Research at Bayer
Innovation and the skills of our employees form the basis for our success as a company. We drive innovation by continuously developing new molecules, technologies and business models in our research centers, investing in research and development projects, supporting the development of our employees and expanding our activities through acquisitions or collaborations with external partners.
In 2015 a total of €4,3 million (2014: €3,574 million) was spent on research and development. This was equivalent to 9.2% (2014: 8.5%) of sales. The number of employees working in research and development worldwide was approximately 14,000.
As well as investing in research and development, Bayer promotes an innovation culture based on openness to new approaches and internal interdisciplinary cooperation. We are building a national and international network of outstanding scientists to further increase our expertise and extending this network through collaborations with external partners.
Our collaborations and alliances with leading universities, public research institutes and partner companies are supplemented by incubators, crowdsourcing and science hubs in Asia and the United States to tap into external innovative potential using the open innovation approach. Some of our collaborations are supported by public funding.
Strengthening Research in the Life Sciences
Bayer is the only global company simultaneously researching improvements in human, animal and plant health. Systematic and intensive collaboration among researchers from both Life Science subgroups is providing new impetus. In this context, researchers are collaborating on projects involving central biological processes such as gene regulation or energy metabolism. Such projects are aimed at developing a better understanding of diseases, deciphering mechanisms of action, personalizing therapies or explaining resistance mechanisms. The joint use of technology platforms is being expanded. These projects have been supported since 2012 by Bayer’s internal “Life Sciences Fund” and are mostly implemented together with external partners.
Metabolic detectives: Dr. Julian I. Borissoff and Dr. Mark-Christoph Ott (left to right) analyze the chemical details in the metabolism of humans, animals, plants and microorganisms to track down new targets for active ingredients.
Bayer scientists are working in interdisciplinary teams to search for new targets for active substances or diagnostic options. Synergies in medical and crop protection research result in completely new approaches. Dr. Wayne Coco relies on the support of a fully automated robotic facility to develop innovative proteins.
Scientists around the world are conducting research into the functions of key proteins in our DNA. These epigenetic processes act like an overriding genetic code, and may trigger diseases such as cancer. Bayer has joined the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) to support epigenetics research together with universities and other partners from the industry. Dr. Marion Hitchcock, Dr. Ursula Egner and Dr. Anke Müller-Fahrnow (left to right) are driving forward research sharing with partners and thus also advancing drug development.
Research and Development Expenses 2014
Reliable, global protection of intellectual property rights is essential for an innovation company like Bayer. 2015, we owned approximately 54,000 valid patent applications and patents worldwide relating to some 5,500 protected inventions.