Bayer increases investment in innovation to promote sustainable development of business in China

Recently, Bill Anderson, Chairman of the Board of Management (CEO) of Bayer AG, was invited to visit China with German Chancellor Scholz and his delegation. After attending the China Development Forum in Beijing at the end of March this year, Bill Anderson visited China again in a short period of time. This fully reflects Bayer's commitment to the Chinese market and confidence in its development in China, as well as its determination to serve Chinese patients, consumers, and growers with its expertise in the healthcare and agricultural fields.


"China is one of our key strategic pillars, both from a standpoint of R&D but also in terms of markets, one of the most important in the world, both in Pharmaceuticals, in Consumer Health, in and in Crop Science." Bill Anderson, Chairman of the Board of Management (CEO) of Bayer AG, says, "Innovation is the engine to business development. The ability to bring more of the world's technology to China and more technology from China to the world is very critical to achieving sustained economic growth and high-quality development."


Bill Anderson, Chairman of the Board of Management (CEO) of Bayer AG


Increase investment in innovation, supporting China’s development


Having been in China for more than 140 years, Bayer has witnessed China's development and achieved its own steady business growth. In 2023, Bayer's sales in China reached 3.524 billion euros, employed nearly 8,000 people, operated offices in many cities across the country, and owned several R&D and innovation centers and 6 production sites.


Supply Center of Bayer Pharmaceuticals in Beijing


As China comprehensively promotes high-quality development and cultivates "New Productive Forces", healthcare and agriculture have ushered in historic new opportunities of sustainable development. Against this backdrop, Bayer firmly fulfills its commitment to the Chinese market and seizes new development opportunities in China. In recent years, Bayer has continued to increase investment in innovation and contributed to China implementing national strategic initiatives such as "Healthy China", "Rural Revitalization" and sustainability to jointly address challenges in health, nutrition, and climate change.


In Pharmaceuticals, Bayer has been continuously introducing innovative drugs to China, satisfying the unmet medical needs. As of Feb. 2024, Bayer Pharmaceuticals’ global R&D center in Beijing has introduced 19 innovative drugs to China, with a total of 36 new drugs or new indications approved. Besides, Bayer drives innovation through both local in-house R&D and external collaboration. In November 2023, Bayer and Shanghai Pharmaceuticals reached a cooperation agreement to jointly build the Bayer Co.Lab co-creation platform, aiming to promote cutting-edge innovations in fields including cell and gene therapy, support and accelerate the industrial transformation of scientific research results, and cultivate new drugs R&D and commercial operation capabilities, docking with global pharmaceutical industry network and resources, empowering the development of local start-ups. This marks the first time that Bayer Co.Lab lands in China, and it becomes the largest co-creation platform established by Bayer in the Asia-Pacific region.


In terms of Consumer Health, Bayer continues to expand cooperation with local R&D institutions and innovative companies to promote the integration of "enterprise, academia and research". In the past three years, Bayer has launched more than 10 new products that are well received by consumers, covering digestive health, dermatology, and nutritional supplements etc. Our Consumer Health business plans to establish a China Center for Innovation & Partnership in Shanghai in 2024. Being consumer-centric and science-based, the center is expected to invest 20 million euro in accelerating innovation, promote the research and development of drugs, health foods, and other categories, and explore more self-care solutions suitable for Chinese consumers.


Bayer Consumer Health has launched may news products that are well received by consumers in recent years

In Crop Science, Bayer has been actively developing and introducing agricultural products and services to meet the different needs of the China market, contributing to the modernization of Chinese agriculture with its global innovation capabilities. Bayer operates corn and vegetable seeds as well as around ~100 plant protection products in five categories, which prevent and control diseases, pests, and weeds, improve quality and efficiency, and increase production and income. Bayer is also the first Chinese multinational company certified with green food production materials (as of February 2024, a total of 20 plant protection products passed the green production materials certification). Over the years, it has actively implemented training on safe drug use, complete with service stations in cooperation with plant protection stations in many provinces and carried out cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, various scientific research institutions and local agricultural companies.


Drive global innovation engine, shaping a better future


As an innovative life science company, guided by its grand mission of "Health for all, Hunger for none", Bayer actively pursues breakthrough innovations and strives to have a positive impact on mankind and the planet that we live on. Every year, Bayer invests substantial R&D expenditures to find breakthrough innovation solutions. In 2023, the number was €5.4 billion.


In healthcare, Bayer has invested more than EUR 3.5 billion in building its cell and gene therapy platforms. Bayer's innovative product pipeline is now beginning to benefit from a strong, preclinical, and mid-clinical cell and gene therapy portfolio, with 7 programs in various stages of clinical development covering therapeutic areas with unmet medical needs, such as leading programs in Parkinson's disease, Pompe disease and congestive heart failure. Bayer also strengthens drug discovery platform through acquisition of Vividion Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company utilizing novel discovery technologies to unlock high value, traditionally undruggable targets with precision therapeutics.


In agriculture, Bayer leverages its innovation engine and market leadership in global agriculture to provide growers with unique solutions to help them meet the challenges of food security and climate change. Bayer has an industry-leading R&D pipeline, customizes seeds and next-generation breeding technology, transformative trait technology, sustainable small molecule technology and many other new technologies, and is committed to promoting the sustainable transformation of agriculture. For example, the Preceon™ smart corn system developed by Bayer combines three major innovation elements – short corn hybrids, FieldView™ digital platform and customized services to achieve multi-level innovation advantages such as crop protection, optimizing the use of agricultural inputs and promoting unit returns. Cover crops such as CoverCress enable farmers to protect their fields in a sustainable way, improve soil health, increase income, and promote the widespread use of regenerative agriculture. Bayer looks forward to further strengthening cooperation with China in new technologies and contributing to the green transformation of China's agriculture.


Short Stature Corn

Bayer will continue to leverage its global innovation resources and capabilities to bring more and better innovative technologies and products to China faster. At the same time, it also looks forward to joining hands with Chinese partners to help more Chinese innovation practices go global.