Striving to push the bounds of agricultural innovation, Bayer CropScience announced a strategic innovation partnership with Flagship Ventures, a leading venture capital and venture creation firm. The partnership also includes an investment in Flagship Ventures Fund V, a $537 million venture capital fund that closed in March 2015. Bayer CropScience brings its strengths in science, innovation and regulatory affairs to help Flagship to identify, fund, and develop startup companies exploring new frontiers in agriculture.

"Emerging challenges in agriculture are leading the industry in new and exciting directions," said Liam Condon, Chief Executive Officer of Bayer CropScience. "With growing pest pressures, weather volatility and changes in consumer tastes, growers need and are counting on new solutions to increase yields on the farm. Bayer is committed to providing them with new innovations. We look forward to working with Flagship Ventures to bring exciting, breakthrough companies to market."

Bayer CropScience joins AstraZeneca and Nestlé Health Science as strategic innovation partners in Flagship Ventures Fund V. The fund will focus on innovations in healthcare and sustainability in the energy, water, agriculture and nutrition sectors. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"Partnering with Bayer CropScience will help us realize the emerging opportunity we see for the development of game-changing technologies in agriculture," said Dr. Noubar Afeyan, Senior Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Flagship Ventures. "Collectively we are dedicated to making sustainable, positive impacts on global farm operations and the global food supply."

Bayer CropScience invests heavily in research and development in areas such as breeding, trait development, biologics and small molecules. Collaborating with venture capital firms offers insights into new areas of innovation and visibility to cutting-edge technologies.

"We must improve food production to feed a growing planet and are looking for ways to gain access to new technologies," said Geoff Kneen, Bayer CropScience R&D Licensing and New Ventures Manager for North America. "As the interest in agriculture rapidly expands to include different areas of innovation, such as genomics, IT/data management, and remote sensing, we want a window into that new innovation. Flagship shares our vision for solving some of the challenges facing modern production agriculture."