Bayer’s societal engagement focuses on people working innovatively in the areas of education & science and health & social needs who are committed to achieving a lasting improvement in living conditions. This also extends to a further focus area – sports & culture – although our involvement in professional soccer does not form part of our social sponsorship activities.
Our Access to Medicine (ATM) activities give patients in developing countries and the Emerging Markets access to our products.
Bayer’s foundation work centers on two globally active foundations that are linked to the company – the Bayer Science & Education Foundation for Life Sciences Life Sciences This term describes Bayer’s activities in health care and agriculture and comprises the Bayer Group excluding its legally independent subsidiary Covestro. It refers to the businesses of the Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Health and Crop Science divisions and the Animal Health business unit. , education and medicine, and the Bayer Cares Foundation for social innovations and social commitment. An interdisciplinary committee chaired by the member of the Bayer Board of Management responsible for Innovation holds responsibility for the strategic orientation and coordination of our societal engagement. The Group-wide donation allocation and management policies form the basis for our foundation and donation activities. A large number of the initiatives are implemented in collaboration with partner organizations such as non-governmental organizations. An independent panel made up of internal and external judges decides how foundation funding is allocated. Covestro is responsible for its own social commitment activities. Donations are allocated on the basis of internal Covestro regulations.
In 2016, we invested (incl. Covestro) a total of around €48 million (2015: €51 million) in charitable activities worldwide. This was aimed at improving the quality of life at the company’s various locations and contributing to solving social challenges.
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For Bayer, pioneering achievements in science and society are fundamental to progress and success. For that reason, promoting cutting-edge research and supporting education and social innovation are key objectives of the Bayer foundations. Selected activities from the three key areas of health and basic social needs, education and science, and sports and culture are set out below.
Activities focusing on health and basic social needs
Encouraging social innovation
In 2016, the Bayer Cares Foundation gave the former Aspirin Social Award a new strategic orientation. Now called the Aspirin Social Innovation Award, the accolade has an international reach for the first time, focusing on social innovation in the areas of health and nutrition. All five award-winners received €20,000 of funding to expand their charitable business initiatives.
Supporting creative voluntary work
Last year, the Bayer Cares Foundation provided first-time funding for 73 volunteering projects of employees in 37 countries within the framework of the Bayer Volunteering Program. In Germany, an additional 26 projects of individuals not working at Bayer were also supported. The total funding amounts to around €341,000. All the projects offer innovative approaches to help solve social problems in the areas of health, nutrition and education in the catchment areas of the company’s sites.
Rapid assistance in the event of natural disasters
In 2016, Bayer was once again active in supporting people experiencing acute hardship as a result of natural disasters. For example, we provided medicines worth €250,000 free of charge to assist in the medical care of the victims of a severe earthquake in Ecuador.
Activities focusing on education and science
Award-winning pioneering achievements
The Bayer Science & Education Foundation’s Otto Bayer Award 2016 worth €75,000 went to Dr. Dirk Trauner from the University of Munich (LMU Munich). Working in the field of photopharmacology and chemical optogenetics, he is developing novel switches that use light to precisely control all kinds of processes in cells. This may open up new chemotherapeutic treatment opportunities, for example to cure blindness and cancer.
In 2016, the Bayer Early Excellence in Science Award worth €10,000 to each recipient went to three young researchers from Germany and Switzerland for their successful work in the fields of medicine, biology and chemistry.
Getting young people excited about science
The Bayer Science & Education Foundation helped talented young individuals in 2016 by awarding 245 scholarships worth a total of more than €1 million to students, postgraduates and apprentices in the fields of natural, life and agricultural science and medicine. This funding is intended in particular to facilitate research projects abroad. For the first time ever, youngsters from India and Africa joined children from German and U.S. schools at the Science Teens camp in the United States. Bayer was once again involved in the student support programs geared to national requirements in over 20 countries. To this end, our country organizations cooperated with universities, museums and other educational institutions.
In Germany, the focus in 2016 was on promoting innovative teaching projects, with total funding of some €550,000 for 37 specific measures at schools and other educational institutions in 18 towns and cities. The three Baylab student laboratories offered school classes a professional infrastructure that was used by over 7,500 schoolchildren and teachers in 2016 as a supplement to normal tuition.
Education program for refugee children
In 2016, the Science4Life Academy founded in 2015 by the Bayer Science & Education Foundation along with the Berlin Senate and other educational organizations produced scientific teaching materials geared specifically to the needs of refugee children and tested them at pilot schools in Berlin. The next steps are to evaluate the results and pass these on to all Germany’s Federal states. In addition, the funding is to be used for a dictionary for refugee children.
Activities focusing on sports and culture
We continued our recreational, disabled and competitive sports activities in 2016. The Bayer sports clubs again made a key contribution to the broad range of sporting activities around the German sites in North Rhine-Westphalia. The 23 clubs have a total of around 45,000 members. In 2016, the major clubs also became more intensely involved as professional service providers for the company’s occupational health management.
Bayer once again expanded its cultural activities in 2016, among other things by extending the stART program for talented young artists with the stARTacademy. A total of around 120 music, dance, theater and art events took place in 2016, including an art exhibition with selected works from the Bayer Collection.