Boosting innovation capacities through venture capital and strategic collaborations
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, May 5, 2015
– Striving to push the bounds of agricultural innovation, Bayer CropScience today announced a strategic innovation partnership with Flagship Ventures, a leading venture capital and venture creation firm. The partnership also includes an investment in Flagship Ventures Fund V, a $537 million venture capital fund that closed in March 2015. Bayer CropScience brings its strengths in science, innovation and regulatory affairs to help Flagship to identify, fund, and develop startup companies exploring new frontiers in agriculture.
“Emerging challenges in agriculture are leading the industry in new and exciting directions,” said Liam Condon, chief executive officer of Bayer CropScience. “With growing pest pressures, weather volatility and changes in consumer tastes, growers need and are counting on new solutions to increase yields on the farm. Bayer is committed to providing them with new innovations. We look forward to working with Flagship Ventures to bring exciting, breakthrough companies to market.”
Bayer CropScience joins AstraZeneca and Nestlé Health Science as strategic innovation partners in Flagship Ventures Fund V. The fund will focus on innovations in healthcare and sustainability in the energy, water, agriculture and nutrition sectors. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Partnering with Bayer CropScience will help us realize the emerging opportunity we see for the development of game-changing technologies in agriculture,” said Dr. Noubar Afeyan, senior managing partner and chief executive officer of Flagship Ventures. “Collectively we are dedicated to making sustainable, positive impacts on global farm operations and the global food supply.”
Bayer CropScience invests heavily in research and development in areas such as breeding, trait development, biologics and small molecules. Collaborating with venture capital firms offers insights into new areas of innovation and visibility to cutting-edge technologies.
“We must improve food production to feed a growing planet and are looking for ways to gain access to new technologies,” said Geoff Kneen, Bayer CropScience R&D licensing and new ventures manager for North America. “As the interest in agriculture rapidly expands to include different areas of innovation, such as genomics, IT/data management, and remote sensing, we want a window into that new innovation. Flagship shares our vision for solving some of the challenges facing modern production agriculture.”
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About Bayer CropScience
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience, the subgroup of Bayer AG responsible for the agricultural business, has annual sales of EUR 9,494 million (2014) and is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of seeds, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control. The company offers an outstanding range of products including high value seeds, innovative crop protection solutions based on chemical and biological modes of action as well as an extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture. In the area of non-agricultural applications, Bayer CropScience has a broad portfolio of products and services to control pests from home and garden to forestry applications. The company has a global workforce of 23,100 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at: www.press.bayercropscience.com
About Flagship Ventures
Realizing entrepreneurial innovation is the mission of Flagship Ventures. Founded in 2000, the firm has launched 30 companies while investing in another 50. Flagship manages $1.4 billion in capital and is active in three principal sectors: therapeutics, health technologies, and sustainability. Flagship’s current portfolio includes Acceleron (NASDAQ: XLRN), Agios (NASDAQ: AGIO), BIND Therapeutics (NASDAQ: BIND), Concert Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CNCE), Eleven Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ: EBIO), T2 Biosystems (NASDAQ: TTOO), Tetraphase (NASDAQ: TTPH) as well as several private companies: Editas Medicine, Pronutria Biosciences, Seres Health and Moderna Therapeutics. For more information, please visit www.flagshipventures.com
About Flagship VentureLabs
Flagship VentureLabs™ is the innovation foundry of Flagship Ventures. VentureLabs has been creating breakthrough companies since 2000. It is the first institution dedicated to entrepreneurial innovation, where the acts of discovery, invention and entrepreneuring are performed simultaneously by a world-class team of scientists, innovators and professional entrepreneurs. VentureLabs innovates, invents, launches and builds startups through a unique, systematic approach that produces best-in-class companies. VentureLabs has started 30 life science and technology companies, including Seres Health, Pronutria Biosciences and Moderna Therapeutics. For more information, please visit www.flagshipventures.com/venturelabs
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