Bayer, Microsoft enter partnership to optimize digital capabilities for agribusinesses

Global enterprise corporation Bayer, which has a major presence in Whippany, on Wednesday announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft to build a new cloud-based set of digital tools and data science solutions for use in agriculture and similar industries.

This partnership is a significant, strategic step forward in accomplishing Bayer’s ambitious target of 100% digitally enabled sales in the Crop Science division by 2030 and accelerating its ability to deliver outcomes-based, digitally enabled solutions to customers.

Agriculture and agribusinesses benefit from a wide range of digital tools and data-powered insights. Still, there is work to do to optimize the entire food, feed, fuel and fiber value chain and its use of the natural resources required to power the planet while ensuring broader efforts to combat climate change.

Under the agreement, Bayer will work with Microsoft to codevelop 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 will do 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 own offerings. Bayer will also migrate its digital farming core capabilities to the new infrastructure for its own customer-facing solutions.

“This partnership comes at a unique point in time where increased innovation is sorely needed across the food and fiber value chain,” said Liam Condon, member of the board of management of Bayer AG and president of Bayer Crop Science. “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. For those reasons, Bayer and Microsoft are taking action to make a positive impact, both through our own collaboration as well as by offering off-the-shelf infrastructure and digital capabilities for other companies to address the enormous challenges facing our society.”

“Like every industry, farming and the food sector are undergoing rapid digital transformation, from autonomous tractors, to AI-based digital advisories, and scalable precision agriculture,” said Ravi Krishnaswamy, corporate vice president, Azure Global Industry, at Microsoft. “We’re excited to partner with Bayer to accelerate this transformation and unlock even greater agricultural innovation by bringing together data-driven insights with Bayer’s agronomic expertise and the power of Microsoft Azure.”