February 20, 2012
Bayer CropScience appoints new head of research & development
Bayer CropScience has appointed Dr. C. David Nicholson to lead its newly integrated Research & Development department, which incorporates R&D activities in the three operative business units Crop Protection, BioScience and Environmental Science into one global organisation.
Dr. Nicholson will join Bayer CropScience as a member of the Executive Committee, effective March 1, 2012.
The new Research & Development function will bring together about 4,300 scientists from the company's key research centres and development sites across the globe.
With an annual budget of more than EUR720 million (US$953 million) in 2010, Bayer CropScience ranks among the most research-intensive companies in the industry.
As part of its integrated research approach, scientists in the fields of agricultural chemistry and seed technology are increasingly collaborating to pool the knowledge acquired through chemical, biological and genetic research and field development, aligning this expertise to the company's long-term research objectives and business strategies for the various crops in its portfolio.
"Innovating at the interface of biology and chemistry for the benefit of our customers is a key element of the Bayer CropScience growth strategy going forward," says Bayer CropScience CEO Sandra Peterson.
"By bringing our R&D capabilities together in one global organisation, we aim at delivering superior solutions that draw on the entire spectrum of agricultural innovation from genetics and molecular biology over chemical research and trait discovery to global product development and regulatory affairs," she explains, adding: "With his excellent background in the life science industry and his strong leadership skills, David Nicholson is highly qualified to further intensify this integration effort at Bayer CropScience."
Born in the UK, Dr. Nicholson has graduated in pharmacology, earning his B.Sc. from the University of Manchester and his Ph.D. from the University of Wales. He has been employed in research and development in the biopharmaceutical industry since 1978, and most recently held executive positions in R&D at Merck Inc. and before that with Schering-Plough and Organon in the US. David Nicholson has also spent more than 10 years of his professional career in Germany and the Netherlands.
Dr. Nicholson is joining Bayer CropScience to drive the company's approach to refocus its research and development activities so that it can better respond to the future development of global markets.
As part of this approach, the company is placing increasing emphasis on the BioScience business unit, with its seeds and traits, and on new growth areas in agrochemical research, such as plant health and stress tolerance. The company's plans call for a doubling of annual R&D spending in BioScience between 2010 and 2015 (2010: about EUR200 million [US$265 million]). The annual R&D budget of Bayer CropScience as a whole is set to gradually rise by about 20% over the same period, to more than EUR850 million (US$1,125 million).