Crop Protection Bayer Invests 220 Million Euros for New R&D Unit
Bayer will be developing a new R&D facility at its Monheim site in Germany to strengthen its Crop Protection business. With this, the firm aims to support regenerative agriculture by developing and bringing to market new Crop Protection solutions.
Monheim/Germany – Bayer significantly strengthens its commitment to innovation in regenerative agriculture with a 220-million-euro investment in research and development (R&D) at its Monheim site. This is the company’s largest single investment in its Crop Protection business in Germany since the founding of the Monheim campus in 1979. The new Product Safety complex with labs, offices, and a greenhouse area offers space for approximately 200 employees. Its principal focus will be on developing the next generation of chemicals for a sustainable future and enhancing the environmental and human safety of Crop Protection.
The new facility will boost Bayer’s efforts to become a major contributor to regenerative agriculture by developing and bringing to market new Crop Protection solutions which have even better environmental profiles than those currently available and will play a key role in significantly reducing agriculture’s impact on the environment.
“Looking into the future, we must radically transform today’s farming systems and switch to regenerative agriculture practices that produce more with less, while restoring more. There is a high demand for pushing beyond established standards in safety to unlock breakthrough innovation and Crop Protection solutions with better environmental profiles,” said Dr. Robert Reiter, Head of R&D at Bayer’s Crop Science Division.
The investment is also a clear commitment to Europe as a base of operations as well as one important cornerstone of Bayer’s Future Concept for Germany. Over the past three years, Bayer has invested 180 million euros at its Dormagen site, with a focus on expanding production capacities for modern Crop Protection.
The anticipated construction period of the new Monheim facility will be around 3 years. Full commissioning is planned for 2026.
Environmental protection transforms established safety assessments
In addition to residue analytics and metabolism studies in target crops, rotational crops and livestock for human safety, the key focus area will be on environmental safety. This includes exposure studies in different environmental compartments as well as safety studies on non-target organisms such as aquatic and soil organisms, wild birds and mammals, and pollinators like honey bees and bumble bees to generate a holistic understanding of environmental exposure and effects of Crop Protection products. In addition, the flexible lab design enables future adjustments to the dynamic global regulatory landscape.
Artificial Intelligence helps Bayer design the next generation of Crop Protection
“With our new disruptive innovation approach – what we call Cropkey – we are now designing molecules instead of selecting them,” said Rachel Rama, Head of Small Molecules at Crop Science. “This is based on a discovery concept which allows us to create solutions based on the predefined safety and sustainability profiles that go above and beyond current standards.” Data science, early safety screenings, modeling and artificial intelligence are crucial elements that enable our top scientists to create the next generation of Crop Protection, taking advantage of massive amounts of data and machine learning and setting a new benchmark. “With our investment in Monheim, we are now building a new data powerhouse in a high-tech work environment that will be highly attractive for our researchers and future top talents.”
The new innovation approach to Crop Protection is also clearly aligned with Bayer’s sustainability commitment to reduce the environmental impact of Crop Protection products by 30 % by 2030.