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The Bayer Group will be celebrating 150 years in 2013 with numerous events around the world. The company began as a small, innovative dyestuffs factory in Wuppertal, Germany, but has become a global enterprise with more than 110,000 employees.
The company was founded as Friedr. Bayer et comp. on Aug. 1, 1863 by business-man Friedrich Bayer and dyer Johann Friedrich Weskott in the Barmen district of Wuppertal. Bayer initially produced synthetic dyestuffs but the range of products grew significantly over the years. In 1881, the company was made a joint stock corporation, Farbenfabriken vorm. Friedr. Bayer & Co., and developed into an international chemical company. In the course of expansion, Bayer relocated its headquarters to Leverkusen in 1912. Following World War I, in 1925, the company became part of the I.G. Farbenindustrie AG conglomerate. It was re-established as an independent company named Farbenfabriken Bayer AG in 1951. The pace of change picked up significantly following Bayer's 125th anniversary in 1988. The company shifted its focus more towards its core activities, resulting in the sale of subsidiary Agfa in 1999. In 2005, Bayer then spun off significant parts of its traditional chemicals business under the name Lanxess. At the same time, the health care and agriculture businesses (life sciences) were systematically expanded, especially with the acquisitions of Aventis CropScience (2001) and Schering AG, Berlin, Germany (2006).
The company will be celebrating its innovations, which includes: Aspirin (1899), the synthetic insecticide Antinonnin (1892) and the high-performance polycarbonate Makrolon (1953), to name a few.
To mark the anniversary, Bayer is planning a series of events and projects worldwide throughout the coming year. These will focus on the company’s employees and their families, but neighbors, customers, partners and the scientific community are also to be included in the celebrations.The company plans to hold a symposium for the scientific community in the fall. In the area of corporate social responsibility, Bayer will set a new signal to mark its anniversary. One of the projects being prepared is a traveling exhibition that will visualize topics related to health care, agriculture and high-performance materials. This exhibition is scheduled to visit more than 20 sites throughout the world. A further highlight will be an airship displaying the Bayer Cross that will travel to all continents during 2013. Various publications are also being prepared to provide detailed insights into the inventor company.