Bayer Continues to Grow its Open Innovation Activities

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The FINANCIAL — With Grants4Indications Bayer has launched its fifth global crowdsourcing initiative. This latest web-based grant program promotes the exploration of new indications with the aim to discover novel potential therapeutic areas for Bayer compounds. Grants4Indications is part of Bayer’s global open innovation approach which already includes a number of successful crowdsourcing and co-working initiatives as well as the CoLaborator, an attractive incubator space for young life-science companies in Berlin and San Francisco. 

Furthermore, Bayer and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) just recently announced the initiation of the “AACR-Bayer Innovation and Discovery Grants”. This program will promote the key tenets of the Bayer Grants4Targets initiative with a focus on oncology: to provide new treatment options for cancers with high unmet medical need, to encourage innovation and translation of ideas from basic research into novel drugs, and to foster collaborations between academic groups and the pharmaceutical industry. Bayer’s Grants4Targets inititiative translates ideas from basic research into novel drugs through grants for research on new drug targets in various indications, according to Bayer.

“Complementing our in-house expertise with the know-how of excellent partners from academia and industry is an integral part of our innovation strategy at Bayer,” said Professor Andreas Busch, member of the Executive Committee of Bayer AG’s Pharmaceuticals Division and Head of Drug Discovery. “We welcome many different forms of cooperation along the value-chain, from traditional licensing agreements or strategic research alliances to public-private partnerships as well as open innovation models. Together with bright minds outside of Bayer, we join forces to develop new therapeutic options for the benefit of patients.”

Grants4Targets was introduced in 2009 and marks the first crowdsourcing initiative at Bayer. Further initiatives of such kind have been established since then. The Grants4Targets, Grants4Apps and newly launched Grants4Indications initiatives are open innovation programs offering grants for scientists from universities, academic research institutes, and startup companies or health-IT developers from all over the world to support specific projects. With the web-based PartnerYourAntibodies program Bayer is looking for novel antibodies relating particularly to the company’s research fields. 

The CoLaborator, Bayer’s research incubator, offers young life-sciences companies to set up their research laboratories on the research campuses of the pharmaceuticals division of Bayer in San Francisco, USA, and Berlin, Germany. 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. With the CoLaborator Bayer has created an environment to advance research and innovation in life sciences. 


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