Displaying Futures Award

Calling scientists and aspiring entrepreneurs! With the Displaying Futures Award 2017, we expand boundaries in the Performance Materials field and fosters entrepreneurial spirit.


Flexibility wins

Each year we host the Displaying Futures Award to foster breakthrough innovations and support PhD candidates, post-docs, senior research scientists as well as young entrepreneurs working on future-oriented business ideas.  

This year, we are expanding its boundaries to go beyond liquid crystals and encourage participants to explore ideas utilizing applications from all Performance Materials fields.  

The contest of 2017 will focus on flexible hybrid electronic devices enabled by advanced materials. We are looking for breakthrough innovations in: 

  • Wearables for health monitoring
  • Soft robotics and electronic skin
  • Sensors and electronics packaging

Coming soon: Winning ideas

Application ended on May 19th. We have received 69 high quality submitted ideas with more than 120 registered users worldwide. The ideas are under evaluation. Please stay tuned for further announcements. 

Displaying Futures Award Displaying Futures Award
The 2016 Displaying Futures Award

Meet the winners of the Displaying Futures Award 2016 from the University of Central Florida, Kent State University and the Eindhoven University of Technology.

Curious to participate?

Have you stretched your imagination? Achieved a breakthrough innovation in the field of wearable health monitors or soft robotics and electronic skin? In sensors or electronics packaging? Are you dreaming of realizing your idea? If so, we want to hear from you!

We will select the best three teams out of applications from all over the world. Every team will receive up to US$ 50,000 to explore and realize their idea. Over the course of one year, we will provide each team with exclusive mentorship and coaching according to their individual needs, like business plan development or prototype building. There is only a need for being present during the defined events. 

Your team can be part of the action – stay tuned for the Displaying Futures Award 2018!

What happens when?

The application period closed on May 19, 2017. A jury of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, experts will select up to ten teams and ideas on the basis of innovativeness, business potential and social impact. The jury will be headed by Executive Vice President Michael Heckmeier, Head of Display Materials within the Performance Materials business sector. 

Selected teams will be invited to participate in the kick-off bootcamp and to pitch their idea at the Innovation Center in Darmstadt, Germany. The bootcamp and pitch day for all teams are planned for June 2017. Travel costs will be reimbursed for two members of each team (up to US$ 3,000 per team). Out of the pitches, the jury will select up to three winners of the Displaying Futures Award. In addition, the three winning teams will be invited in December 2017 for a mid-way pitch and a second bootcamp. At the end of the 12 months, a final event will take place for all teams, including a pitch in front of potential investors.

The journey to success

  • Announcement: February 2017
  • Application Period: April – May 2017
  • Kick-off Boot Camp & Pitch: June 2017
  • Displaying Futures Award: June 2017
  • First Incubation Period
  • Mid-way Boot Camp & Pitch: December 2017
  • Second Incubation Period
  • Investor Pitch: June 2018
Stay tuned

Contact the Displaying Futures Award Team