Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Presents Cutting-Edge Pharma and Electronic Materials Production to German Federal Minister Robert Habeck

German Federal Minister Robert Habeck visits Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

29 Apr 2024 | Darmstadt, Germany
  • World’s first modular production line based on new automation standard accelerates manufacture of innovative materials
  • Technology by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Siemens funded by German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action
  • Habeck emphasized the project's significance for pharmaceutical innovation in Germany

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, today welcomed Robert Habeck, the German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, at its headquarters in Darmstadt. Together with members of the Executive Board of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Habeck visited a modular, commercial production line for active ingredients like for example pharmaceuticals. Based on a new automation standard, it is the first of its kind in the world and was supported with funding in the Energy Research Programme of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

“Greater energy efficiency is an important contribution to a climate-neutral energy system. Thorough research offers the path to creating further potential for efficiency. The modular production facility sets a new benchmark and saves substantial amounts of energy,” said Robert Habeck, German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. “For this reason, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action is providing funding for this innovation in the Energy Research Programme. By doing this, we are helping to safeguard and strengthen Germany’s economy. The research projects involved a large number of manufacturers, so that – following the successful demonstration – we can soon expect more, similarly efficient, facilities.”

“We are pioneering a new smart manufacturing, or ‘smartfacturing’ approach,” said Belén Garijo, Chair of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. “Our aim is to bring new products to market faster and in a more cost efficient and environmentally conscious manner. This will allow us to better serve patients – while, at the same time, contribute to a competitive, innovation-driven pharma landscape in Germany, in the heart of Europe.”

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, collaborated with the technology company Siemens to realize and implement the new automation technology for GMP production that enables equipment connectivity. GMP stands for “Good Manufacturing Practice” and describes the strict standards that apply to the production of pharmaceuticals for example. With the new automation standard, special software components (module type packages, MTP) form the basis for interlinking the different production devices based on a common standard. Currently, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, utilizes the new automation technology to produce pharmaceuticals as well as for chemicals but it can also be applied to various production processes and manufacturing industries.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has invested € 10 million in its modular production line in Darmstadt. Using the new automation standard saves time to market for new products, reduces investment costs and leads to considerable carbon dioxide savings.

During his visit, Habeck was also shown the variety of products and services that the Life Science business sector of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, offers to clients around the world from academia research to industrial research in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical arena. Only a couple of days ago, the Life Science business sector laid the foundation stone for a new research center in Darmstadt, a € 300 million investment. Here, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, will research solutions for manufacturing antibodies, mRNA applications and additional products required for biotechnological production.

The company’s headquarters has been located in Darmstadt for 355 years. The company plans to invest a total of around € 1.5 billion here by 2025.

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Investments at the Darmstadt site

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, plans to invest a total of around € 1.5 billion at its global headquarters in Darmstadt by 2025. In recent years, the company has announced or implemented the following construction projects, including:

·€ 300 million: Life Science Advanced Research Center

·€ 200 million: Translational Science Center, a new research center for the Healthcare business sector

·€ 160 million: Healthcare's Launch and Technology Center, designed to help make new and urgently needed drugs available more quickly

·€ 140 million: Production facility for membranes for aseptic filters

·€ 70 million: New education and training center

·€ 24 million: GMP-compliant manufacturing plant for mRNA active ingredients

·€ 12 million: Fourth purification stage as part of the central wastewater treatment, which further increases the plant's current purification performance of already up to 98%

·€ 10.6 million: Fitness and health center for employees

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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 63,000 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 providing products and services that accelerate drug development and manufacturing as well as discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2023, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, generated sales of € 21 billion in 65 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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