Catalyzing Science and
Social Innovation to create Health for All and Hunger for None!
Why do we exist?
Today’s accelerating rates of change present amazing opportunities to help the world’s growing population to thrive while ensuring that our planet survives. This is why...
Our Purpose at Bayer Foundation is to catalyze science and social innovation for a world with Health for All and Hunger for None!
Who are the people behind the Foundation?
Foundation Leadership Monika Lessl
Dr. Monika Lessl (View CV)
Monika is Executive Director of the Bayer Foundation and leading the Bayer Foundation. She is also VP and Head of Corporate R&D and Social Innovation at Bayer AG.
Monika says: “I am honored to lead the Bayer Foundation and to work with leaders in science and social innovation to impact societal progress”
I’m Simone and I´m responsible for the Foundation Office. I also take care of the Science Awards and the Foundation partnerships.
My passions: “ I’m always keen to learn something new, which is why I am currently completing studies in business psychology.”
Lars zur Mühlen
I'm Lars. I support various activities and programs at the Bayer Foundation, including our social media activities.
Lars says: “Discovering new things and learning new skills is one of the best things about my job at the Bayer Foundation”
I’m Vanessa and I work with the Foundation on various activities, including supporting the Fellowships program.
My Motto: “Enjoy the small things, they make life great.”
I’m Stefan, responsible for part of Bayer Foundation’s Social Innovation program portfolio as well as Impact Management.
My Motto: “If we unleash potential where others see problems, we have a real chance at generating lasting positive change in the world.”
I am Hielke and I joined Bayer in April as a supporting intern for the foundations and societal engagement department.
My motto: “If you work hard enough, everything will turn out fine in the end.”
Foundation Strategic Advisors:
Dr. Michael Metzlaff
Dr. Michael Metzlaff is the Foundation’s Strategic Advisor for topics related to Science. Until December 2019 he was Bayer’s Vice President of Science Relations.
Michael says: “To progress sciences, it always needs enthusiastic young scientists who dare to knock down walls and open new horizons.”
Dr. Michael Schwall
Dr. Michael Schwall is the Foundation's Strategic Advisor for topics connected to Social Innovation. He is also a Strategist for Bayer’s Crop Science business.
Michael says: “Bayer Foundation is forging partnerships with leading social innovators, who have joined us in our goal to achieve systemic change. Together, we are building an ecosystem that provides health for all, hunger for none. That’s what makes my day!”
Krysia Sommers is the Foundation's Strategic Advisor for topics related to Communications and Engagement. She was Bayer's Head of Innovation Engagement until June 2020.
Krysia says: "Dream big, start small and fail forward."
Our Science Impact programs are run by the Bayer Science and Education Foundation.
Our Social Innovation programs are run by the Bayer Cares Foundation.
Both Foundations are governed by the respective Board of Trustees, which is tasked to support with regards to strategic, content and funding decisions.
Both Foundations are steered by an Executive Board of which Dr. Monika Lessl and Liam Condon are members. Liam Condon is additionally a member of the Board of Trustees of both Foundations.
Board of Trustees for Science Impact
Our Board of Trustees for Science Impact support the Foundation's Executive Directors with regards to strategic, content and funding decisions.
Prof. Dr. Patrick Cramer (View CV)
Prof. Dr. Patrick Cramer Is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Bayer’s Science and Education Foundation since 2019. He is also Professor and Director at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biology.
Patrick says: “With free science and education we can shape the future.”
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Plischke (View CV)
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Plischke is Senator of the Helmholtz Association for the research area of Health. He is also a member of the Supervisory Board of Bayer AG. Until 2014 he was a member of Bayer’s Board of Management, with responsibility for Technology, Innovation and Sustainability at Bayer.
Wolfgang says: “The recognition of outstanding scientists is more important than ever, because only their scientific insights enable desired groundbreaking innovations.“
Liam Condon is a Board Member of Bayer AG and responsible for Bayer AG’s Crop Science business.
Liam says: “Technological and social advancements in agriculture are critical to feed a growing population without starving the planet.”
Dr. Jörg Möller (View CV)
Dr. Jörg Möller is Corporate Vice President and Head of Global R&D, as well as a Member of the Pharmaceuticals Executive Committee at Bayer AG. He is responsible for leading Bayer Pharma's global R&D organization.
Jörg says: “Science, Innovation and Education are the solution to many societal and environmental challenges.“
Dr. Robert Reiter (View CV)
Dr. Robert Reiter is Head of Research & Development (R&D), Crop Science. He also serves as a member of the company’s Executive Leadership Team.
Robert says: “Science is critical to illuminating the path to solving the world’s social and environmental challenges.“
Board of Trustees for Social Innovation
Our Board of Trustees for Social Innovation support the Foundation's Executive Directors with regards to strategic, content and funding decisions.
Prof. Dr. André Habisch
Prof. Dr. André Habisch is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Bayer Cares Foundation. He also teaches Business Ethics and Corporate Citizenship at Ingolstadt School of Management (WFI) and is the Associate Research Director of the Academy of Business in Society (ABIS).
André says: “Fostering positive societal change through social innovation is one of the greatest opportunities of our time.“
Dr. Michael Preuss (View CV)
Michael Preuss is Head of Communications at Bayer AG.
Michael says: “Doing well by doing good has a long tradition at Bayer. The work of the Bayer Foundation makes an important contribution toward our vision of “Health for all, Hunger for none.“
Andreas Günther (View CV)
Andreas Günther is Head of Human Resources at Bayer AG.
Andreas says: “I’m honored to work for a company that gives our employees The Power to Change the World by tackling humanity’s largest challenges in health and nutrition through purposeful jobs and social engagement.”
Matthias Berninger (View CV)
Matthias Berninger is Head of Sustainability and Public and Governmental Affairs at Bayer AG.
Matthias says: “Social innovation is essential to allow the world’s soon eight billion people to thrive within planetary boundaries.”
Members of the Foundation’s Science Council
Members of the Science Council select the winners of the Foundation's science awards. They also provide advice to shape the Foundation's programs, ensuring they reflect advancements in the life sciences.
What we do
At Bayer Foundation, we catalyze the power of science and social innovation by focusing on two strategic pillars, namely:
1. Advancing science as a basis for societal progress by:
- Recognizing scientific achievements with awards
- Supporting scientific research with fellowships and funds
- Advancing education with support programs
- Curating collaborative ecosystems with global partners
2. Driving social entrepreneurship as an enabler for long-lasting change by:
- Catalyzing the impact of social enterprises with funds
- Empowering women with role-model awards
- Springboarding solutions with entrepreneurial programs
- Curating collaborative ecosystems with global partners