Bayer continues to grow its open innovation activities

BayerWith 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.

"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.

About Grants4Indications™
With the newly launched Grants4Indications crowdsourcing initiative, Bayer promotes the exploration of new therapeutic indications. Grants4Indications 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. More information is available at http://www.grants4indications.bayer.com.

About Grants4Targets™
Grants4Targets is a web-based crowdsourcing program run by the pharmaceuticals division of Bayer. This global research grant program supports research on novel drug targets for applications in Bayer’s focus areas - oncology, gynecology, cardiology (including kidney diseases), hematology, and ophthalmology - through funding and through expertise and technologies in drug discovery. Proposals are submitted online. Two types of grants are available: Support Grants (EUR 5,000-10,000) for research on targets at a very early stage of discovery, and Focus Grants (EUR 10,000-125,000) for more mature ideas that address specific aspects of a target as a first step towards transferring it to the drug discovery process. 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. More information is available at http://www.grants4targets.com.

About the AACR-Bayer Innovation and Discovery Grants
The AACR-Bayer Innovation and Discovery Grants will promote the key tenets of the Bayer Grants4Targets initiative. The submitted research proposal should examine novel therapeutic targets focusing on the different oncology research areas. It is anticipated that multiple grants will be funded. The grants will provide USD 10,000 to USD 25,000 over one year, with the grant term to begin July 1, 2016. All the recipients will be offered the opportunity to work with a Bayer mentor who will provide guidance, expertise, and/or tools to accelerate the translation of their scientific idea.

About Grants4Apps™
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 improve 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. Each startup receives up to 50,000 Euro as financial support and can stay in the "Grants4Apps Accelerator" premises for about 100 days. During that time, Bayer offers experienced managers as coaches to the startups, in addition to intensive mentoring by external entrepreneurs. Thereby, the Accelerator creates an ideal environment in which to advance cutting-edge technologies in healthcare and underlines Bayer’s engagement in collaboration with young entrepreneurs. In addition, Bayer opened a "Grants4Apps Co-working Space" in the company’s offices in Barcelona, Spain, to host up to five digital-health startups. More information is available at http://www.grants4apps.bayer.com.

About PartnerYourAntibodies™
With the web-based PartnerYourAntibodies crowdsourcing initiative the pharmaceuticals division of Bayer is looking for novel antibodies relating particularly to the fields of oncology, cardiology (including kidney diseases), hematology, ophthalmology as well as gynecology and addressing a specific target or pathway in a selective manner (functional activity). Successful online applications will be assessed by Bayer with regard to bioactivity. If confirmed, Bayer might initiate a joint antibody-exploration project with the applicant, in which substantial financial funding is paid to compensate for research expenses. More information is available at http://www.partneryourantibodies.bayer.com.

About the Bayer CoLaborator™
The aim of the global incubator concept is to help researchers at young life sciences companies to establish their research laboratories. The independent companies can get access to the Bayer expertise and the global research network, in addition to the ready to use laboratory and office infrastructure which is provided at competitive rental rates. 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. Bayer's vision is to serve the young companies as the first point of contact in the search for potential collaboration partners in the pharmaceutical industry. More information is available at http://www.colaborator.bayer.com.

Bayer: Science For A Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2014, the Group employed around 119,000 people and had sales of EUR 42.2 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.5 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 3.6 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015.

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