Written by Jürgen Eckhardt, Head of Leaps by Bayer

Proteins are the building blocks of the living world. These tiny, molecular machines, honed through billions of years of evolution, are the workhorses of biology that make life possible. Proteins can convert sunlight into sugar and transform toxic waste into harmless chemicals, and they help give foods their unique flavor, texture, and nutritional content. Harnessing the power of proteins and engineering them to work even better is the core idea behind the Bio Revolution.

What’s the Bio Revolution? As a recent McKinsey report describes, advances at the intersection of bioengineering, computing…


Written by Jürgen Eckhardt, Head of Leaps by Bayer

We’re at a critical moment in human history. Never before have we had more technological know-how, innovation, and hunger for impact-driven investments that can truly make the world a better place for people and the planet. At the same time, we face huge challenges, rife with breadbasket failures, water scarcity, possibly more pandemics, and a growing population that can’t be adequately nourished if we don’t dramatically change course. It has never been more important for organizations like Bayer to focus efforts on addressing huge challenges facing humanity.

It is an honor…


Written by Jürgen Eckhardt, Head of Leaps by Bayer

At Leaps, we are constantly scanning for potential biotech breakthroughs that hold promise to either cure millions of people from illness around the globe, or help feed a growing population amidst intensifying climate change. After the close of a challenging and historic year, we’re taking a look at the biggest biotech developments to watch in 2021 and beyond that can help us meet these goals.

The standout theme in agricultural investment is that all tech developments must build security and resilience into our food systems. Current environmental trajectories threaten our food…


Written by Jürgen Eckhardt, Head of Leaps by Bayer

At Leaps, we are constantly scanning for potential biotech breakthroughs that hold promise to either cure millions of people from illness around the globe, or help feed a growing population amidst intensifying climate change. After the close of a challenging and historic year, we’re taking a look at the biggest biotech developments to watch in 2021 and beyond that can help us meet these goals.

This past year has put health and medical innovation at the center of public discussion. As COVID-19 ravaged the world, researchers were left to ask, how…


Written by Jürgen Eckhardt, Head of Leaps by Bayer

Some call it the Bio Revolution or Fourth Industrial Revolution — characterized by technology convergence, where the physical, digital and biological worlds merge to create huge promise for society. At their intersection, AI-enabled systems search through massive genomics databases to discover drugs, therapeutics, and other biotech tools that naturally evolved and now reside inside microbial genomes.

My team at Leaps by Bayer invested in Metagenomi at end of last year. This company lies at animportant intersection of biology and data. They are using an AI-powered discovery engine to find naturally occurring…


Written by Jürgen Eckhardt, Head of Leaps by Bayer

Rarely have I been so impressed with a foundational technology’s ability to sound like magic as I am with iPSCs, or induced pluripotent stem cells. Before talking about what it means to ‘induce’ them, consider that stem cells are undifferentiated cell types that have not yet been told exactly what distinct types of cells in the body they will turn into, like skin cells, or those of an eye, or a liver. Their functions in life lie ahead of them still, which is why they’re plentiful in embryos that haven’t yet taken on much form. …


Written by Jürgen Eckhardt, Head of Leaps by Bayer

It’s a frequent misconception that the produce you buy at the grocery store is “fresh” when it isn’t dimpled, limp, or bruised. But on average, that fruit in your hand or lettuce in your cart was harvested two weeks before you get the chance to buy it. In all likelihood, it also traveled over a thousand kilometers to get to your local store, and many of the plants it once shared the field with will have perished along the way. 25–30% of the food produced around the world spoils before anyone eats it.[1]

These facts have always been important, but…

Leaps by Bayer

Leaps by Bayer invests in paradigm-shifting advances in the life sciences — breakthroughs that could change the world for the better. https://leaps.bayer.com/

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