1 year ago

Innovation Awards 2016 Zine


26 BAYER: GIVING LIFE TO NEW IDEAS In a world where innovation is moving more rapidly than ever before, Bayer is offering assistance and support to help get new ideas over the line. It’s all very well having a new idea or making a new discovery, but then what? How do you develop your innovation, find out if it hasn’t been done somewhere before and ultimately get it to market where it can make you some money? There is, of course, no easy answer, but global life sciences company Bayer has a new initiative designed to help give life to the right new ideas. The company, which has a strong focus on farming innovation in New Zealand, has set up a worldwide open innovation portal aimed at supporting new ideas in the life sciences arena. Bayer New Zealand managing director Derek Bartlett, who also heads the company’s local Animal Health division, says being so open about finding new innovations externally is a positive for New Zealand. “Although Bayer has its own huge international research capability, it realises that innovation comes not only from within the company – it comes from everywhere and anywhere. “The open innovation portal is a great way to attract new external ideas. Our aim is very clear: we want to bring ideas and projects together with people who can make it happen and share our passion for innovation.” Through the portal, New Zealand researchers from universities, research institutes and start-up companies can apply for grants of up to $200,000. But, it’s not only about the money. Also on offer is access to mentoring, clinical studies and technologies to further research, which then may develop into regular scientific collaborations. There are five main focus areas: Grants4 Tech Grants4 Traits Grants4 Apps PartnerYour Antibodies Grants4 Indications for innovative technologies that support production in the life science industry, particularly robotics a crowdsourcing initiative in agriculture offering financial and scientific support to develop ideas for novel traits that help to achieve higher yield, quality and safety in crops offering, grants, mentoring and free co-working space at Bayer campuses around the world for digital health start-ups evaluating novel antibodies and antibody derivatives relating to cardiology, gynaecology, oncology, haematology and ophthalmology evaluating novel antibodies and antibody derivatives relating to cardiology, gynaecology, oncology, haematology and ophthalmology

INNOVATIONAWARDS.ORG.NZ 2 7 CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Farmer with tomato plants. Tumor samples in liquid nitrogen. Automation DNA extraction. Examining corn cobs. FACING PAGE: Kiwi PhD students Eric Harris and Daniel Chorley at work in Bayer’s new weed control research centre, Frankfurt, Germany. FACING PAGE INSET: Bayer New Zealand managing director Derek Bartlett. Bartlett sees the innovation portal as an important complement to Bayer’s existing work in New Zealand. “We’re lucky enough to have an Auckland-based APAC Regional Development Centre for animal health – one of only three such Bayer research hubs around the world. However, ideas generally should have a clear market need. It wasn’t long ago that we developed the idea first and then pitched it to the market. Now, it’s about developing solutions to problems farmers’ face with the knowledge that what you deliver will bring benefits to both the animal and the farmer.” One advantage of having a regional development centre is that New Zealand scientists are able to work on solutions for APAC regional projects and in some cases, global projects. “A good example of this is an aquaculture project our scientists in Auckland are working on for the fish and shrimp farming industry in Vietnam,” says Bartlett. “It relates to improving the formulation of the food so that fish and shrimp grow healthier and as a result, faster and bigger.” Bayer New Zealand’s regional development centre not only employs Bayer scientists, but partners with New Zealand universities on a range of projects to improve mastitis treatments for dairy cattle. Another way Bayer helps bring life to new ideas is through giving opportunities to fresh young talent. Working with Callaghan, the company provides fellowship research grants to post-doc, PhD and masters students from Auckland, Massey and Otago universities. The students are working on various mastitis projects, including using advanced diagnostic technology to better understand the disease and therefore how to better treat. There are also international opportunities for young researchers. Two young kiwi scientists, Eric Harris and Daniel Chorley, were part of a group of 11 new postdoctoral researchers from Australia and New Zealand given a two-year contract this year to work in Bayer’s new weed control research centre in Frankfurt, Germany. The site is more than a kilometre square and contains labs and offices for more than 30 chemists and lab technicians – all working on possible solutions to combat weeds. “Weeds are the single most important reason for crop losses globally, causing high management costs and threatening food security,” explains Bartlett. “Weeds are also becoming increasingly resistant to herbicides, particularly in Australia and the USA where weeds such as ryegrass and wild radish are rapidly evolving and threatening wheat production. “The search for new modes of action to control weeds is on and these young researchers are at the heart of it all – working on promising research projects in chemistry, biochemistry and biology. “Collaboration is increasingly becoming essential to bringing new ideas to life and that can only be good for New Zealand and our researchers. We firmly believe that collaboration models will make the difference when it comes to bringing innovation to life. Collaborating to accelerate research activities will greatly increase the probability of success.” THE OPEN INNOVATION PORTAL IS A GREAT WAY TO ATTRACT NEW EXTERNAL IDEAS. OUR AIM IS VERY CLEAR: WE WANT TO BRING IDEAS AND PROJECTS TOGETHER WITH PEOPLE WHO CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN AND SHARE OUR PASSION FOR INNOVATION. DEREK BARTLETT IN ASSOCIATION WITH