Enhancing Digital Innovation at Bayer

The LifeScience iHUB is located in the center of Silicon Valley, in Mountain View to the south of San Francisco. The center for innovation is focused on the development of new digital solutions for Bayer’s LifeScience business. The 10-member team is led by Dirk Schapeler, Head of US Digital Innovation.

What is the iHUB?

Established in 2015, the LifeScience iHUB forges collaborations between tech companies and Bayer to find uses for innovative sensors, artificial intelligence, machine learning and digital apps for human health, animal health and agriculture. The LifeScience iHUB is located at Singularity University on the campus of the U.S. space agency NASA. Location is a crucial factor: Silicon Valley is one of the world's most important high-tech locations and home to some of the world’s most significant technology companies. Bayer’s iHUB is right at the heart of it, ensuring that Bayer can learn about, access and potentially shape the latest trends and technologies at an early stage.

We see ourselves as the link between technology start-ups and Bayer. We bring these two worlds together to support Bayer’s LifeScience business with new digital solutions.

What Is the Aim of the iHUB?

The iHUB connects technology start-ups, universities and research institutes with Bayer teams. Together they have numerous possibilities to develop digital solutions that will support Bayer’s customers across the three business units –Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Health and Crop Science – for example, to provide better treatments for patients or to enable farmers to sustainably increase their harvest yields. The LifeScience iHUB is looking for digital innovations in all development stages, from ideas and early projects to prototypes and finished solutions. There is a high focus on new sensor technology and digital medical devices, and the creation of solutions based on machine learning/deep learning and artificial intelligence.

How the Innovation Process Works

Different stakeholders are involved in the innovation process

  • The colleagues of the Bayer LifeScience iHUB first generate an idea and a concept internally.
  • Together with the Bayer Business Sponsor, that means leaders in Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Health or Crop Science who have an unmet need, a preliminary business case will be developed. The Business Sponsor then will be responsible for the strategic buy-in as well as the allocation of resources. 
  • Afterwards, in collaboration with the Bayer IT partner, who supports the Business Sponsor on technology topics, the Bayer LifeScience iHUB identifies external innovation partners for development of the novel technology or solution that has relevance to solving the unmet need.
  • Lastly, the completed project will be transferred to key internal stakeholders, that is, the Business Sponsor.