Research & Innovation

Research and Development at Bayer

Innovation is a cornerstone of our purpose “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 2017 a total of €4.504 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 14,000 scientists are employed.1

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.

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.

Groundbreaking Technologies in the Life Sciences

With our strategic innovation unit, the Leaps by Bayer, 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 has invested around

€4.5 billion

in research and development in 2017.

Research and Development: analysis of chemical details in the metabolism of humans, animals, plants and microorganisms.
Research and Development: medical and crop protection research.
Research and Development: research into the functions of key proteins in DNA.

Research and Development Expenses 2017

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 2017, we owned approximately 48,100 valid patent applications and patents worldwide relating to more than 4,700 protected inventions.


all figures w/o Covestro