Bayer has partnered with Microsoft to build new cloud-based digital tools and data science solutions for agriculture and adjacent industries.
The strategic partnership aims to bring new infrastructure and foundational capabilities to accelerate innovation, boost efficiency and support sustainability across value chains.
Bayer says agriculture and agribusinesses today benefit from a wide range of digital tools and data-powered insights through platforms such as Bayer's Climate FieldView, which is used today on more than 180 million farming acres across more than 20 countries. But the company says there is still work to do when it comes to optimising the entire food, feed, fuel and fibre value chain and its use of precious natural resources required to power the planet while ensuring broader efforts to combat
Under the new agreement, Bayer will work with Microsoft to co-develop new solutions that address critical industry scenarios such as farming operations, sustainable sourcing, manufacturing and supply chain improvement, and ESG monitoring and measurement.
The companies plan to achieve this by developing the go-forward infrastructure for digital farming solutions and data science capabilities. These new solutions and capabilities will be available to businesses from startups to global enterprises in agriculture and adjacent industries for use in their offerings. Bayer will also migrate its digital farming core capabilities to the new infrastructure for its customer-facing solutions.
The partnership builds upon a long-standing relationship between Bayer and Microsoft and a shared commitment to data privacy, cybersecurity and customer trust.
"This partnership comes at a unique point in time when increased innovation is sorely needed across the food and fibre value chain," says Bayer member of the board of management and president of Crop Science, Liam Condon.
"As we cope with an ongoing global pandemic, fragile supply chains and the continuing climate catastrophe, status quo will not suffice. We need collaboration, shared vision and action," he says.
"For those reasons, Bayer and Microsoft are taking action to make a positive impact, both through our collaboration and by offering off-the-shelf infrastructure and digital capabilities for other companies to address the enormous challenges facing our society."
Jeremy Williams, head of The Climate Corporation and Bayer Digital Farming Solutions, says, "As agriculture and technology entrepreneurs and organisations work to advance the security and sustainability of the value chain, supporting farmers at its foundation, collaboration is required."
"Bayer is pioneering digital innovation within agriculture. Microsoft is setting the standard in trusted, global cloud solutions. Together, we can
innovate and implement as a team to deliver the food, feed, fibre and fuel needed to power our planet," he says.
Microsoft corporate vice president, Azure Global Industry, Ravi Krishnaswamy, says like every industry, farming and the food sector are undergoing rapid digital transformation.
"We're excited to partner with Bayer to accelerate this transformation by
helping them increase the adoption of precision and sustainable agriculture techniques using data-driven insights and the power of Microsoft Azure," he says.
This partnership is a significant, strategic step forward in accomplishing Bayer's target of 100-percent digitally enabled sales in the Crop Science division by 2030 and accelerating its ability to deliver outcomes-based, digitally enabled solutions to customers.