What
  • Hosted in the LifeHub Lyon, the Dialog4Ag program aims at encouraging and enabling interactions in order to inform, exchange and work on various topics such as science, agriculture, food and health.
  • Through this program targeting all types of publics, our goal is not only to raise awareness and explain how important innovation is to tackle food and health challenges, but more specifically to discuss the stakes of Science applied to plant health and crop protection.
Where

Global

Who
  • This program is dedicated to all stakeholders (consumers, customers, scientists, students, …) interested in science, agriculture and food.
What do we offer
  • By joining this program, you will have a unique opportunity to participate in a tailor-made exchange with researchers from various disciplines in R&D (chemistry, biology, biochemistry, residue analysis, homologation, …) 
  • Fully connected to Bayer Global Plant disease control research center, the LifeHub Lyon will give you access to scientific experts in their working environment (laboratories, greenhouses, offices, …) and will help you understand how they work to tackle plant protection challenges.
  • Specific information sessions requiring specific expertise available on site can be developed according to your topics of interest (e.g. biologics, food safety or other areas).

At Bayer, we continuously look forward to engaging dialogue with the society, discussing our activities, and answering questions from all stakeholders in the most transparent way.

  • Hosted in the LifeHub Lyon, the Dialog4Ag program aims at encouraging and enabling interactions in order to inform, exchange and work on various topics such as science, agriculture, food and health.
  • Through this program targeting all types of publics, our goal is not only to raise awareness and explain how important innovation is to tackle food and health challenges, but more specifically to discuss the stakes of Science applied to plant health and crop protection.

  • This program is dedicated to all stakeholders (consumers, customers, scientists, students, …) interested in science, agriculture and food.

  • By joining this program, you will have a unique opportunity to participate in a tailor-made exchange with researchers from various disciplines in R&D (chemistry, biology, biochemistry, residue analysis, homologation, …) 
  • Fully connected to Bayer Global Plant disease control research center, the LifeHub Lyon will give you access to scientific experts in their working environment (laboratories, greenhouses, offices, …) and will help you understand how they work to tackle plant protection challenges.
  • Specific information sessions requiring specific expertise available on site can be developed according to your topics of interest (e.g. biologics, food safety or other areas).

How to apply? 

Step 1

Contact directly the Dialog4Ag program manager by phone or email

What
  • Bayer Crop Science is constantly looking for innovative ideas and solutions to fuel innovation with startups, young companies & universities, catalyzing new digital discoveries in plant protection.
  • Areas of interest:
    • Digital farming,
    • AI,
    • Image analysis,
    • Data management,
    • Predictive toxicology,
    • ...
Where

Global

Who
  • Innovators and entrepreneurs with valuable ideas/projects/products or services
  • Startups of any type (chemical, digital, online, offline) or established companies
  • Academic researchers and scientists
What do we offer
  • Depending on the project, we offer a range of collaborations:
    • Joint research and partnering opportunities at Bayer.
    • Licensing agreements.
    • Funding and expert support.
    • Dedicated Bayer contact, an expert or a team to work with.

Partnerships in Bayer Crop Science

 Innovation is collaborative process, and we welcome contact from all around the world - entrepreneurs, innovators, startups, researchers and individuals with valuable ideas who are inventing digital & data science solutions in the area of Digital farming, Crop Protection, Seeds & Biologics.

  • Bayer Crop Science is constantly looking for innovative ideas and solutions to fuel innovation with startups, young companies & universities, catalyzing new digital discoveries in plant protection.
  • Areas of interest:
    • Digital farming,
    • AI,
    • Image analysis,
    • Data management,
    • Predictive toxicology,
    • ...

  • Innovators and entrepreneurs with valuable ideas/projects/products or services
  • Startups of any type (chemical, digital, online, offline) or established companies
  • Academic researchers and scientists

  • Depending on the project, we offer a range of collaborations:
    • Joint research and partnering opportunities at Bayer.
    • Licensing agreements.
    • Funding and expert support.
    • Dedicated Bayer contact, an expert or a team to work with.

How to apply?

Step 1

Prepare brief description of your proposal in the form of one-page word document or PowerPoint

Step 2

Send it to us at innov4Ag@bayer.com

Step 3

Wait for the reply; we will try to get in touch as soon as possible.

Get Smarter

Inspiration
Inspiration
An endless cycle of discomfort, limited quality of life, and high costs as chronic heart patients with excess fluid in their lungs and tissue are hospitalized, stabilized, and then sent home, where the fluid starts building up again.
Innovation
Innovation
A combination device and digital therapeutic for at-home monitoring of bodily fluid levels, providing doctors with reliable data to prescribe diuretic (fluid-reducing) medication that will keep the patient self-sufficient and out of the hospital.
Impact
Impact
The device has the potential to lower healthcare costs and improve efficiency of clinical studies for new drugs. Other possible medical uses include dialysis optimization, surgical anesthesiology volume management, and pediatrics.

In its LifeHub in Boston, Bayer’s innovation team interacts with the local Life Science community to identify and accelerate promising startups. One of them is Bitome who were granted a Fellowship to advance their “HydroCor” device which promises more quality of life for heart patients.

It was a friend’s mother who got the ball rolling, recalls Bitome CEO Herb Ryan: “She had been hospitalized a dozen times for fluid management. In one instance the hospital removed too much fluid, so she had to reenter hospital to get her fluid levels up again.” That’s when he knew they had found a single indication to highlight the potential of their tool in healthcare: the technology would provide heart patients with an easy-to-use self-monitoring tool – all they have to do is put a finger inside and the device calculates the fluid content of the whole body. It’s as easy as checking the blood pressure. 

When Bayer learned about the device, they appreciated its value immediately: The Bayer portfolio includes drugs that address heart failure, so a therapeutic device such as “HydroCor” would be a perfect complement. In addition it has the potential to help simplify clinical studies for new drugs. In June 2018, the Pharma Open Innovationteam invited Bitome to move into the LifeHub for a six-month Fellowship, facilitated by the local Open Innovation lead, to accelerate the development of their “HydroCor” invention. 

Cohabitating in the LifeHub opened up a wealth of expertise to Bitome: “We got tons of feedback not only from Bayer’s pharmaceutical and healthcare experts, but also from their agricultural specialists,” says Bitome CEO Herb Ryan. “We had eight core mentors from Pharma Early Research, Clinical Development, Digital Health and even from Early Marketing. And each mentor connected us to other people in Bayer. All in all, we got to know over 100 Bayer experts in the US and Germany who gave us insights and advice. That was fantastic.”

3 questions to Herb Ryan 

Bitome CEO talks about his Fellowship experience
Herb Ryan
Herb
Ryan
Bitome CEO

1 Herb, what was the impact of your Fellowship on the development of your device?

For an early stage startup, access to Bayer and its pharmaceutical expertise is a huge boost! You would have to pay a fortune to consultants for equivalent expertise. They opened our eyes to new applications that were not on our radar: from expanded medical uses, to consumer uses, and even industrial applications you talk to one Bayer person, an idea comes up, and it snowballs. That was powerful! 

2 And how did your business advance? 

It was a game changer for our company trajectory; a massive boost to our credibility; the stamp of approval in the market. In addition, the Bayer experts shared their experience as to the processes involved of bringing such a device to the market. They know the medical landscape – the competitors, the devices on the market – and they gave us lots of insights and advice on how to proceed. 

3 What is the next step? 

We have a prototype now, and it works. It was tested with healthy volunteers, but so far it hasn’t been validated on patients. In order to get an FDA clearance, you need to prove that it works in clinical studies on many patients. It would be hard for us to fund our own studies for the device. Our hope now is that we will have the opportunity to test the prototype by helping Bayer reach its own clinical trial objectives and in that way also get the FDA clearance for our device when it turns out to be success in Bayer’s clinical trials.  

The Pharma Open Innovation team is continually working with Bitome to leverage the achieved outcome for the benefit of both parties. 

Get Smarter

Inspiration
Inspiration
Efficient tools for controlling weeds are getting scarce, as more and more weeds become resistant to existing herbicides. Novel modes of action are desperately needed.
Innovation
Innovation
System biology and omics-technologies (such as transcriptomics and metabolomics) are used to obtain a holistic understanding of the behavior of genes, proteins and metabolites in order to elucidate novel modes of action.
Impact
Impact
The start-up Targenomix has discovered the molecular target of a dozen herbicidal candidates, including industry-wide novel targets for compounds with a previously completely unknown mode of action.

Targenomix & Bayer 

Data science startup & Bayer team up to crack codes of herbicide candidates  

Can a start-up team of 25 young scientists successfully partner with a large conglomerate like Bayer? Here is the story of an unusual partnership. 

We are a start-up backed by the scope and expertise of a global Life Science company. And that’s super cool”
Dr. Sebastian Klie,
Targenomix CEO
Dr. Sebastian Klie

Just a few years ago they were all successful post-docs pursuing their own different careers, every one of them a passionate scientist who had turned a hobby into a profession. However, they were following their scientific passion individually, as lone wolves. So when Bayer invited them to combine their collective skills for a real life challenge beyond initial research, they did not think twice: they would employ a new system biology-centered approach to find molecules that can help agricultural production to keep pace with global challenges such as climate change, population explosion, and emerging weed resistance.  

As a result, the 25 scientists – boasting expertise in from molecular biology, plant physiology and bioinformatics, biochemistry to electro engineering and software development –  founded a start-up and named it Targenomix. Their contribution to the partnership includes providing technologies, methods, plant know-how, as well as their commitment to a revolutionary idea: the Targenomix approach for identifying herbicidal modes of action.    

In return, Bayer provides access to its chemical know how and lab infrastructure, its brimming screening pipeline, and to all the logistical support they needed to focus on 100% science.  

3 questions to Dr. Sebastian Klie 

Targenomix CEO talks about the partnership
Dr. Sebastian Klie
Dr. Sebastian
Klie
Targenomix CEO

1 Dr. Klie, how would you describe level of cooperation in this partnership with Bayer?  

At eye level, definitely. We are a partner, not a service provider. Targenomix is an independent company, and we are a part of a bigger picture. A dedicated Bayer liaison officer makes sure that even though we benefit from the expertise of  a big company like Bayer, we steer free of any bureaucratic restrictions so that we can maintain our start-up dynamics and creativity. 

2 What is new about the Targenomix approach?  

In the past, biochemists exposed the weed to a compound, measured and quantified its effect, and then drew their conclusions as to its mode of action in a hypothesis driven way. We suggested a holistic procedure: simply speaking, using systems biology, we are able to test 20,000 or more targets in a plant simultaneously. As we measure the behavior of all genes, proteins and metabolites with omics technologies, we have a completely untargeted approach to identify where the molecule attacks the weed. Applying this methodology to mode-of-action elucidation was new – and risky. Nobody knew if it would work. But Bayer believed we could do it. 

3 What is the next step in your partnership?

We have proven the Targenomix approach for identifying modes of action, now we are about to take the next step. Together with Bayer’s toxicology experts we are discussing the possibility of testing whether our technologies are also capable of identifying safety issues in new molecules. Again, nobody knows if it will work. It would be a risk both partners are taking. But that is what’s fascinating about this partnership: we all leave our comfort zones and pioneer into unknown territory. After all, that’s where the added value is. 

Get Smarter

Inspiration
Inspiration
Digitize one pair of eyes in a 4-Eyes-Check, where two people verify the successful outcome of a task independently from each other. Why? It combines the best of both worlds. Machines never get distracted, people do. People excel in recognizing new situations, machines not.
Innovation
Innovation
Use image recognition and artificial intelligence to automate one pair of eyes and build a prototype to perform a 4-eyes-check and can be used in many different scenarios.
Next steps
Next steps
Taking steps to bring the technology in house and scale up across Bayer production facilities

Grants4Tech is an open innovation competition by Bayer’s product supply.  One recent challenge was to build a digital4eyes device. Here is the story of the winning team.   

The Jiglabs team had participated in hackathons before, but Grants4Tech felt different. “It had a feeling of realism,” says JigLabs CEO Ryan Pulkrabek. The brief was ambitious: design and build a versatile and mobile digital4eyes prototype for three scenarios with a surprise 4th use challenge to solve during the final round of the competition at Cube Tech Fair in Berlin, in May 2018. 

They spent two days in Leverkusen to collect the data for three challenges: identify the on/off status of a machine, inspect a steel plate after cleaning, and check a mock assembly line after clearance. In Berlin, the fourth challenge was revealed: check if a polished steel bowl is clean. So the team collected thousands of images on the fly and then, back in the hotel, taught the device to distinguish between light reflections and a drop of liquid on the curvy bowl surface. 

Their hand-held device passed all the tests with flying colors, and the team jumped for joy every time the screen correctly said “Dirty”. They received the best results of all six finalist teams and gained additional points in the soft factor categories, such as easy-to-learn and easy-to-handle. The first prize is endowed with 40,000 Euros. 

3 questions to Ryan Pulkrabek 

JigLabs CEO talks about the impact of the competition
Ryan Pulkrabek
Ryan
Pulkrabek
JigLabs CEO

1 Ryan, what kind of difference did this competition make to JigLabs?  

If you are a start-up, it is difficult to make potential customers believe you can solve things for them with a new technology. Now we can prove that we did it for Bayer. So winning the challenge has certainly added to our pedigree and continues to open doors for us.   

2 What do you offer your customers? 

Image recognition and artificial intelligence have progressed dramatically over the past few years and can do fantastic things. If a human can make a judgement by looking at something, our algorithm can do it better and faster. One of our customers is a chicken and egg processor who checks 5 million eggs a day. He could use traditional 100,000 € hardware sensors for that. Teaming up with us, he now uses a simple camera and an algorithm, the eggs roll by and our device tells him, if they are cracked or solid 

3 Was it an inspiration for you to meet the other finalists in Berlin?

Oh yes. The names of the others were familiar to us, but it was the first time we could benchmark our technology against some of these well-established participants. And it was a great chance to talk shop with them about industry trends and promising technologies.  Hyperspectral imaging, for example, can provide insights unknown to the human eye. In addition, we saw how the technology can be evolved from hand-held devices to something that you can wear on your head. I am a technical person and I want to create technologies that make a difference.  Being part of Grants4Tech was a great experience on this journey.  

Get Smarter

Inspiration
Inspiration
Accelerate research and therapy by growing human cells outside the body to test new drugs. The challenge: many cells are challenging to keep alive in a lab environment, limiting the types of assays that can be run.
Innovation
Innovation
A new technology to model the tumor microenvironment, enabling growth of challenging primary tumor and immune cell populations, and to measure the resulting cell functional interactions with precision, thus enabling pharmaceutical researchers to get more clinically relevant results than was previously possible.
Impact
Impact
The technological innovation has the potential to show how tumor cells and immune cells respond to a drug within the tumor microenvironment, thus allowing more precise targeting of therapies for different cancer types.

In Mission Bay, San Francisco, the Bayer pharmaceutical research team runs an incubator space, called the “CoLaborator” that provides offices, labs, infrastructure, and interaction to promising startups. One of them is Xcell Biosciences, whose “Avatar” cell control systems might bring a shift in cancer research and therapy.  Xcell Biosciences in San Francisco, CA describes what inspires them, the focus of their start-up and the impact they hope to bring to drug development.

The CoLaborator is a unique incubator space for life science start-ups or more mature companies whose technology platforms, drug targets or drug candidates may align with Bayer’s interests in health care. The environment fosters opportunities for idea exchange by bringing together researchers covering topics in oncology, cardiovascular disease and digital solutions to drug discovery. Xcell’s focus was a good fit for Bayer. After moving in to the CoLaborator, the local Bayer team introduced Xcell to Bayer’s Head of Global Biomarker Discovery at the CoLaborator, Thomas Krahn, who sent six patient samples for Xcell to try and grow very rare tumor cells. To Xcell’s dismay, they were only able to grow cells from four samples and felt they had blown it. They presented the data to the Bayer researcher who chuckled and revealed to them that he had added in two negative controls to test them! 

This opened a whole new world to Xcell Biosciences, says co-founder and CEO Brian Feth: “Bayer scientists occupy another floor in the building and they rent two floors to selected start-ups. In our case, this resulted in a wealth of experience in drug development. If you are isolated from the pharmaceutical business, you do not understand nearly as much about your customers and drug development. The scientists gave us valuable insight by interacting in the space.” 

The first result of this scientific interaction was a primary cell incubation system, which Xcell named “Avatar.” Its technology allows pharmaceutical companies to create patient avatars – versions of a real life person in cell form – to develop drugs, study their performance and match them to the individual cancer type.  Bayer purchased one of the first “Avatar” cell incubators made to use it in its internal research projects. 

3 questions to Brian Feth  

Xcell CEO talks about his CoLaborator experience
Brian Feth
Brian
Feth
Xcell CEO

1 Brian, what is it like to work in the CoLaborator space?

“It is great to be with other startups to share experience – successes, benefits, progress, and also challenges and failures. You realize that they are not uniquely yours. That gives comfort. And another thing: Bayer fosters an inspiring environment, yet they do not try to control it. That is unique. There are a lot of accelerators and incubators that are different. Bayer makes a good partner: open, collaborative, and with engagement. “ 

2 What difference did the CoLaborator make to your business success?

“We are living with an information-overkill, so people look for signs that you do well: that you are a reasonable risk; that you are fun to work with. Being selected for the space, co-presenting at scientific congresses, and advancing well with stronger cooperation resulting from the process ...  all of this gives a startup the visibility and credibility you need. It’s the kind of thing investors look for and love. And, so do potential employees.” 

3 Where do you stand today?

“Our first product is on the market for purchase. Our business has grown from two people in late 2013 to around 15 people today, including a small commercial team to market the “Avatar.” The proof of concept is there. We are now building a second product that will help in immunotherapy and cell therapy development and manufacturing applications. “ 

What

We are looking for novel approaches and enabling technologies that could lead to innovative microbial treatments for crops, fostering

  • yield enhancement
  • pest control
  • disease control
  • Enabling technologies
Where

Global

Who
  • Universities
  • Other academic research institutes
  • Startup and biotech companies
What do we offer
  • Research grants are for one year from €5,000 to €50,000 
  • Applicants will retain ownership of any intellectual property they develop 
  • A Bayer contact to help you with any questions 
  • Potential for further Bayer support for your research 

The Grants4Biologicals crowdsourcing initiative in agriculture offers financial and scientific support to develop your ideas for novel microbial solutions that help to achieve higher yield, quality and safety in crops.

We are looking for novel approaches and enabling technologies that could lead to innovative microbial treatments for crops, fostering

  • yield enhancement
  • pest control
  • disease control
  • Enabling technologies

  • Universities
  • Other academic research institutes
  • Startup and biotech companies

  • Research grants are for one year from €5,000 to €50,000 
  • Applicants will retain ownership of any intellectual property they develop 
  • A Bayer contact to help you with any questions 
  • Potential for further Bayer support for your research 

How to apply? 

Step 1

Formulate your idea

Step 2

Visit the Grants4Biologicals portal: www.grants4biologicals.bayer.com

Step 3

Provide us with a brief non-confidential description of your proposal

Step 4

If requested, provide us with a detailed project workplan

What

 

  • Enabling technologies, approaches and services from ideas to marketed products in order to anticipate trends and support farmers’ decision-making in tropical agriculture, relating to
    • resistance monitoring (relating to weeds, pests and diseases)
    • future threats to tropical agriculture (E.G. new pests)
    • digital farming
    • automatic / online systems for pest monitoring
    • integrated disease, weed, and insect management/control
    • combined seeds and crop protection strategies
    • improved crops for higher yields
Where

Global

Who
  • Collaboration and networking opportunities with Bayer in LatAm
  • Evaluation of collaboration opportunities in Latin America, supported by Bayer experts
  • Research funding, also through our open innovation initiatives Grants4Targets and Grants4Traits
  • A Bayer contact to discuss and develop innovations for a sustainable tropical agriculture environment
What do we offer
  • Collaboration and networking opportunities with Bayer in LatAm
  • Evaluation of collaboration opportunities in Latin America, supported by Bayer experts
  • Research funding, also through our open innovation initiatives Grants4Targets and Grants4Traits
  • A Bayer contact to discuss and develop innovations for a sustainable tropical agriculture environment

Bayer’s Center of Expertise in Tropical Agriculture – CEAT – in Latin America welcomes collaborations on novel approaches relating to sustainable crop farming in tropical environments. 

 

  • Enabling technologies, approaches and services from ideas to marketed products in order to anticipate trends and support farmers’ decision-making in tropical agriculture, relating to
    • resistance monitoring (relating to weeds, pests and diseases)
    • future threats to tropical agriculture (E.G. new pests)
    • digital farming
    • automatic / online systems for pest monitoring
    • integrated disease, weed, and insect management/control
    • combined seeds and crop protection strategies
    • improved crops for higher yields

  • Universities
  • Research institutes
  • AgTech startups and companies
  • Technology and digital startups
  • All over the world with an interest in agriculture, crop protection, environmental science, seeds and traits R&D

  • Collaboration and networking opportunities with Bayer in LatAm
  • Evaluation of collaboration opportunities in Latin America, supported by Bayer experts
  • Research funding, also through our open innovation initiatives Grants4Targets and Grants4Traits
  • A Bayer contact to discuss and develop innovations for a sustainable tropical agriculture environment

How to apply?

Step 1

Send a contact e-mail message to ceat@bayer.com

What

Bayer has joined forces with world-class academic institutions and other pharma companies as part of the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC): In an Open Science effort we identify chemical probes for novel drug discovery targets and make them openly available for academic labs. They are able to use these probes without any restrictions to study the disease relevance of such novel targets. This joint effort is for the benefit of patients as high-quality science forms the basis for the next generation of therapeutics.

Where

Global

Who
  • Academia 
  • Research Institutes
What do we offer

Please upload the ppt document and provide a link to it.

We provide chemical probes for further research to academic labs.

 

  • Bayer has joined forces with world-class academic institutions and other pharma companies as part of the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC): In an Open Science effort we identify chemical probes for novel drug discovery targets and make them openly available for academic labs. They are able to use these probes without any restrictions to study the disease relevance of such novel targets. This joint effort is for the benefit of patients as high-quality science forms the basis for the next generation of therapeutics.

  • Academia 
  • Research Institutes

Please upload the ppt document and provide a link to it.

How to apply?

Step 1

Contact us via cora.scholten@bayer.com

Step 2

You will receive an MTA for your review

Step 3

Both parties execute the MTA

Step 4

Material will be shipped to your company address

What
  • One of our top priorities at Bayer CS is to develop tailored solutions for farmers that are affordable and sustainable for agricultural practice. We want ultimately to impact the whole food value chain by providing consumers transparency on the technologies used to produce their food.  
  • We explicitly look to build strong relationships with external partners to leverage in any ways how we deliver tailored solutions to farmers. We stand to be the most trusted partner worldwide for innovators, adopting valuable technologies with agility and speed – in the most responsible way. 
Where

Global

Who
  • Academics, 
  • startups and corporations, 
  • growers, 
  • ag/food tech innovators and consumers
What do we offer
  • We do offer multiple forms of collaboration from 
  • LifeHub programs [include link to LifeHubs subsite], 
  • research collaboration, 
  • co-development, 
  • in-licensing, 
  • and direct investment.

We continually expand our network of collaborations and welcome alliances and licenses covering early stage R&D opportunities to marketed products.

 

  • One of our top priorities at Bayer CS is to develop tailored solutions for farmers that are affordable and sustainable for agricultural practice. We want ultimately to impact the whole food value chain by providing consumers transparency on the technologies used to produce their food.  
  • We explicitly look to build strong relationships with external partners to leverage in any ways how we deliver tailored solutions to farmers. We stand to be the most trusted partner worldwide for innovators, adopting valuable technologies with agility and speed – in the most responsible way. 

  • Academics, 
  • startups and corporations, 
  • growers, 
  • ag/food tech innovators and consumers

  • We do offer multiple forms of collaboration from 
  • LifeHub programs [include link to LifeHubs subsite], 
  • research collaboration, 
  • co-development, 
  • in-licensing, 
  • and direct investment.

How to apply?

Step 1

Prepare brief description of your proposal in the form of one-page Word document or PowerPoint slide. Please provide a non-confidential summary of your idea; we cannot accept confidential information through this channel.

Step 3

Wait for the reply; we will try to get in touch as soon as possible.