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Anniversary Edition

Innovation Cup

Join the brightest students from all over the world for a week at the company headquarters. Learn from professionals, network, develop a business plan, and win a €20,000 team prize!

Who can apply?

You are invited to apply if you are a graduate student or a postdoctoral researcher in biology, chemistry, physics, medicine, biotech, bioinformatics, biochemistry, pharmacy, informatics, computer science, data science, engineering, business administration or related fields. Moreover, advanced MBA students or recent MBA graduates with an interest in the pharmaceutical and chemical business can apply. You can apply for more than one team.

Apply now

How does it work?

In 2018, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany will celebrate its 350th anniversary. On this occasion, we will conduct a special expanded anniversary edition of the Innovation Cup with 75 participants in Darmstadt, Germany (July 16-24, 2018). This Innovation Cup will cover not only the field of Healthcare, but also Life Science and Performance Materials as well.

As Part of the Innovation Cup, participants will attend the scientific conference Curious2018. Following the Curious2018 conference participants will work together in small teams in a highly stimulating environment to:

  • Work as part of a team to generate new ideas in the fields: healthy lives, synthetic biology, material solutions, digitalization, and new ways of working together
  • Evaluate your ideas from a technical and business perspective and build a convincing business plan
  • Learn the essentials about R&D within the pharmaceutical and chemical industry
  • Network with the brightest students from all over the world
  • Understand how products are successfully discovered, developed, and brought to market
  • Get to know Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and learn about career options

A jury, consisting of top scientists and entrepreneurs, will select the best business plan in each of the five focus fields and award each winning team with EUR 5.000. In addition, the overall winner will be selected and presented the Anniversary Cup 2018 with additional EUR 20.000.

Travel, accommodation and food expenses will be paid by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

This program is not open to U.S. healthcare professionals. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany retains exclusive right to make any press release or any kind of public communication about the Innovation Cup winner(s).

"It has been one of the most unique, challenging, and mind-provoking experiences to be listed in one’s lifetime."

Innovation Cup Participant

"Learning, innovating, networking, having fun and winning – the Innovation Cup is the chance for graduate students to make a difference!"

Dr. Ulrich Betz

Vice President, Department Head Innovation & Entrepreneurship Incubator
Innovation Cup Inventor and Manager


Edison Awards
Edison Awards

Edison Awards 2017 Winner

German Stevie Awards
German Stevie Awards

2017 Stevie Gold Winner

Innovationspreis der deutschen Wirtschaft
Innovationspreis der deutschen Wirtschaft

Innovationspreis der deutschen Wirtschaft Winner 2015

Deutscher Ideen-Preis
Deutscher Ideen-Preis

Deutscher Ideen-Preis International Idea 2014

Contact Us!

Innovation Cup Team


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