Bayer strengthens commitment in education and social affairs
Bayer AG is strengthening its commitment in the areas of education, science and social affairs with the consolidation of its existing foundation activities and the establishment of two new foundations, the Bayer Science & Education Foundation and the Bayer Cares Foundation, with a combined foundation capital of EUR 17.4 million. Together with the existing Hermann Strenger and Herbert Grünewald Foundations, total foundation assets come to EUR 20.7 million.
“Bayer has a long tradition of foundation activity, which we are continuing with the establishment of the Bayer Science & Education Foundation and the Bayer Cares Foundation,” says Werner Wenning, Chairman of the Board of Management of Bayer AG. “Both foundations should make valuable contributions to resolving social problems, fully in keeping with our Mission Statement, Bayer: Science For A Better Life.”
Promotion of education and science
The Bayer Science & Education Foundation promotes school and academic education and research focusing on medicine and the sciences. It awards scholarships to school and university students and honors scientists for outstanding achievements with the Otto Bayer Prize and Hansen Family Award. School projects at the Bayer sites are a key area of support: Some EUR 500,000 from the earnings of the Bayer Science & Education Foundation are invested annually in school projects alone.
The Bayer Science & Education Foundation provides support to all school types, focusing specifically on scientific education. For example, it will assist with constructing laboratories, equipping classrooms, introducing innovative teaching methods or participating in initiatives such as “Jugend forscht” which supplement regular classroom teaching. As part of the implementation of a new sports support strategy, Bayer had announced that it would redeploy some of the money spent on sports advertising to invest more in the education of young people. EUR 10 million of foundation assets result from this redeployment, and the earnings from these will be used to finance school projects.
Given the increased significance of international experience, especially in education, the Bayer Science & Education Foundation has introduced a new field of activity that is unique in Germany, providing financial assistance for stays abroad to trainee science teachers. It will also enable trainee teachers from other countries to spend time in Germany. In future, participants in vocational training will continue to receive support for stays abroad from the Hermann Strenger Foundation, named after the former long-serving Chairman of the Bayer Board of Management.
“The Bayer Science & Education Foundation aims at helping improve educational opportunities in the communities in which we operate, especially those in Germany,” says Dr. Wolfgang Plischke, Bayer Management Board member responsible for Innovation, Technology and Environment and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Foundation. “The demands of today’s knowledge-based society are very extensive and varied. We are responding to this situation by supporting both young talents and top specialists in those areas of science that are related to our core businesses of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials.”
Chairman of the Board of Trustees is Prof. Dr. Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker, Secretary General of the European Research Council. “Today more than ever, a society must invest in education and science, fostering its brightest minds. Innovation and the availability of knowledge are the key to social advance,” explains Winnacker.
Promotion of social projects
The Bayer Cares Foundation is the new Bayer foundation for its social activities. It has three main focuses: A new program specifically promotes voluntary work in the communities in which Bayer operates. Citizens who conduct their own social projects can apply for a subsidy from the Foundation. With this offer, the Foundation wants particularly to support and honor corporate volunteering activities involving Bayer employees. It will also provide advice and training to Bayer employees respectively retirees who want to participate in local initiatives or international development projects and will arrange for such involvement.
Another of the focuses of the Bayer Cares Foundation is support for international social projects. Furthermore, it aims to respond quickly and unbureaucratically to aid those in acute need, for example as the result of a natural disaster. In concrete cases Bayer AG will make available separate funds for this purpose.
“The new Bayer Cares Foundation thereby extends Bayer’s social commitment, and underlines our identity as a good corporate citizen,” declares Dr. Richard Pott, Bayer Management Board member responsible for Strategy and Human Resources and Chairman of the Foundation’s Executive Committee.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees is Prof. Dr. André Habisch, Professor for Christian Social Ethics and Society at the Catholic University of Eichstätt. “As part of civil society, companies can benefit the community through their social commitment,” says Habisch. “They thereby build up trust – an essential basis for long-term success. The result is a win-win situation for companies and society alike.”
In future, disabled sports in Germany will continue to receive support from the Herbert Grünewald Foundation, named after the former long-serving Chairman of the Bayer Board of Management. Bayer is among the biggest promoters of disabled sports in Germany.
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