Open Innovation

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We invite partners from academic research institutes, startups and companies to join us and drive innovation together!
Kemal Malik
Board of Management - Bayer AG
Interview with Kemal Malik
We invite partners from academic research institutes, startups and companies to join us and drive innovation together!
Kemal Malik
Board of Management - Bayer AG
Interview with Kemal Malik

Inteview with Kemal Malik

We invite partners from academic research institutes, startups and companies to join us, contribute to scientific discussion and drive fundamental research together!

What does it take to innovate in the life sciences – and what is the role of open innovation, crowdsourcing, and partnerships in this field? In this interview, Kemal Malik, responsible for innovation at Bayer, shares his insights why multinational companies, startups and academia should join forces to meet the health needs of humans, animals, and plants now and in future.

Mr. Malik, Bayer’s R&D focus on “life sciences” – health care and agriculture – is rather unusual in the industry. Why does bundling these fields of expertise make sense?

A major part of our business is the development of new molecules for use in innovative products and solutions to improve the health of humans, animals and plants. Their active ingredients are designed to influence the biochemical processes in living organisms. As different as people, animals and plants might seem common rules govern the underlying mechanisms in all life forms. They serve, for example, as the basis for research in the area of DNA, like genome editing.

Since we started our collaboration activities across the various life science areas, we experienced many opportunities for interdisciplinary research: The sharing of scientific know-how and common technology platforms, such as substance libraries and high throughput screening, computational methods, metabolomics, protein engineering, and, of course, the chemical and biological synthesis of active ingredients, delivers advantages both in creativity and in synergies.

Which are the most important drivers of innovation in the field of the life sciences?

Today, it is no longer possible for one organization to dive deep into all areas of life science based innovation, we need partnerships and networks to explore the potential of technologies and bring ideas to life. This has two main reasons: First, the amount of scientific knowledge is growing fast – and it becomes more and more specialized, either from the science background or the customer target group. Second, the art of fostering an innovation-friendly mind-set: Creativity has other rules than traditional hierarchical systems. An organization needs to improve its ability to create space for this – to come up with out-of-the box ideas and recognize the potential of other people’s unconventional ideas.

What does Bayer do to foster innovation?

We build on our own skills in R&D, leverage our expertise, be inspired by new, entrepreneurial forms of working – but also accept the limits of what we can do on our own. We are aiming to contribute our strengths to successful partnerships and want to grow our collaboration skills: It’s an art form and it’s our ambition to become very good at it.

We are part of the global innovation network: we invite partners from academic research institutes, startups and companies to join us, contribute to scientific discussion and drive fundamental research together.

Our open innovation programs help startups validate their ideas, e. g. drug targets, novel approaches in crop protection and animal health or digital health solutions. The initiatives offer financial support, but also coworking facilities and mentoring, access to our R&D infrastructure and networking opportunities. Promising partnerships were already born from these initiatives. Additionally, we invest in venture funds and the Bayer Life Science Center.

Where do you see the potential of open innovation?

It’s the future. It combines the best of two worlds: innovation culture, flexibility and specialization of a startup and the established infrastructure, know-how and experience of a global company, which helps develop a great idea into a ready-to-launch product that is actually available to a customer. For me, the general question in health care is how we can utilize new technologies and platforms to move forward in innovation.

There were two revolutions in the past. One were small molecules. The next were large molecules. The third one which is coming or we are on the edge on are cell based therapies. For the understanding of that area we need a key technology platform in the next years. Innovation is easier now then 20 or 30 years ago – if you join the right forces. Our understanding of disease biology and the need to share information is much greater now. So, the focus around innovation is not limited to our company, but it´s the whole world.

In many ways I have the best and easiest job in the company because anyone is interested in innovation. Everybody knows that this is the sustainable way for the company to grow. And we have external pressure. We have to feed the world. We still have medical needs. We as a life science company have responsibility to contribute to solving these challenges.

WE HAVE YOU COVERED

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Working with you in an equal partnership is very important to us.

We are reliable partners

Our overall goal is a true partnership which allows both sides to develop and prosper. We will be a committed partner for the entire duration of our collaboration with you.

We treat your ideas fairly

We are big enough to deliver, but passionate enough to care about every project! We stand by our commitments and treat our partners with respect.

Responsive and open dialogue

We are flexible and strive for tailored solutions that will fit both parties’ expectations. We’ll give you a direct contact to help solve any questions that may arise.

WHY?
WHAT?
WHY?

life sciences at bayer: what we are doing

Life Sciences

at Bayer
We are constantly searching for new technologies and creative approaches to develop more effective treatments against diseases affecting humans, plants and animals.

Human Health

Bayer Life Sciences
To improve people’s lives by preventing, alleviating and curing diseases

Plants & Crops

Bayer Life Sciences
To provide high-quality food, feed and plant-based raw materials

Animal Health

Bayer Life Sciences
To maintain the health and well-being of pets and farm animals.
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WHAT?

life sciences at bayer: why we do it



Press on one of the rings
Press on one of the rings
Innovative seed and modern crop protection products help to solve the need to use natural resources as efficiently and sustainably as possible.
Our medicines offer ways to treat diseases, aiding an aging population to live longer and more active lives.
Our products and services improve the quality of life through medical care and help to feed the growing world population.
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Our Goal
is to overcome the biggest challenges of all time

Partnering activities

Our global Network of Innovation Hubs

Our global innovation network helps clients to design, build and optimize their innovations on a global scale. Working together we can get the best from R&D, market intelligence and local talent and resources.

Show innovation hubs in your region:

Choose a location:
Berkeley / San Francisco, U.S.
Mountain View, U.S.
West Sacramento, U.S.

CoLaborator /
R&D Center for Pharmaceuticals

Berkeley / San Francisco, U.S.

The Bayer West Coast Innovation Center concentrates its attention on research and development of biologics. It fosters collaboration with academia and biotech companies in the Mission Bay area and offers life-science startups lab and office space in its CoLaborator.

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LifeScience iHUB: Open Innovation for Digital Technologies

Mountain View, U.S.

Based in the Silicon Valley, Bayer’s LifeScience iHUB forges collaborations with tech companies to find uses for innovative sensors, AI/machine learning and digital apps for human health, animal health and agriculture.

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R&D of Crop Protection Products

West Sacramento, U.S.

Bayer's Crop Science innovation center in Sacramento centers its attention on biological crop protection and vegetable crop improvement. Bayer collaborates with the University of California, Davis, a leading research center in plant science.

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Innovation Center China for Pharmaceutical R&D

Beijing, China

As part of the local scientific network, the Innovation Center China facilitates collaboration among Bayer and academia in basic and translational research. Partners include renowned Tsinghua University and Peking University in Beijing.

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Innovation Center Japan for Pharmaceutical R&D

Osaka, Japan

Our Innovation Center Japan promotes networking and partnerships between Bayer and the local science community. Partnerships focus on exploring disease mechanisms, bioscience innovation and digital health.

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Innovation Center Singapore for Pharmaceutical R&D

Singapore, Singapore

The Bayer Innovation Center Singapore Region forms close ties with science networks in Asia. Local collaborations support translational and clinical research for diseases prevalent in Asia, primarily in oncology and cardiology.

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R&D Center for Pharmaceuticals, CoLaborator, and Grants4Apps Accelerator

Berlin, Germany

Our R&D center in Berlin, part of Bayer's Pharmaceutical HQ, specializes in oncology, gynecological therapies, and non-indication-specific areas. The CoLaborator and Grants4Apps Accelerator Coworking Space offer facilities to life-science and digital health startups on the campus.

Visit CoLaborator
Visit Grants4Apps Coworking
Choose a location:
Haelen, the Netherlands
Wuppertal / Cologne, Germany
Leverkusen, Germany
Ghent, Belgium
Monheim, Germany
Frankfurt, Germany

R&D Center for Vegetable Seeds

Haelen, the Netherlands

The Bayer R&D center in Haelen develops and upgrades vegetable seeds to create value for growers, retailers and consumers. Our research integrates molecular and cell biology, seed technology, and phytopathology.

R&D Center for Pharmaceuticals

Wuppertal / Cologne, Germany

Our R&D center in Wuppertal / Cologne, close to Bayer AG’s global headquarters, specializes in drug discovery and development of innovative therapies in cardiology, ophthalmology and non- indication-specific areas as well as biologics R&D.

Bayer AG Headquarters

Leverkusen, Germany

Leverkusen in the Rhineland, home to Bayer for more than 150 years, is where our global life-science business has its headquarters. Our Corporate Innovation organization is also located here.

Research Center for Seeds

Ghent, Belgium

Bayer’s Innovation Center in Ghent is one of our major R&D centers for crop science. It employs 400 scientists from about 20 countries, who use biotechnology and modern breeding techniques to develop traits, for example for cotton, soybeans, and wheat.

R&D of Crop Protection and Animal Health Products

Monheim, Germany

The R&D center at Bayer's Crop Science division’s global headquarters develops crop protection products with a focus on insecticides, and we offer product trainings for our customers. Bayer's Animal Health R&D is also located in Monheim.

R&D of Crop Protection Products

Frankfurt, Germany

The Bayer site in Industriepark Höchst industrial park, west of Frankfurt, is a main research, development and production location for Bayer's Crop Science division. Frankfurt is home to our global competence center for herbicides.

R&D Center for Pharmaceuticals

Turku, Finland

The Bayer research center in Turku, Finland, engages in chemical and pharmaceutical development. It specializes in hormone-releasing intrauterine systems and implants for contraception, which are produced locally and delivered to more than 100 countries worldwide.

R&D Center for Pharmaceuticals

Oslo, Norway

The scientists at the Bayer R&D center in Oslo research and develop innovative therapies in oncology. Their research focus is on exploring the therapeutic potential of thorium conjugates, a novel radioimmunotherapy approach for different cancers.

Consumer Health Headquarters

Basel, Switzerland

Bayer's Consumer Health division is headquartered in Basel. Its portfolio is made up of products in a broad range of categories, including allergy, analgesics, cardiovascular risk prevention, cough & cold, dermatology, foot care, gastrointestinals, dietary supplements and sun care.

Research Center for Seeds

Morrisville, U.S.

Morrisville Innovation Center – close to Research Triangle Park in North Carolina – employs top researchers in genetics, genomics and agricultural biotechnology who drive Bayer's seed and trait pipeline through gene discovery, trait testing and development.

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R&D of Crop Protection Products

Lyon, France

The Bayer research center for disease control in Lyon explores innovative ways to protect crops against major pathogens. The R&D center features top-notch labs and greenhouses, research analytics and human safety residue analysis.

East Coast Innovation Center for Pharmaceutical R&D

Cambridge/Boston, U.S.

The East Coast Innovation Center serves as a regional hub to expand on the company’s existing partnering presence. It fosters relationships with academic research institutes and life science companies on the US east coast to build collaborations in pharmaceutical R&D.