Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bayer USA Foundation Awards $500,000 Grant to SySTEMic Innovations

Helps Launch “61 Founders” Fundraising Campaign

KANSAS CITY, August 18, 2011 – The Bayer USA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Bayer Corporation, has awarded a $500,000 grant to SySTEMic Innovations, reaffirming its support of a science education reform program that Bayer spearheaded in 2004 in partnership with the Kansas City Missouri School District (KCMSD).

This is the third Bayer USA Foundation grant provided to SySTEMic Innovations (formerly known as the Kansas City Science Initiative or KCSI) since its inception, totaling $750,000.  The grant underscores Bayer’s commitment to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and diversity throughout the country and specifically in a region that is home to two of Bayer’s businesses – Bayer CropScience and Bayer HealthCare’s Animal Health Division.
  
With continued support from the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute (KCALSI), SySTEMic Innovations is designed to lay the foundation for developing a competent STEM workforce equipped with the critical thinking and problem-solving skills fostered by high-quality science education.

A new report from the U.S. Department of Commerce makes a strong case for investing in STEM education.  STEM: Good Jobs Now and for the Future shows how U.S. employment in these critical fields drives our nation’s innovation and competitiveness, highlighting the fact that “STEM workers are helping America win the future by generating new ideas, new companies and new industries.”

“Like other Bayer-sponsored STEM education reform programs, the centerpiece of SySTEMic Innovations is the kind of standards and inquiry-based science education that is ensuring the viability of the region’s future workforce,” said Greg Babe, President and CEO of Bayer Corporation and President of the Bayer USA Foundation.  “High-quality STEM programs like this prepare the region’s and, in fact, the country’s future workforce, to compete globally.”

The grant also marks the launch of the “61 Founders” campaign with Bayer being named “lead founder” by SySTEMic Innovations in its first major fundraising effort.  The campaign is designed to help the non-profit achieve full sustainability by 2015.  SySTEMic Innovations intends to match Bayer’s contribution dollar-for-dollar, raising a total of $1 million over five years.  In support of the campaign, Bayer officials have called for other companies in the Kansas City area to join “61 Founders.”

“As always, we are enormously thankful to Bayer and the Bayer USA Foundation for their unwavering support,” said Dr. Daniel P. Getman, President, Kansas City Life Sciences Institute, which has incubated SySTEMic Innovations since 2006.  “SySTEMic Innovations is a critical component in our drive to make Kansas City a world-class life sciences research hub with the workforce to support it. With Bayer’s help, our goal is to expand SySTEMic Innovations’ base of support and provide an opportunity for other local companies – large and small – to participate and invest in a program that is so essential to the Kansas City area’s future.”

SySTEMic Innovations, which Bayer modeled from its Pittsburgh-based ASSET Inc. science education reform program, has brought hands-on, experiential science education to K-8 students and teachers in the Kansas City Missouri, Shawnee Heights and Kearney school districts, encompassing a total of 54 elementary schools, nearly 650 classrooms and more than 15,000 students in Kansas and Missouri. 

The new Bayer USA Foundation grant will enable SySTEMic Innovations to grow and build its operational capacity.  With it, SySTEMic Innovations will add key personnel, including a new professional development specialist and administrative specialist, while streamlining its materials resources center activities and expanding the professional development services it provides teachers.

Following the grant announcement and launch of the 61 Founders campaign, a panel discussion entitled, “Integrating STEM Education and Workforce Development,” was hosted by SySTEMic Innovations.  It featured Jewel Scott, Executive Director, Civic Council of Greater Kansas City; Dr. Robert Bartman, Superintendent, Center School District; Scott Smith, Director Strategic Initiatives, HNTB Corporation; and, Rebecca Lucore, Executive Director, Bayer USA Foundation.

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About the Bayer USA Foundation
The Bayer USA Foundation is an endowed 501(c)(3) entity and is the primary source of Bayer Corporation’s philanthropy in the United States.  With a programmatic focus on the environment and sustainability; education and workforce development; arts and culture; and health and human services, the foundation creates and supports organizations that improve communities in which Bayer employees live and work, as well as society at large.  The Bayer USA Foundation is one of three Bayer corporate foundations worldwide, including the Bayer Science & Education Foundation and the Bayer Cares Foundation.

About Bayer Corporation and Making Science Make Sense
Bayer Corporation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, is a subsidiary of Bayer AG, an international health care, nutrition and high-tech materials group based in Leverkusen, Germany. Bayer’s products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its role as a socially and ethically responsible corporate citizen. Economy, ecology and social responsibility are corporate policy objectives of equal rank. In North America, Bayer had 2010 net sales of EUR 8,228 million ($10,861 million) and employed 16,400 at year-end. For more information, go to www.bayerus.com.

Making Science Make Sense® (MSMS) is Bayer’s company-wide initiative that advances science literacy through hands-on, inquiry-based science education, employee volunteerism and a public education campaign.  Currently, 12 Bayer sites around the country operate local MSMS programs, which together represent a national volunteer corps of more than 1,000 employees. 

Bayer’s longtime MSMS program in Kansas City has more than 100 volunteers. Through classroom visits, science fairs and science nights, teacher workshops, career days, mentoring and community events, the MSMS volunteers seek to instill in students the excitement that comes from their personal engagement in scientific experiment and discovery.

About SySTEMic Innovations
SySTEMic Innovations is a non-profit, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education program designed to create an environment of innovation, critical thinking and problem solving for Kindergarten through 12th Grade students and their teachers. SySTEMic Innovations achieves this objective via a robust infrastructure of professional development, materials management and research-based curriculum. Key to this approach is integrating core academic subjects to lend relevance to real-world applications.  For more information, please visit www.growstem.org.

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Contact:
Bryan Iams, phone: (412) 777-5200
E-mail:bryan.iams@bayer.com

Forward-Looking Statements
This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

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