Business & Real Estate

Bayer launches startup incubator site in West Sacramento

Image of the Bayer logo.
Image of the Bayer logo. Bayer

German pharmaceuticals, ag and life sciences giant Bayer on Thursday formally announced the newest addition to its network of startup incubators, the Crop Science CoLaborator in West Sacramento.

Officials said it will serve as “a new home for biotech startups in the heart of Northern California’s ag innovation corridor.”

On Tuesday, Bayer and Boston-based biotech firm Ginkgo Bioworks announced a new name, Joyn Bio, for their recently launched joint venture, which includes the new company's existing labs at 890 Embarcadero Drive in West Sacramento.

The local Bayer site for research and development for microbial-based solutions in agriculture comprises about 160,000 square feet and has more than 200 researchers. The site also includes an extensive greenhouse. The“CoLaborator” space is within the Embarcadero Drive facility.

Officials said the West Sacramento site also aims to foster collaboration with a global community of scientists and entrepreneurs.

Adrian Percy, global head of research and development with Crop Science, a division of Bayer, said: “I believe that our internal and external innovation efforts use the strengths of all parties and am confident that the outcomes will benefit farmers worldwide.”

Bayer said it is collaborating with the Greater Sacramento Economic Council to help identify “world-class startups across the agtech space,” with the council providing Bayer with access to companies as prospective tenants in the CoLaborator to develop and invest in cutting-edge technology.

“Sacramento’s connection to the Bay Area and industry capabilities make our region the global option for food and agtech companies to thrive,” said Barry Broome, GSEC’s CEO. “The CoLaborator is a testament to our region’s innovation capacity and robust industry partnerships.”

Bayer said it also has formed a strategic collaboration with UC Davis “to foster innovation and economic development in the Sacramento region by providing dedicated facility support for university-affiliated startups -- particularly those in the areas of agriculture and food-related technologies.”

Bayer said it joins the university’s Distributed Research Incubation and Venture Engine network of startup incubators. The DRIVE network is part of a platform of resources offered by UC Davis Venture Catalyst to support development of research and new technologies into new commercial ventures.

San Francisco-bred Biome Makers Inc. was named as the 3,000 square-foot CoLaborator’s first tenant.

The Crop Science CoLaborator is Bayer’s third incubator facility, joining the West Coast Innovation Center in San Francisco and the R&D Center in Berlin, Germany.