Open Innovation at Bayer

Complementing our in-house expertise with the know-how of excellent partners from academia and industry is an integral part of the innovation strategy at Bayer. The company offers many different forms of cooperation along the value-chain, from traditional licensing agreements or strategic research alliances to public-private partnerships as well as crowdsourcing. Our new website is a central point of contact for Open Innovation offers.

Let’s Bring Great Ideas to Life

Bayer’s global open innovation approach includes a number of successful crowdsourcing and co-working initiatives as well as the CoLaborator™. Together with bright minds outside of Bayer, we join forces to develop new therapeutic options for the benefit of patients and generate ideas in new crop protection.

Bayer wants to reach out to the world's most creative and innovative minds.

Working with people from research and development outside the Bayer organization is an important source of innovation for all our divisions. Grants4Targets™ was introduced in 2009 and marks the first crowdsourcing program at Bayer. Further initiatives of this kind have been established since then: Grants4Apps™, Grants4Indications™, PartnerYourAntibodies™ as well as Grants4Tech™ and Grants4Traits™. In the context of open innovation Bayer offers grants for scientists from universities, academic research institutes, and startup companies or health-IT developers from all over the world to support specific projects. The participants are supported through funding and they can benefit - depending on the program - from work accommodations and the expertise of Bayer researchers in Life Sciences.

The Right Program for Everyone

Grants4Targets™ Pharmaceuticals and Grants4Targets™ Crop Science

Grants4Targets™ are crowdsourcing programs run by the Bayer divisions Pharmaceutcials and Crop Science. The global research grant program of Pharmaceuticals supports research on novel drug targets for applications in Bayer’s focus areas - oncology, gynecology, cardiology (including kidney diseases), and hemophilia - through funding and through expertise and technologies in drug discovery. The aim of Grants4Targets™ Crop Science is to assist young researcher developing ideas for new crop protection. Researchers who have been awarded grants through the program have lauded the quick access to funding, opportunities to engage in joint research with Bayer, and the availability of searching and validation tools.

Grants4Apps™ and Grants4Apps™ Accelerator

Grants4Apps™ is an open innovation initiative, launched in 2013 as a crowdsourcing program. It provides financial support to developers and startups for their software, hardware and technology projects which contribute to improving health outcomes or pharmaceutical processes. The crowdsourcing program was expanded with the Accelerator as a new model of open innovation in the digital health field in 2014. The “Grants4Apps™ Accelerator” offers dedicated office space for 5 digital health startups with concepts for innovative technology solutions to healthcare problems at the headquarters of the company’s pharmaceutical division in Berlin to support them in further advancing their projects and business models. Bayer offers experienced managers as coaches to the startups, as well as intensive mentoring by external entrepreneurs. Additionally, Bayer opened a “Grants4Apps™ Co-working Space” in the company’s offices in Barcelona, Spain, to host up to five digital-health startups.

G4Ag Program Crop Science

Bayer Crop Science would like to accelerate Agriculture lab & greenhouse discovery processes with the help of advanced digital and data science technologies. We have created the G4Ag program, located at Bayer’s LifeHub Lyon, which aims to build collaboration with startups to catalyze new digital discoveries in plant protection. With our G4Ag program we offer support to startups in the field of digital agriculture to Mentoring & Coaching, Financial Support, Office Space, Networking & Partnerships.


The Grants4Indications™ crowdsourcing initiative is a web-based platform to submit ideas on a specific non-clinical or clinical research project to evaluate a Bayer compound and potentially discover a new therapy for patients. If successful in the first stage, the applicant will be invited to send a full study proposal on the intended research and will receive a grant for this purpose. If successful in the next stage, the applicant can receive further funding to conduct the study under an Investigator-Initiated Research (IIR) agreement.


The Grants4Tech™ initiative welcomes innovative technologies to support production in the Life Science industry. The current competition is all about robotic solutions. With the robotic challenge, Bayer aims to strengthen the bond between the industry and academic robotic research communities and enthusiasts. The goal is to achieve a complete new class of applications based on modern robotics. Regarding the challenge Bayer offers a prize money for the three best solutions, networking and visibility at a pioneering international technology fair, as well as collaboration with technology suppliers to advance your robotics project and implement your robotic automation.


Agriculture urgently needs new solutions. Crops worldwide are facing increasing pressure from weeds, insects, diseases and unfavorable climate conditions. With its open innovation program Grants4Traits™, Bayer now supports novel ideas that will lead to innovative commercial seed products. Researchers at universities, other scientific institutions, or start-up companies all over the world working on traits that will help achieve higher yield, quality and safety in crops are encouraged to participate in Bayer’s new program.


The incubator concept offers young companies laboratory space and access to the company’s research expertise and infrastructure as well as a first point of contact in the search for partnering options in the pharmaceutical industry. Bayer's first CoLaborator™ was established in 2012 at the Mission Bay location, San Francisco, in the immediate vicinity of Bayer's own research labs. In 2014, Bayer inaugurated its second research incubator at its Berlin location. All CoLaborator™ tenants have the possibility of working and exchanging ideas and experiences internationally at both CoLaborator™ locations. With the CoLaborator™ Bayer has created an environment to advance research and innovation in life sciences.

We're Always Open for Great Ideas. What is Yours?

The new Open Innovation website is aimed at scientists, start-ups, digital health experts and other innovators who are looking for financial support for a specific project, need a cooperation partner, or simply want to find out about the options that are available.

Do you have an innovative idea? Here you will find the right program and full details of the application process:


projects have already been funded by Bayer.