Less than four years after setting up shop near the University of California, San Francisco's Mission Bay campus, Bayer AG is calling both its U.S. Innovation Center and CoLaborator incubator there successes and expanding the model to Berlin. The winning formula, it says, comes from creating direct alliances with academics and startups and not in ponying up buckets of money.
Compared with several other pharmas-including Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer Inc. and Merck & Co. Inc., which have all pledged between $17 million and $247 million each in their external innovation strategies1-3-Bayer is tiptoeing into the realm of academic innovation with few dollars down and a strategy built around collaborative relationships with researchers and startups.
The roots of Bayer's U.S. Innovation Center go