Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is Co-Creating the Cars of Tomorrow

Darmstadt, Germany, September 8, 2016 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, is focusing on the future of mobility at its annual “Displaying Futures” symposium. The theme...

08 Sep 2016 | Darmstadt, Germany
  • Materials from Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, enable important functions in cars of the next generation
  • World’s leading pioneers in mobility meet at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
  • “Displaying Futures” symposium creates space for generating and exchanging inventive ideas

Darmstadt, Germany, September 8, 2016 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, is focusing on the future of mobility at its annual “Displaying Futures” symposium. The theme of today’s symposium, which is being held for the first time in Darmstadt, is “Driving Forces – inspired by Performance Materials”. The event is intended to give internationally renowned futurists and mobility experts the opportunity to exchange ideas with designers and experts from the automotive production and supply industry. Today, materials from Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, are already used in many vehicle components. As a technology leader in the relevant areas, the company also wants to underscore and expand its role in constructing the cars of the future.

“This year’s ‘Displaying Futures’ symposium is about tomorrow’s mobility. As a manufacturer of materials for the automotive industry, we want to understand the trends in order to know what materials will be needed in the future. We want to demonstrate the potential of new materials and support automotive manufacturers in using them so that our materials and technologies are part of the cars of the future,” says Walter Galinat, Member of the Executive Board of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and CEO of Performance Materials.

As the long-standing market leader in liquid crystals, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has declared deploying its liquid crystals expertise in applications beyond displays as part of its strategy. Recently, the company announced plans to invest € 15 million in the construction of a production unit for liquid crystal window modules.

Interdisciplinary dialogue on future mobility
Following four symposia in Asia and one in the United States, this year Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is hosting the sixth “Displaying Futures” symposium for the first time in Europe. The event allows experts, customers and partners to collaborate intensively across disciplines and industries. The targeted exchange of information and contacts inspires the development of new materials. The topics of the conference focus on tomorrow’s vehicle and mobility concepts: autonomous driving, alternative engine types, networked cars, and car sharing. Many of the new technologies will pose major challenges not only to car makers and legislators. Today, only 2% of new cars are electric vehicles. One-third of urban areas is occupied by cars parked for more than 90% of the time. This gives rise to tremendous opportunities: Less congested roads, fewer accidents, cleaner air, relaxed driving, and more free space in overcrowded cities. This year’s symposium wants to help shape the way to achieve this. Speakers include Aric Dromi, Professor Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, Thimon de Jong, Joachim Kolling, and Miriam van der Lubbe.

Automotive Platform with materials of today and tomorrow
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, already supplies the automotive industry with a wide array of products that offer aesthetics and functionality: effect pigments for automotive coatings, liquid crystals and OLEDs for various displays and semiconductor materials for chips. LEDs and OLEDs provide new design options for lighting and are additionally very energy-efficient. Future projects include liquid crystals for free-form displays, such as for dashboards, sunroofs and light control in headlights.

The company has established an Automotive Platform in order to concentrate specifically on the innovation fields of the automotive industry. A futuristic concept vehicle idea developed specifically for Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, impressively shows what materials can be used where and for what functions in a car of the future.

The symposium includes contributions by the following experts:

  • Aric Dromi is a futurologist, digital philosopher and professional troublemaker. He helps people identify and abandon old paradigms and rethink thinking to foster change. He is Chief Futurologist for a car maker as well as the founder of TEMPUS.MOTU – the future design mentoring company.
  • Professor Ferdinand Dudenhöffer is an automotive expert and one of the most called upon market strategists by the media. He is founder and director of the CAR-Center for Automotive Research at the University of Duisberg-Essen.
  • Thimon de Jong is a strategic foresight expert who examines how socio-economic and cultural trends can be used to improve business strategy in different industries. He is known for his charismatic, passionate and interactive speeches.
  • Joachim Kolling is a project leader of Carsharing / DriveNow and Digital Energy Solutions for BMW Group. He is a specialist in developing future digital mobility and energy services, seeing and understanding new trends and opportunities to build new business models.
  • Miriam van der Lubbe is one of the minds behind the Dutch design duo and conceptual thinkers Van Eijk & Van der Lubbe. Ever since the duo joined forces in 1998, they have been designing for cultural institutions and businesses whose focus is on the future.

More information can be found on a dedicated topic page on our website or by visiting The magazine published for the symposium with articles by renowned authors offers in-depth information. Photos with sketches of the concept car are available for downloading. A video showing the Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, concept car can be accessed via YouTube.

For more information, contact Markus Talanow

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Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 50,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2015, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, generated sales of € 12.85 billion in 66 countries.

Founded in 1668, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, holds the global rights to the „Merck” name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.

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