Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany Selects Three Winning Teams for Displaying Futures Award

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany announced the winners of the third annual Displaying Futures Award.

12 Jun 2018 | Darmstadt, Germany

Darmstadt, Germany, June 12, 2018 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, announced the winners of the third annual Displaying Futures Award. This year, 97 applicants from around the globe submitted their smart medical ideas. The top ten teams, who have devoted themselves to topics such as wearables, artificial intelligence for real time data, smart devices for diagnostics, and sensors for disease prediction, were invited to the new Innovation Center at the company headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany on June 4-6 where they pitched their ideas for a chance to be one of the three winning teams.

The three winning teams will now, over the next twelve months, receive mentorship from Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany experts, access to the company’s global network and resources, and up to US $50,000 each to help shape their ideas.

 “As a company with leadership positions in healthcare, life science, and performance materials, we are eager to use this unique opportunity to drive cross-sectoral technologies that have potential to bring life-changing results in these important fields.” Says Kai Beckmann, CEO of the Performance Materials business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany “We are proud to be a part of these innovation journeys and are excited to offer our support and 350 years of expertise.” 

A panel of judges selected the winning teams by considering important criteria such as innovativeness, business potential and social impact.

The winning ideas are:

  • “Biosensors for high sensitivity and near real time medical diagnosis.” Hexagonfab, a UK based company, has developed a novel nanomaterial, which enables a new generation of fast and sensitive sensors for biomarker detection. 


  • "Weaving neurons with electronics to revolutionise neurostimulation.” Neuroloom, from London, is currently developing a retinal implant intended to improve the functionality of a visual prostheses. Their work focuses on weaving neurons into implantable electronics so that the electronics may inherit the highly selective stimulation capabilities of neurons to restore eyesight.


  • “On-chip all-solid-state glucose micro fuel cell for energy harvesting in the human body.” This invention was presented by a team from the Electrochemical Materials Laboratory at MIT in the United States. It will enable the conversion of glucose in the blood stream of the human body into electricity with the first ever all-solid-state miniature glucose fuel cell. This technology would offer revolutionary possibilities for applications such as pacemakers, implantable sensors and other implantable devices which require a constant source of electricity.


This yearlong partnership will lead up to a final event in summer 2019 where the three teams will be able to pitch their ideas to investors

As part of its innovation strategy, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany focuses on international exchanges with young entrepreneurs who are working on future-oriented business ideas. In addition to the Displaying Futures Award, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany offers other channels for startups to exchange and collaborate, such as the Accelerator Program at the Innovation Center that will open its application process this summer.



For more information, contact Alisha Davis

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About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, operates across life science, healthcare and electronics. Around 60,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2021, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, generated sales of € 19.7 billion in 66 countries.

The company holds the global rights to the name and trademark “Merck” internationally. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, operate as MilliporeSigma in life science, EMD Serono in healthcare, and EMD Electronics in electronics. Since its founding in 1668, scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to the company’s technological and scientific advances. To this day, the founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company.

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