More external partnerships needed to drive innovation - Bayer

08 December 2010 22:37  [Source: ICIS news]

LEVERKUSEN, Germany (ICIS)--German chemicals maker Bayer MaterialScience said on Wednesday that it will become more open to external partnerships with other companies in order to drive the group’s innovations.

Board member Wolfgang Plischke, speaking at the group’s “Perspective on Innovation 2010” conference at its headquarters in Leverkusen, said it was important for Bayer to involve partners, both within and outside the company, in its future research.

In 2009, Bayer invested 22% of its research and development (R&D) spending, or €600m ($800m), in external strategic collaborations.

“Excellence in research is the basis of all the innovations [Bayer is involved in]… Now, more than ever before, innovations cannot exist without networks… We therefore invest about 22% of our research budget in our strong network to supplement our own competencies,” Plischke said.

“We want to become more open to external partnerships in the future, as well as by engaging in efficient collaboration with the best in the world in each field of research,” he added.

In order to internationalise the group’s research across all of its departments, Plischke said Bayer would focus on specific sites called “science hubs” around the world where certain innovation projects could be pursued.

“We are intensifying our own international research activities with science hubs in San Francisco, Research Triangle Park, Beijing and Shanghai. These hubs give us an outstanding foundation for collaborations with external partners,” said Plischke.

At these locations Bayer plans to place a small group of scientists, which would be given the primary task of ensuring good external and internal networking in the region.

“What’s more, we are continuously strengthening our relations with the universities – in part through more than 900 close contacts to leading scientists around the world,” he added.

 ($1 = €0.75)

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By: Franco Capaldo
+44 (0)20 8652 3214



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