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.