Future Insight Prize

Stimulating scientific and technological progress in the areas of health, nutrition, and energy.


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Creating the vision for ambitious dream products of global importance for humankind.

Nominations for the future insight Prize 2020

Send us your candidate nomination by December 31, 2019.

REALIZING THE DREAMS FOR A BETTER TOMORROW

At the occasion of its 350th anniversary, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany is sponsoring the Future Insight Prize to stimulate innovative solutions to solve some of humanities greatest problems and to realize the dreams for a better tomorrow in the areas of health, nutrition and energy. The Future Insight Prize will put the vision for ambitious dream products of global importance for humankind into the world and will trigger curiosity and creativity worldwide on how to make this vision a reality. We intend to give out up to EUR 1,000,000 annually for the next 35 years to incentivize people whose work has enabled significant progress towards making this vision a reality via discovering new ground-breaking science or via development of enabling technologies.

With this award, we aim to stimulate groundbreaking science and innovative development of key products or technologies, to bring meaningful visions to life for the benefit of humanity.

Dr. Stefan Oschmann

Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

We can make it happen

The Future Insight Prize puts the vision for ambitious dream products of global importance for humankind into the world and triggers curiosity and creativity on how to make these visions a reality.

The Prize will be awarded annually from 2019 onwards to honor outstanding achievements in science & technology towards a ground‐breaking innovation important for the future of humanity in the areas:

  • Health - Pandemic Protection (2019)
  • Health - Multi Drug Resistance (2020)
  • Nutrition - Food Generator (2021)
  • Energy - CO2 Conversion (2022)

Selection Process

  • A Jury comprising experts from all over the world will identify suitable candidates for the Future Insight Prize
  • Additionally, proposals for Future Insight Prize candidates can be sent to the Jury (no self-nominations)
  • Amongst all of these candidates, the Jury will select the top individuals whom are invited to submit a formal application for the prize
  • The Jury will evaluate these applications and select the winner of the Future Insight Prize
  • The winner will be publicly announced and present their research at the Future Insight Conference

Shared winning proposal of the Future Insight Prize 2019

"The Merck Future Insight Prize is hugely important because it provides catalytic funding that gives scientists the freedom to respond to emerging trends at the frontlines of infectious disease research. That’s critical in pandemics because you never really know what’s coming at you. The Merck Future Insight Prize supports my whole lab and that’s how it should be because fighting pandemics is a war that can only be won through co-operation.” Pardis Sabeti, The Broad Institute, Inc.

Shared winning proposal of the Future Insight Prize 2019

"It is really visionary for a company that is as well established as Merck to look ahead to the future and not just stick with what is being done now. I want to thank Merck for the curiosity to wonder about big questions and support scientists like us who work on things that supposedly can’t be done. The Future Insight Prize gives us fuel to move forward in our work to understand how the human body responds to infections and how we might use that knowledge to understand how pandemics are caused.” James Earl Crowe, Jr. Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Testimonials

“The Future Insight Prize is great because it sets a grand challenge and seeks a solution to societies greatest future needs.” Prof. Dr. Daniel Nocera - Harvard University

"The Future Insight Prize is great because it will foster scientific innovation in areas critical to humanity's future.“ Professor Martin Jonikas - Princeton University

“The Future Insight Prize in Pandemic Protection is great because it is a clear expression of commitment to society and global health.” Dr. Sir Michael Jacobs – Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

"The Future Insight Prize is great because it shows a 350-year old company is thinking about the next 350 years.” Isha Datar – CEO New Harvest

The Future Insight Prize builds a network of innovators to enable the dreams for a better tomorrow.

Dr. Ulrich Betz

Vice President Innovation, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Future Insight Prize Inventor and Manager

Future Insight Prize Jury


Jury Member
Affiliation  Jury Member Affiliation   
Angela Belcher Massachusetts Institute of Technology Kara Bren University of Rochester  
Benjamin List Max-Planck-Institute for Coal Research Kenneth Drazan GRAIL  
Camille Delebecque Afineur Kurt Wüthrich Scripps Research Institute  
Carolyn "Bo" Aldige Prevent Cancer Foundation Linda Hill Harvard Business School  
Chihaya Adachi Kyushu University Lolke Sijtsma University of Wageningen  
Christina Smolke Stanford University Máire Connolly National University of Ireland Galway  
Christopher Milne Tufts Manfred Weck RWTH Aachen  
Clifford P. Kubiak UC San Diego Martin Jonikas Princeton University  
Daniel Bausch London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Mary Voytek NASA  
Daniel Nocera Harvard University Matt Rosseinsky University of Liverpool  
Daniel Zajfman Weizmann Institute of Science Michael Jacobs Royal Free London NHS  
David Bloom Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Moritz Helmstädter MPI for Brain Research  
David Solit Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Nadia Tornieporth Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations  
Dean Radin California Institute of Integral Studies Nancy Cox Vanderbilt University  
Deborah O‘Neil Novabiotics Nicholas Donofrio IBM  
Dieter Spath  National Academy of Science and Engineering, acatech Pardis Sabeti Broad Institute  
Don Cleveland UC San Diego Peidong Yang UC Berkeley  
Eileen Farnon Pasteur Institute Otmar Wiestler Helmholtz Association  
Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich Peter Hotez Baylor College of Medicine  
Ferdi Schüth Max-Planck-Institute for Coal Research Peter Piot The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine  
Hans-Dieter Klenk Institute of Virology, Marburg Rafi Ahmed  Emory University  
Hans-Joachim Zeiler Creative Therapeutics Ron Fouchier Erasmus University  
Harald Seifert University of Cologne Rudi Balling University of Luxembourg  
Henrik von Scheel Industry 4.0 lab Rudolf Aebersold ETH Zürich  
Henrike Hartmann Volkswagen Foundation Scott Spangler IBM  
Isha Datar New Harvest Shinichi Akaike NISTEP Japan  
Jake Yeston AAAS / Science Shyam Sankar Palantir Technologies  
James E. Crowe Vanderbilt Medical Center Stefan Oschmann Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany  
James Le Duc University of Texas Medical Branch Stewart Cole École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne  
Jef Boeke NYU Langone Health Subhanu Saxena Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation  
Jean-Marie Lehn  College de France  Thomas Südhof Stanford University  
Jeremy Nicholson Murdoch University Toby Bloom New York Genome Center  
Joachim Frank Columbia University Tom Knight Ginkgo Bioworks  
Joao Monteiro Nature Medicine Ulrich Betz Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany  
John Gyapong University of Health & Allied Sciences Ulrich Wiesner Cornell University  
    Yang Shao-Horn Massachusetts Institute of Technology  

FAQs

What are the Future Insight Prize's selection criteria?

What are the Future Insight Prize's selection criteria?

  • Has the recipient’s work provided important breakthroughs to enable a realization of the dream product?
  • Is the recipient’s work of utmost scientific quality recognized by top peer review journals?
  • Will the recipient be able to make good use of the prize money to advance research in this area?

Who will receive the Future Insight Prize?

Who will receive the Future Insight Prize?

The Future Insight Prize will be given out to an individual whose work has contributed to laying the scientific and technological basis for solving some of humanities greatest problems in the areas of health, energy, and nutrition. Their work will help to realize the vision of a dream product of importance for the survival of humanity in the future. In 2019, the Future Insight Prize will be given out in the area of health (dream product pandemic protector), in 2020 also in the area of health (dream product multi drug resistance breaker), in 2021 in the area of nutrition (dream product food generator), and in 2022 in the area of energy (dream product CO2 to fuel converter).

How will the winner of the Future Insight Prize be awarded?

How will the winner of the Future Insight Prize be awarded?

ŸThe winner of the Future Insight Prize will receive up to EUR 1,000,000 in funding for their research along with the Future Insight Prize trophy and a keynote lecture at forthcoming Future Insight Conferences or comparable events.

How often will the Future Insight Prize be awarded?

How often will the Future Insight Prize be awarded?

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany intends to give out the Future Insight Prize annually for the next 35 years. As soon as a dream product has been realized, the Future Insight Prize for this category will stop.

What is the vision of the Future Insight Prize after 2022?

What is the vision of the Future Insight Prize after 2022?

The Future Insight Prize will continue to be given out supporting research laying important foundations for the realization of the four published dream products - Pandemic Protector, Multi-Drug Resistance Breaker, Food Generator, and CO2 to Fuel Converter - until they have been realized. In addition, new visionary dream products might be announced. 

Do you have additional questions?

Do you have additional questions?

Please send an email to futureinsightprize@emdgroup.com

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