Guests of honor were German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel and North Rhine-Westphalian State Premier Hannelore Kraft. "The name Bayer has a permanent place in the history of German industry. 150 years of Bayer - congratulations," said Merkel in her address. Kraft commented: "Bayer is a prime example of a company working to ensure a better life and better health for millions of people."
"150 years of Bayer - that is indeed something very special. This anniversary fills everyone at Bayer with joy and great pride," said Dr. Marijn Dekkers, Chairman of the Board of Management, citing Aspirin as one of the Bayer products that have made history. "We at Bayer are living the mission 'Science For A Better Life'. This means that we are seizing all the opportunities that science offers and drawing on the experience of one-and-a-half centuries to make people's lives better."
Dekkers said Bayer's businesses address global challenges including global population growth, rising life expectancy, scarce resources and climate change. He highlighted the fact that despite substantial advances in medicine, there is still no adequate treatment for more than half of all known diseases.
He also pointed out that ways need to be found to grow considerably more food - and better-quality food - on the same amount of arable land in order to provide food for more and more people. Within the next 30 years alone, the global population is expected to increase from seven billion to nine billion. "Research and development is the only way to overcome the current global challenges," explained Dekkers.
He said this is where courage is needed. "As entrepreneurs, we have to decide today on investments whose success will not be evident for another decade or even longer - if at all." Such decisions, he said, are made all the more difficult, the more uncertain the long-term economic, political and social framework becomes.
"That's why we need stability, a supportive framework and a clear course," he added, other crucially important factors being well-educated young people, creative minds and the social acceptance and appreciation of innovations and new products.
"Bayer would not be the successful company it is today without its employees around the world," he concluded. "I owe them a special debt of gratitude for their tremendous commitment." He also thanked the company's customers and partners for their trust. "Together with you, we look forward to a successful and exciting future."
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