Compound Synthesis

You are invited to provide an original synthesis protocol for a small molecule.


The Challenge

On the occasion of its 350th anniversary, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany hosts a competition to identify the best submitted synthetic route for a given small molecule as determined by:

  • number of synthesis steps
  • obtained yield
  • achieved purity

Anyone from around the world may register for the competition. From these applicants, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany choses up to 12 candidates to participate in the challenge. These 12 candidates are given the structure of a small molecule and have 96 hours to submit their proposed synthesis route. Submitted proposals to be tested in a wet lab and the best synthesis protocol to win a prize of EUR 10,000.

Who can apply?

Participating

Anyone as an individual or as a team may compete for the prize. We are particularly interested in how you arrived at your synthetic route, with or without computer software. This program is not open to HCPs.

How does it work?

  • Application by “Registration Form” and accepting terms and conditions by August 15th, 2018.
  • Confirmation message for chosen participants by September 15th, 2018.
  • Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany provides the structure of a small molecule to all selected participants at the same time. 
  • Participants generate and submit a synthesis route.
  • The obtained synthesis routes are tested in an actual chemical synthesis. A winner is selected to receive a EUR 10,000 prize.
  • Applicants retain the IP ownership of their submitted synthetic routes.

Your Benefits

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany will award a EUR 10,000 prize to the submitter who arrives at the best synthesis route for a given small molecule. Furthermore, the selected participants will have the chance to gain access to potential collaborations within Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, which include access to enabling resources and contacts.

FAQ

What about publicity?

What about publicity?

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany retains the exclusive right to make any press release or any kind of public communication about the competition. Confidential details on project content will not be revealed.

What about IP and confidentiality?

What about IP and confidentiality?

Applicants will retain the IP ownership of their submitted synthetic routes. All proposals will be handled under confidentiality unless written permission is provided by the submitter.

What happens if I submit my molecule after the deadline?

What happens if I submit my molecule after the deadline?

Only proposals submitted within the competition timeline will be considered.

How will I ensure that my proposal has been seen?

How will I ensure that my proposal has been seen?

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany will send you a confirmation email. Please make sure to check your spam folder. 

How long will the competition last?

How long will the competition last?

All participants will receive the molecular structure at the same time and will then have 96 hours to submit their synthesis route. 

What feedback will I receive after I have submitted my synthetic route?

What feedback will I receive after I have submitted my synthetic route?

All submitters will be informed on how their proposed synthetic route performed in the wet lab. If your proposal is selected as the winning route, you will obtain a prize of EUR 10,000. 

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