BIOWEG and Bayer Forge Collaborative Partnership to Develop New Biodegradable Seed Coatings and Formulation Materials

BIOWEG and Bayer Forge Collaborative Partnership to Develop New Biodegradable Seed Coatings and Formulation Materials

BIOWEG becomes the first startup to join Bayer at its Monheim am Rhein LifeHub.

Monheim, Germany – November 15th, 2023 – Building on its commitment to innovation and collaboration within the European innovation ecosystem, BIOWEG, a pioneering German biotech and material science startup replacing fossil fuel-based ingredients, announces a partnership with Bayer. This partnership will be focused on the development and testing of sustainable formulation materials for seed coatings and the encapsulation of controlled-release plant protection products that are bio-based and bio-degradable. Bayer and BIOWEG signed a Memorandum of Understanding defining concrete further steps in the journey between the two organizations. This underscores both parties’ dedication to advancing sustainable agricultural solutions.

As part of the deal, BIOWEG’s material R&D team will relocate onsite to Bayer LifeHub Monheim facilities, fostering a dynamic and synergistic partnership. LifeHub Monheim strives to support and leverage innovative start-ups by hosting them in Bayer facilities to allow for close interaction and collaboration. BIOWEG’s collaboration with BAYER has been supported by Chemstars and Circular Valley. Notably, Chemstars has played a pivotal role in facilitating BIOWEG’s transition to BAYER LifeHub Monheim.

Dr. Prateek Mahalwar, Chief Executive Officer, of BIOWEG, said: “We are thrilled to embark on this partnership with Bayer. This innovative collaboration not only promises to expedite sustainable solutions to the market but also harnesses the strengths of Bayer’s agricultural product know-how, seamlessly fused with the dynamic, agile, and innovative work culture of the startup, BIOWEG, on the same campus.”

“We are happy to welcome the first start-up company on the campus of Bayer’s global Crop Science Division headquarters in Germany as part of our open innovation strategy and our efforts to further complement our innovation capabilities through close interaction with young and innovative start-up companies,” said Axel Trautwein, Head of Regulatory Science at Bayer’s Crop Science Division.

“Our collaboration with BIOWEG will contribute to Bayer’s regenerative agriculture strategy by developing innovative solutions for bio-degradable formulations which have a better environmental profile than those currently available”, added Dr. Bernhard Grimmig, Head of Formulation Technology at Crop Science. “We believe that bio-degradable seed coatings and formulation materials together with innovative active ingredients will play an important role in significantly reducing agriculture’s impact on the environment.

An Important Step Toward a More Resilient Agri & Food System

Today, seeds undergo a coating process to achieve uniformity in shape, size, weight, and surface. This coating serves multiple purposes, including facilitating easier planting, enhancing seed quality through the application of active compounds, and providing protection against both biological and environmental stresses.

Seed coatings typically comprise polymers, binders, colorants, minerals, and various additives. These components fall under stringent regulations and are often non-biodegradable. BIOWEG has developed bio-degradable and bio-based alternatives to agricultural coatings and beyond to other agricultural formulation materials. Its sustainable and customizable solutions are solving several challenges, such as tunable release, loading of actives or micronutrients, and increasing the microbial load capacity for optimized crop yields. The development of biodegradable seed and fertilizer coatings not only expands the options for growers to get more value from their production, both economically and environmentally. This radically new approach can also help make agriculture and our food system more resilient.


BIOWEG is a biotech and material science company transforming low-value waste streams into high-value ingredients for agriculture, beauty, and food. As a pioneer in sustainable, highly functional, and customizable ingredients, BIOWEG complies with the European Chemical Agency’s restriction on the use of polymers in seed and fertilizer coatings and plant protection products. To date, BIOWEG has secured more than 12 million Euros in European Innovation Council funding in 2021 and has forged strategic partnerships with Ginkgo Bioworks and others, to advance their transformative solutions. Recently, BIOWEG has won several innovation awards including Top 3 Sustainability Startup Innovation Award 2023 by LVMH (Global), KfW Gründen Award 2023 by KfW (Germany) and Best Innovative Ingredient Award at Cosmetics 360 Paris (Global).

BIOWEG Media Contact

Signing MOU at Bayer LifeHub Monheim; left to right – Heiko Reick; Axel Trautwein; Claudia Letmathe; Srinivas Karuturi; Prateek Mahalwar; Nisha Mahendrarajan and Jürgen Benting
Photo credits: BIOWEG

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