Microsoft and Bayer Team Up to Make Digital Tools for Agriculture
(Bloomberg) -- Bayer AG and Microsoft Corp. are collaborating on new internet-based products aimed at helping farmers and industries tied to agriculture become more efficient and sustainable.
Bayer is partnering with the U.S. software giant to develop digital tools and data science capabilities for agricultural businesses and associated industries, the German company said in a Wednesday statement. The effort is designed to help startups to global businesses in areas including farming operations, sustainable sourcing, manufacturing and supply-chain improvement as well as measuring environmental, social and governance efforts.
“This is a chance to accelerate some really important work in the industry, and we think that this is what’s needed given the societal demands that are increasing to make our business more sustainable,” said Jeremy Williams, head of climate corporation and digital farming for Bayer’s crop science division.
Plans include helping companies better process satellite imagery and allowing the tracking of farm inputs and practices to follow environmental regulations, he said in an interview. Bayer, which bought agrochemical and biotechnology company Monsanto three years ago, hopes this platform will help farmers and businesses become more sustainable.
The collaboration comes as the agriculture industry faces increasing pressure to switch to more environmentally friendly practices. Bayer has been investing in more sustainable farming research, such as crop protection and synthetic fertilizers, but sees more work needed to optimize the entire food, feed, fuel and fiber value chain amid a global push to combat climate change.
Bayer said it will also migrate its digital farming core capabilities to the new infrastructure for its own customer-facing solutions. The partnership with Microsoft is the latest in a long history of collaboration between the two companies, according to Williams. Bayer declined to provide terms of the deal and didn’t have a specific time frame for releasing the products.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.