Through the initiative, financial support will be offered to novel approaches and technologies in crop research


Bayer supports the search for new approaches that lead to innovative solutions in plant research. (Credit: Bayer AG.) ---------------------------------- Bayer supports the search for new approaches that lead to innovative solutions in plant research.

German company Bayer has announced the opening of the application window for its Grants4Ag initiative, which will support researchers developing novel solutions in the areas of crop science.

First launched in 2015, the Grants4Ag initiative will provide financial and scientific support to researchers. The deadline for the submission is 31 October 2020.

Similar to previous Grants4 programmes, there are no formal reporting requirements and applicants will retain ownership over the intellectual property developed.

The grants have the potential to become larger collaborations in the future

According to Bayer, the grants are an initial investment with the potential to become larger-scale, longer-term collaborations with the company.

Bayer crop science division open innovation business partner Phil Taylor said: “Our previous Grants4 programs succeeded in attracting top proposals in targeted niches – particularly biotech traits and biologicals.

“The new Grants4Ag model expands the reach to a greater number of potential applicants, and therefore more diverse innovations.”

The grants typically range between €5000 and €15,000. Each recipient will be partnered with a Bayer scientist who will provide guidance and feedback on the project, setting them apart from traditional funding programmes.

Last year, the grants programme received submissions from 17 countries, from which 21 grants were awarded by the company.

This year, Bayer has partnered with Halo, a marketplace that helps companies connect with scientists, for the Grants4Ag submission period.

Halo CEO and founder Kevin Leland said: “We created Halo to help companies discover and collaborate with scientists to solve today’s challenges and stay a step ahead of tomorrow’s.

“Bayer has long been a champion of open innovation and we’re thrilled to be powering this latest search so even more scientists from universities and startups can benefit from its resources and industry knowledge.”

Last month, Bayer’s investment arm Leaps by Bayer and Temasek had formed and invested in a new company named Unfold to develop new vegetable seed varieties for vertical farming.

The vegetable seeds are expected to take vertical farming to the next level in terms of quality, efficiency and sustainability.