November / December 2023

CoP Leader Profiles: Michelangelo Canzoneri

CoP Leader Profiles: Michelangelo Canzoneri

Michelangelo Canzoneri, PhD, is a seasoned leader in the digital transformation space within the healthcare and life science industry currently serving as the Global Head of Group Smart Manufacturing at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. In this pivotal role, he functions as the primary business interface across the life science, healthcare, and electronics sectors, steering the incubation, harmonization, and scaling of smart manufacturing and supply chain analytics capabilities. Collaborating with various business and IT functions, Michelangelo has co-created a unified vision and strategy that encompasses both sector-specific and cross-sectoral domains, guiding the development of comprehensive roadmaps.

Since joining ISPE in 2015, Michelangelo has fostered a rich relationship with the organization. He chairs the ISPE Biotechnology Community of Practice (CoP) and plays a key role in authoring ISPE whitepapers, guidance documents, and other articles. His leadership further extends to advisory roles within the ISPE Germany/Austria/Switzerland (D/A/CH) Affiliate and contributions to ISPE conferences. As a mentor in the ISPE Emerging Leaders program, he promotes knowledge sharing and collaborative growth, a sentiment echoed in his podcast, “The Power of Curiosity and Why It’s Important in Your Transformation Journey.”

Before his tenure at Merck KGaA, Michelangelo held pivotal roles at Sanofi, starting his career as Laboratory Head in Upstream Process Development. He later assumed the role of Head of Technology and Innovation Therapeutic Proteins. In this capacity, he spearheaded global initiatives and innovation in therapeutic proteins. Michelangelo was instrumental in developing a management and stage gate process to identify, incubate, and scale technology innovation for global biologics, encompassing both CMC and commercial manufacturing spheres. His visionary leadership led to the creation of a knowledge management platform, facilitating the global team at Sanofi to find information and connect with experts worldwide, thereby enhancing the repository of knowledge and expertise pertaining to technologies for the development and manufacturing of biologics.

A staunch advocate for education, Michelangelo imparts knowledge as a professor at the University of Applied Sciences and the Goethe Business School in Frankfurt, Germany, and as a guest lecturer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He nurtures the forthcoming generation of leaders in the industry, emphasizing a culture of curiosity and continuous learning. In this educational capacity, he has supervised numerous Bachelor, Master, and PhD theses, fostering critical thinking and innovation in the next wave of industry professionals.

Beyond his technical expertise, Michelangelo is a certified Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) coach, leveraging this certification to foster better understanding and collaboration in change management projects. He offers coaching sessions to help individuals learn more about themselves and others, enhancing team dynamics and personal development.

Michelangelo’s career stems from a personal connection, inspired by a desire to assist patients like his father, who battled MS. This early curiosity evolved into a rewarding career, where he feels “privileged to work with passionate and dedicated global teams focused on impacting patients’ lives through innovative approaches.”

In his advocacy work, Michelangelo highlights the synergistic use of advanced technologies, including process analytical technologies paired with sophisticated data analytics and artificial intelligence.

Michelangelo continues to be a thought leader in the field, with a substantial portfolio of publications and patents. He has notably contributed to book chapters, including one on “Digital Twins: A General Overview of the Biopharma Industry,” showcasing his deep understanding and foresight in the digital transformation of the healthcare and life science industry. He remains committed to steering the industry towards a future characterized by manufacturing excellence and transformative solutions.

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