Bayer hosts ChemIntelligence at the LifeHub Lyon
Joint press release from ChemIntelligence and Bayer.
Bayer is hosting ChemIntelligence, a start-up specializing in the digitization of chemistry, at the LifeHub Lyon in its La Dargoire Research Centre (CRLD). The aim is to accelerate the local innovation ecosystem to design safer and more effective crop protection products.
Numerous experiments are required to develop new molecules and formulations. Artificial intelligence enables the most relevant experiments to be selected, thereby reducing the number of experiments to the strict minimum.
This is what ChemIntelligence offers thanks to its platform, which learns from R&D data and can then predict the result of a reaction, for example, or optimize the synthesis of a molecule. It then suggests the best experiments to perform according to the required specifications. The R&D data, generated by research laboratories, is thus fully exploited and substantially enhanced.
And all this saves time... and money! Projects supported by ChemIntelligence have seen a 25% to 80% reduction in the number of experiments required to develop products. The R&D stages and the marketing of new innovations are significantly accelerated.
3 questions for Dr. Thomas Galeandro-Diamant, founder of ChemIntelligence
- How does your technology accelerate chemistry?
We have developed an artificial intelligence algorithm that forms the core of our technology and which suggests step-by-step experiments for researchers to perform in the laboratory to optimize chemical reactions or develop formulations. This algorithm learns from the new experiments that are performed by the researchers and therefore becomes more and more powerful with use.
- What are the benefits of being accelerated in the LifeHub Lyon?
Privileged access to researchers in the research centre, with the opportunity to discuss their needs and views on the digitization of chemistry, to have their opinion on the software we have developed, their suggestions, etc. This could also lead to joint projects, if the opportunity arises.
- How do you see the role of companies in supporting local innovation ecosystems?
Companies can provide time, skills, networks, market knowledge and visibility to innovative initiatives. All these things are valuable to start-ups and these boosts can make a real difference.
Supporting digital transformation
Digital transformation is a major area of development for Bayer, which is currently transforming its model in order to successfully make the ecological transition. Its vocation is to provide solutions to farmers to enable them to produce healthy, affordable food in sufficient quantity.. It is investing heavily in R&D/innovation in 4 key areas, namely digital agriculture, varietal research, conventional crop protection products, and Biosolutions by continuously improving their profile.
"Even if the main focus of transformation for Bayer Crop Science is the use of data science for agriculture, it is clear that data science also plays a role throughout the entire research chain. The molecules of the future will be even safer and more reliable, with even more advantages in terms of sustainability. For this, we need to transform research with a more targeted approach to finding the modes of action of the future," explained Catherine Sirven, head of digital transformation at Bayer.
This implies an even more detailed knowledge of plant diseases, as well as using all possible tools to accelerate the performance, testing and choice of molecules. "We are now in a new chemical digital arena where some suppliers can offer a synthetic choice from billions of virtual molecules. Anything that leads to accelerated and relevant decision-making is of paramount importance for the success of research."
Interaction with start-ups plays a very important role in this transformation for different reasons. "Start-ups can adopt new technologies very quickly and make them operational and usable by large groups by facilitating deployment. Their agile working methods, using short cycles, are very inspiring. They are very effective in using tools that we would like to deploy for better work efficiency, such as networking, use of the cloud and faster communication."
Enhancing the local innovation ecosystem
Since 2018, the year in which LifeHub Lyon (Bayer's innovation and dialogue centre in France) was launched, open innovation has become part of the CRLD culture thanks to the Innov4Ag program led by Simon Maechling: "Through the Innov4Ag program, we are very active in the national and local entrepreneurial ecosystem to find dynamic players whose innovative projects bring progress to agriculture. We are pleased to have found the start-up ChemIntelligence in the local ecosystem in Lyon, and to be able to accelerate it within the LifeHub."
ChemIntelligence joined the LifeHub Lyon through this program. The teams will be given their own office space in the LifeHub and benefit from mentoring and proximity to CRLD scientists.
This gives Bayer the opportunity to contribute to the development and advancement of science in the local ecosystem, and to improve the region's employment prospects, investment and attractiveness for business.
"I would like to express my affinity with all entrepreneurs who invest their energy in the pursuit of an idea or a passion; we are fortunate to be supported by our partners in Lyon through La French Tech and Lyon Startup" concluded Simon Maechling.
Bayer is an international Life Science company with core competencies in healthcare and agriculture. Bayer's products and services are designed to meet the challenges of a growing and aging world population by protecting everyone in their daily lives. Creating value through innovation and science, Bayer is highly committed to sustainable development and to conducting its business in a transparent and responsible manner. In 2021, Bayer had around 100,000 employees and generated sales worth €44.1 billion. The Group dedicated €5.3 billion to R&D. For more information, please visit www.bayer.fr or sign up to the Bayer France Twitter account.
About La Dargoire Research Centre (CRLD)
The CRLD has over 50 years of expertise in developing plant and crop protection solutions. Located in Lyon, this centre of excellence works on worldwide issues and is part of the global R&D network of Bayer's Crop Science division. In France, the CRLD is currently the only private research centre that encompasses all the disciplines needed to develop solutions for plant diseases (biochemistry, chemistry, analysis, biology), dedicated to crop protection. It is a flagship of innovation for Bayer.
About the LifeHub and the Innov4Ag program
LifeHub Lyon is Bayer's centre for innovation and dialogue in France, serving as a forum for exchanges between Bayer and its stakeholders. It adjoins the La Dargoire Research Centre (CRLD), which enables it to provide its visitors with practical solutions. LifeHub Lyon also promotes openness in terms of innovation through its Innov4Ag program. Since 2019, both program managers and staff from the Crop Science division have been working in close collaboration with start-ups. Their goal is to use innovation to promote more sustainable agriculture and to more rapidly meet new challenges in R&D and food. The task of Simon Maechling and Catherine Sirven, co-pilots of the Innov4Ag program, is to forge ties with potential partners that will enable Bayer to tap into the best of the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region, which is one of the most dynamic in France in terms of entrepreneurship and digital technology.
ChemIntelligence is a Lyon-based start-up created in 2018 that helps chemistry companies and more specifically their R&D labs to develop new processes and new products faster, namely by performing fewer experiments. ChemIntelligence has developed software based on Artificial Intelligence technology that exploits data from R&D labs and proposes the best experiments to perform in the development of a product. This saves considerable time and accelerates the marketing of new innovations.