[Sponsored Report] Innovation in R&D leads the way for Bayer

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[Sponsored Report] Innovation in R&D leads the way for Bayer


Researchers test the effects of aspirin at the Bayer plant in Bitterfeld, Germany.

*President Park Geun-hye’s trip to Germany after attending the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague is expected to highlight the innovative spirit of German businesses and their efforts to integrate the nation’s economy before and after reunification. In her summits with German President Joachim Gauck and Prime Minister Angela Merkel, investment, trade and unification will be issues discussed.

Ever since her inauguration, President Park has emphasized the importance of a united Korea. Under her leadership, the Blue House earlier this month unveiled its plan to form a preparation committee for unification with the North that will be chaired by the president herself. She has also underlined the importance of innovation in the economy - referred to as her “creative economy” initiative - to find future growth engines and escape from the current low growth trend.

President Park’s trip to Berlin and Dresden in Germany is creating hope in local business circles as there is much companies can learn from Germany.

Ahead of her trip, the Korea JoongAng Daily put together examples that show the innovative spirit of German businesses and the efforts to unify the country economically after reunification. In particular, German automakers - Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Volkswagen - and pharmaceutical firm Bayer are known for innovation in research and development and their efforts to integrate society and contribute to the economy even amid times of change in the political and social landscape.

Volkswagen, for example, has prioritized cooperating with regional society and creating a win-win environment for all ever since its foundation in the 1930s. In 1993, the automaker adopted a four-day workweek amid a crisis in the auto industry, which created a 30,000 surplus of manpower. Rather than reducing the work force, the automaker readjusted working hours and wages.

Another automaker Audi has focused on constantly developing new techniques, contributing to boosting innovation. In 1931, for example, it developed the world’s first front-wheel-drive car. Mercedes Benz has also sought innovation with its engineers having registered more than 80,000 patents since the invention of automobile in 1886.

Bayer, meanwhile, is notable when it comes to research, development and innovation. Immediately after German reunification, Bayer began investing in East Germany by building facilities. It also regularly collaborates with external partners from academia and industry.

The driving force of Bayer Group, the Germany-based global enterprise with core competencies in health care, agriculture and high-tech polymer materials, is relentless investment in research and development.

In 2013 a total of 3,190 million euros was spent on research and development (R&D). This was equivalent to 7.9 percent of sales.

Bayer has recently been strengthening research in the field of life sciences, or human, animal and plant health. Researchers from HealthCare and CropScience are collaborating on projects involving central biological processes such as gene regulation or energy metabolism.

Bayer HealthCare, which manufactures and markets pharmaceutical and medical products, is the subgroup where innovation is taking place most actively. In 2012 Bayer HealthCare accounted for 65.1 percent of all R&D expenditures by the Bayer Group. R&D at Bayer HealthCare focus on identifying and developing new active substances to treat diseases with a high medical need.

The Pharmaceuticals Division carries out research and product development mainly in the fields of cardiology, oncology and women’s health care. Other areas of focus are the therapeutic areas of inflammation and ophthalmology.

Bayer CropScience saw approximately €780 million spent on R&D in 2012, or 26 percent of total R&D expenditures by the Bayer Group. Products offered by Bayer CropScience includes high-value seeds, innovative crop protection solutions based on chemical and biological modes of action, and extensive service back-up for modern, sustainable agriculture.

Bayer MaterialScience, meanwhile, invested €241 million in 2012 R&D, or 8 percent of the group’s spending.

At the end of 2013, Bayer owned approximately 67,400 valid patent applications and patents worldwide relating to some 8,700 protected inventions. With strong and efficient R&D, the innovation company is creating the foundation for innovation and setting trends in research-intensive areas.

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