the life, physical and social sciences. UGent TechTransfer and the UGent Business Development Platforms, such as CESPE, support researchers in developing groundbreaking science to bring innovations to the market.

The Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Pharmaceutical Engineering and Manufacturing (CESPE) is a multidisciplinary innovation accelerator hosted at Ghent University focusing on the sustainable development, design and optimization of both drug substance and drug product production platforms. Its ambition is to become the reference centre in end-to-end (bio)pharmaceutical manufacturing in Europe. It accelerates the development of emerging production technologies to manufacture the medicines of the future in a sustainable, agile way.

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Media contact:


Koen Colpaert, spokesperson Pfizer Manufacturing Belgium
Tel.: +32 499 42 85 56


Thomas De Beer, director and principal investigator
Tel: +32 9 264 80 97

Other team members

Other research groups