Innovation Center

Innovation is driven by curiosity. At our Darmstadt headquarters we have created the perfect surrounding to foster both. Our Innovation Center is not just a building though, it’s a mindset.

Bringing ideas to life

We know how important and life-changing great ideas can be. That’s why we launched the modular Innovation Center in April 2015, which has served as a prototype for the all new Innovation Center. To give new ideas and promising innovation projects even more room, this new building has been constructed to act as the center piece of the Darmstadt site’s development as the global headquarters.

This state-of-the-art space allows us to facilitate innovations and bring them to life. It offers our employees and external partners an optimal environment in which to cultivate their ideas. We provide the infrastructure necessary to advance cutting-edge projects, along with state-of-the-art methods and tools.

In addition to our global research and development efforts, the Innovation Center is our way of shaping the future. Bringing together people, technologies and skills from different areas under one roof, it is the place where innovative ideas and projects are born and grow. These make way for new products and services, and open up exciting opportunities across all our business sectors.

The Innovation Center is both a physical space, and a culture of openness and exchange between employees, experimental startups, visionaries and companies around the globe. It’s a holistic approach grounded in various initiatives, events, and opportunities to get involved.

With the Innovation Center, we help ideas grow and scale up to viable new business. Beyond current boundaries.

Curious? See for yourself

Take a virtual trip to our headquarters in Darmstadt and find out what our Innovation Center is all about. Start the tour

The next big thing

In deciding where to focus, we analyze current megatrends to determine the Innovation Fields in which we see potential for new business.

Within the innovation field “Bio-sensing and Interfaces”, we focus on the interface between the biological and digital world. This will enable faster and more accurate monitoring and treatment of health in numerous areas utilizing data analytical tools. It also enables such concepts as value based pricing.

Due to our rapidly expanding global population and inefficient animal agriculture practices that contribute to climate change and diseases, the need to create “clean”, humane and sustainably produced animal proteins is now greater than ever. Our Innovation Field “Clean Meat” focuses on the biotechnology required to produce genuine meat grown in vitro.

Our third Innovation Field “Liquid Biopsy Technologies” focuses on technological solutions to overcome unresolved challenges in the liquid biopsy workflow as well as on applications beyond cancer. With liquid biopsy as a new sampling and testing method, non-invasive alternatives to traditional tissue-based diagnostics are beginning to be applied more and more in clinical contexts, thereby reshaping the way of detecting and managing various diseases.

Interested in creating the next big thing with us? We are looking for partnerships to create sustainable new businesses within our Innovation Fields.
Contact us at

Our pride and joy

The best ideas, sourced through our internal and external ideation initiatives, move to the Innovation Center as Innovation Projects. Here, we scale them up to sustainable new business beyond our current portfolio. Are you curious about the innovation projects that came to life at the Innovation Center?

Learn More

Are you up for a challenge?

Join us and push your curiosity, your ideas or even your business to a new level! We invite startups, entrepreneurs and students to collaborate with us. With our wide range of formats, you have different opportunities to work on new ideas or to test, train and share your skills!
Through our Global Accelerator Program, we connect external ideas to the company. The program connects startups, the business sectors and innovation projects at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany for future collaboration and partnership. We focus on projects in the fields of healthcare, life science, performance materials and other trending topics. The Accelerator, hosted in our headquarters at the Innovation Center in Darmstadt and in the China Innovation Hub in Shaghai, is complemented by our Satellites Program in Africa that will open new channels for collaborating with startups across the continent.
We also run Hackathons, an event at which students, young entrepreneurs and professionals from various disciplines collaborate to develop solutions to specific issues within 24 hours. As students or early stage startups, you are invited to tackle real-world problems with us. On top of that, all the winners of our Hackathons and Satellite Events in Africa are invited to our yearly Selection Days, including workshops, pitches and expert talks.

Curious to learn more? Visit

Space for innovation


square meters of space provided for employees and guests in the Innovation Center.


start-ups were supported by our global Accelerator since 2015.


internal innovation projects are currently hosted

Inspiring curiosity, supporting innovators

We want to maximize the innovative power within our company, which is why we give our employees around the world the opportunity to present their ideas to us via various channels:

The Innospire Initiative encourages employees to submit and further develop their ideas for new products or business opportunities.

In the Innovation Think Tank, dedicated teams analyze future trends and technologies during a 3-month stay at the Innovation Center. Based on their findings, they are keen to develop new project ideas that will help us succeed in the future.

Another internal ideation format is the Open Campaign, a dynamic, flexible approach that can accelerate internal ideas into innovation projects within weeks. Through its short-term focus, we can follow customer needs, innovation trends, or the latest innovation fields quickly.

Upon selection of their idea, our employees have the opportunity to move to the Innovation Center and focus on their Internal Innovation Projects.

Within our Innovator Academy, we run needs-based training sessions and workshops for idea-givers, internal project teams, members of think tanks, and start-ups. The Academy encourages creativity and innovation. The wide range of opportunities supports innovators and curious minds all the way, from the initial idea to its final realization.    

Michael Gamber

Head of Innovation Center


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