Research and Development at Bayer

Innovation is a cornerstone of our mission “Science For A Better Life” and a core element of our strategy. We define innovations as new solutions that generate added value for our customers and society. Our activities focus on innovative products based on our strong research and development competencies. They are accompanied by process, service and business model innovation.

With our innovative solutions, we are responding to the global challenges in medical care and the need to safeguard an adequate food supply. Here we focus on three key elements: excellence in research and development, the application of groundbreaking technologies, and open innovation.

Excellence in Research and Development

How a Tumor Forms

The success of our company is based on excellence in research and development (R&D). The know-how and skills of our employees are our most valuable resource in this endeavor. We develop new molecules and technologies in the research-intensive fields of medicine and modern agriculture and invest continuously in research and development projects.


In 2016 a total of €4.666 billion was spent on research and development. This was equivalent to 9.8 percent of sales. We maintain a global network of research and development locations, where more than 15,000 scientists are employed.

Kemal Malik, Member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG, responsible for Innovation

The concentration on the Life Science businesses offers new approaches for interdisciplinary research projects and joint technology. Making the Bayer innovation process more accessible is an outstanding opportunity to combine research potential with world-class partners.

Global Open Innovation Network

Partnerships are integral to our innovation strategy. That is why we work within a network of alliances with start-ups, academic institutes, industry, suppliers and other partners. Our open innovation network spans all parts of the company along the value chain. Our open innovation portal offers a platform for collaborations in all parts of the company. We also invest in venture capital funds that finance life science start-up companies, among other projects.

Groundbreaking Technologies in the Life Sciences

With our strategic innovation unit, the Bayer Lifescience Center (BLSC), we focus on new groundbreaking technologies. In May 2016, Bayer and ERS Genomics, Ireland, signed an agreement giving Bayer access to ERS’s CRISPR-Cas9 genome-editing patents. The agreement granted Bayer rights for defined research applications of this technology in selected strategic areas. In August 2016, Casebia Therapeutics, a company established by Bayer and CRISPR Therapeutics in March 2016, launched operations in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and San Francisco, California, United States. The goal of Casebia Therapeutics is to develop new, trend-setting therapeutics to treat blood diseases, blindness and congenital heart disease. In December 2016, Bayer and Versant Ventures established the company BlueRock Therapeutics, which will be active in the area of regenerative medicine. The company plans to develop highly efficient therapies based on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to cure various cardiovascular diseases, neurological disorders and diseases of the central nervous system.

Bayer plans to invest around

€4.8 billion

in research and development in 2017.

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 2016

Research and Development Expenses

Patents Protect Bayer’s Intellectual Property

Globally reliable protection of intellectual property rights is particularly relevant for an innovation company like Bayer. We therefore endeavor to obtain patent protection for our products and technologies in the major markets depending on the legal framework. At the end of 2016, we owned approximately 50,800 valid patent applications and patents relating to some 5,000 protected inventions worldwide.

Last updated: February 22, 2017 Copyright © Bayer AG
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