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Benchling appoints first EMEA general manager amidst rapid European growth

by uma


R&D Cloud leader doubles European customer count year over year, selects seasoned tech and biotech veteran Bob Burke as EMEA general manager


Benchling, the R&D Cloud powering the biotechnology industry, today announced the appointment of its first general manager in EMEA, Bob Burke. The hire comes at a time when Benchling is accelerating growth in the region — the company more than doubled customer count from one year ago, grew its regional team to over 120 employees, and expanded with enterprise customers including Novozymes, Syngenta, and more. 


As European biotechs lead in the development of innovative, transformative products and therapies, Benchling’s R&D Cloud is the scientifically aware solution of choice, providing scientists with a central source of truth for data, collaboration, and insights. Burke joins the team at Benchling to build on this local footprint, bringing 25 years of leadership experience across global tech and biotech companies. Most recently, Burke was at Okta for eight years, where he held senior go-to-market (GTM) roles focused on customer success, professional services, and the renewals and growth business. During his tenure, the company grew 50x in revenue, delivered a successful IPO, and completed multiple acquisitions. Prior to Okta, Burke was Global Head of IT for Dynavax Technologies, a biotech company focused on vaccine development. His teams were responsible for leading the technology strategies including laboratory systems, infrastructure, data management, compliance, cyber security, and all technology aspects of manufacturing.

“By supporting biotech customers in getting breakthrough products to market faster, Benchling is helping scientists rewrite life as we know it. It’s truly energizing to join a company with such an impactful and timely mission,” said Bob Burke, GM EMEA at Benchling. “Europe is one of the world’s most dynamic regions for biotech R&D, and these companies are meaningfully investing in their digital strategies. I look forward to leading Benchling and its European customers through this next phase of growth.”

“Bob Burke brings an ideal combination of domain expertise across IT and biotech industries along with success in navigating teams through periods of high-growth,” said Paul Robson, President of Field Operations at Benchling. “As we expand regionally, it’s important that we’re providing customers with the highest level of product experience and support, tailored to local needs — Bob has shown tremendous aptitude here and he will no doubt be a major force in our success in Europe.”


Benchling customer Ori Biotech comments on the benefits of Benchling’s R&D Cloud: “At Ori Biotech, we’re on a mission to enable widespread patient access to life-saving cell and gene therapies. The industry agrees that the status quo is not good enough— where only a very small fraction of eligible patients receive innovative therapies. To democratize access, we need to tackle the major bottlenecks to scalability including digitizing current paper-based processes that inhibit wider availability,” said CEO of Ori Biotech, Jason C. Foster. “With Benchling as a partner, we have an integrated solution for seamless, scalable digital R&D and commercialization, and a partner who is an expert in digitally transforming the status quo of biotech processes. Partnering with Benchling has been invaluable as Ori works to industrialize precision medicine production and increase accessibility for patients.”

Benchling’s European headquarters is in Zurich, Switzerland, with additional presence in London and Belfast. The company entered Europe in 2020, and has since completed a successful acquisition of Belfast-based startup Overwatch Research, and quickly developed a strong local customer, industry, and team presence. The company now serves more than 200 customers in Europe, across emerging biotechs and leading global biopharmas including AC Immune, Alchemab Therapeutics, ArgenX, AviadoBio, Bit Bio, Matterhorn Biosciences, Novozymes, Octapharma, Syngenta, TATAA Biocenter, and more, and is used across Europe’s leading institutes, including Technical University of Denmark (DTU), King’s College London, and Wellcome Sanger Institute’s Tree of Life programme. To learn more about Benchling, please visit Benchling.com.


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