Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Ignites Firework of Research Initiatives During its 350th Anniversary Year

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, today announced several research grants and challenges during the company’s 350th anniversary year in addition to already existing initiatives.

22 May 2018 | Darmstadt, Germany
  • Reaching out to scientists all over the world with invitation to apply for research grants and to compete in research challenges
  • Funding of up to € 350,000 per research grant or up to € 30,000 per research challenge
  • Initiatives reflect anniversary theme: “Always Curious - Imagine the next 350 years”

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, today announced several research grants and challenges during the company’s 350th anniversary year in addition to already existing initiatives. The new research grants and challenges are mainly directed to scientists working in institutes, universities or start-up companies around the world.

“The best innovation for patients and customers is generated when people from different disciplines or backgrounds work closely together. Therefore, we are constantly looking for new ways of connecting scientists, entrepreneurs and experts from various fields to find new solutions for today’s technological and scientific challenges,” said Isabel De Paoli, Chief Strategy Officer at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. “As a company that has been based on science and technology for 350 years, we not only think ahead but also engage with external researchers across the world to imagine the next 350 years in science and technology together.”

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, aims to stimulate open innovation processes in the three areas of healthcare, life science and performance materials. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, intends to provide several research grants of up to € 350,000 per year for three years in various research areas with the option of extension or expansion.

In detail, with the research grants the company is issuing a call to action in these fields:


o   Next game-changing molecule or technology to help cure cancer or autoimmune disease

Life Science (topic divided into two topics)

o   Next generation production technology for biologics

o   Revolutionize microbiome research

Performance Materials (three topics)

o   New generation of intelligent materials

o   Developing advances in characterization, control and surface chemistry

o   Developing better atomic layer processes - from modelling to materials

Furthermore, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is kicking off even more research challenges in its Healthcare, Life Science and Performance Materials business sectors:

Diabetes Prevention: Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is curious to hear about innovative technology and digitally-driven solutions that can have a positive impact on the lives of millions of people at risk of type 2 diabetes. Share an idea and receive one of the three prizes of € 30,000, € 10,000, and € 5,000 for the three most innovative projects.

Compound Synthesis: A competition to identify the best synthesis route for a given small molecule. The submitter of the best synthesis route will win a prize of € 10,000.

Innovative Analytics Technologies: Get funding from Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, to develop new analytics technologies for the characterization of antibodies and antibody-drug conjugates, liquid crystals, OLEDs, or polymeric materials (three subcategories).

Protein Production: A competition to generate the most productive CHO cell line for antibody production. The participant that generates the best cell line will win a prize of € 20,000.

Next Game-Changing Technology: Submit information about a game-changing technology you have heard of in the areas of healthcare, life science or performance materials and win a prize of € 10,000, € 5,000, and € 3,000 for the most convincing proposals.

Deadline for handing in applications is August 15, 2018. More information on the process can also be found here.

These research initiatives in connection with the 350th anniversary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, are complemented by a broad range of already existing awards and initiatives for the scientific community. Most of the initiatives regarding Healthcare and Performance Materials topics are bundled here, whereas research initiatives connected to Life Science topics can be found here. The initiatives comprise challenges in oncology, fertility, displays, and synthetic organic chemistry for example the Alfred R. Bader award.


For more information, please contact Gangolf Schrimpf

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About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Almost 53,000 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 2017, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, generated sales of € 15.3 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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