Tobias Menne

Open Innovation: Modernizing Agriculture

More accurate and profitable agronomic advice — that’s what Digital Farming provides to farmers around the globe. To develop the necessary technical solutions, we not only rely on innovative Bayer employees but also work with partners.

At Bayer, we have accumulated a wealth of agronomic expertise over the years. But in an era of non-stop digitization and technological disruption, we are constantly adding new knowledge, and it comes in digital form. To conquer this challenge, our smart and talented employees alone are not enough. To develop truly new and comprehensive solutions as quickly as they are needed, we bring in external partners. It is really important to us to have cooperative relationships along the entire value chain and to develop, test, and distribute new digital farming solutions in collaboration with farmers and other partners.

Successful internal and external collaboration

One approach a lot of digital pioneers use is known as open innovation. This technique assumes that firms should use external as well as internal ideas and both internal and external paths to market to advance their technologies. What are we doing at Bayer? First, we have an internal platform (called WeSolve) that allows our employees to submit challenging questions and seek answers from their colleagues. Additionally, we are reaching out to creative minds all over the world to initiate partnerships, advise entrepreneurs, and support start-ups looking to scale up. As our central information hub for open innovation offerings, is the first step in joining forces to develop new digital farming solutions or generate new crop protection ideas.

Tobias Menne
Tobias Menne
Tobias Menne,
Global Head Digital Farming at Bayer 
Tobias Menne - Open Innovation: Modernizing Agriculture
Tobias Menne - Open Innovation: Modernizing Agriculture
More accurate and profitable agronomic expertise is what Bayer’s Digital Farming unit provides to farmers all over the world.

To make open innovation in Digital Farming a reality, we have entered into a number of long-term cooperations. One example is our collaboration with Planet Labs Inc. The San Francisco company designs and manufactures miniature satellites which allow for continual scans of the earth and form the basis for even better farming decisions. We are also partnering with FaunaPhotonics to develop new sensors that can identify, count, and distinguish insect pests from non-target insects including beneficials and pollinators. Both solutions can deliver data directly to our Digital Farming tools, enabling farmers to make faster and better decisions, in particular in terms of a more targeted application of crop protections products.

Our most recent success is a digital farming cooperation with Yara. Within the framework of a joint software project and technology licensing agreement, Yara grants us permission to use its mobile imaging technology. This will help to better determine the current nutrient status and nutrient requirements of plants by using a smartphone application. The goal is to continue helping farmers around the globe to increase yields and give society access to nutritious food.

We are bringing together the best talent to create the most efficient and effective solutions. If you are interested in learning more about digitization and the opportunities it creates for farming, click here.

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