Bayer CropScience’s newly renovated headquarters in Research Triangle Park, N.C. is built “for the way people work today,” featuring more open space, more natural light and added amenities designed to enhance collaboration and cooperation among the 700 employees who work there.
On June 23, Bayer debuted its newly renovated headquarters at a dedication ceremony attended by agricultural and business leaders. North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forrest, an architect by training, was on hand for the dedication and stressed that Bayer’s new modern office is critical for attracting top agricultural scientists to Research Triangle Park.
“It is quite a feat to take an old facility and remake it and turn it into something new and beautiful like this,” Forrest said at the dedication. “It’s such a competitive edge to be able to put a facility like this together. It is vital when you are competing against the world for the best and the brightest Ph.Ds., for where they are going to work and who they are going to work for. When a worker decides I’m going to work for a certain company, they look for a facility where they are going to spend more time than they spend in their home. This is going to help us attract the best and the brightest right here in RTP.”
BayerCropScience CEO Liam Condon said the new North Carolina headquarters is a truly modern office with spaces where people can enjoy their work. He said the renovations reflect Bayer’s desire to play a leading role in the future of innovation in the life sciences industry.
“It’s where people can get together and collaborate and exchange great ideas and that’s where real innovation comes from,” Condon said. “It doesn’t always start in a lab. It actually often starts in an office somewhere, and it really helps if that office is bright and warm and inviting. And then you get really great ideas. And you can take them to the lab and then we can help farmers with new innovations to produce great products.”
In a tour of the newly renovated office space, Peter Erri, Bayer’s manager of site services, explained that the various work areas of the complex are called “neighborhoods” to foster communication between employees. In addition, there are 200 meeting rooms which are important because studies shows workers spend about a third of their time in meetings, according to Erri.
“The building is designed for employees to collaborate and share information and create interaction,” Erri said.
The building uses an “open concept” design and includes a spacious café and coffee lounge, a fitness center and exercise studio, a medical office, massage therapist and employee store selling Bayer over-the-counter drugs at discount prices. A dedicated conference center with expandable rooms will seat up to 120 meeting attendees.
The total cost of the office modernization was $33 million and construction began in October 2013. At the dedication, Bayer also announced the groundbreaking of Greenhouse 6, a new $34 million research facility at Research Triangle Park that will support soybean trait research and seed production, and will maintain similar capabilities for wheat and cotton. Construction of Greenhouse 6 should be completed by December 2016.
Bayer plans to invest close to $1 billion in capital expenditures between 2013 and 2016, mainly to ramp up research and development and to expand product supply of its top crop protection brands.
“We are proud to continue making investments in Research Triangle Park and around the United States,” said Jim Blome, president and CEO of Bayer CropScience North America. “As we expand our business and grow our research hub at RTP, we further enhance our abilities to make meaningful contributions to farming and modern agricultural production ensuring that we all have enough safe, abundant and affordable food. That’s a job we take seriously.”