"It has been one of the most unique, challenging, and mind-provoking experiences to be listed in one’s lifetime."
Great minds come together
As a participant in our Innovation Cup, you get a chance to network with top students from around the world, work in teams to develop new innovative ideas for unmet medical need, and build a business case with support from experienced professionals. We are offering shared prizes of €20,000 for the winning team, €5,000 for the runner-up and €3,000 for third place. Selected top performing participants could get an offer for a permanent employment. And to make things even more interesting, options to implement the best business plans will be evaluated.
The Innovation Cup summer camp takes place 20-26 July, 2024, near Frankfurt, Germany. Your travel, accommodation and food expenses are paid for by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.
Applications for the 2024 Innovation Cup closed on 31 January 2024.
How does it work?
As part of the Innovation Cup, selected applicants join a week-long summer camp, to work together in a highly stimulating environment.
- Work as part of a team to generate new ideas in the fields: oncology, immuno-oncology, autoimmunity, small molecules drug discovery, protein engineering and screening, digitalization.
- Evaluate your ideas from a technical and business perspective and build a convincing business plan
- Learn the essentials about R&D within the pharmaceutical industry
- Network with the brightest students from all over the world
- Understand how products can be successfully discovered, developed, and brought to market
- Get to know Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and learn about career options
A jury consisting of our senior researchers and managers as well as external experts will pick the winning business plans for first and second place.
On the last day of the summer camp, a conference with alumni of previous Innovation Cup editions will be organized. Learn what alumni are doing today and expand your network of top innovators.
Following the Innovation Cup, options to implement the best business plans are evaluated. We will keep you posted.
Travel, accommodation and food expenses are paid for by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.
This program is not open to 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).
"I made powerful contacts, I got fueled with motivation for the next year, I learnt from the professional paths of others, in total it was a total turning point for my career."
Who can apply?
Applications are from postgraduate students in the life sciences working towards a PhD in biology, medicine, biotech, bioinformatics, computer science, data science, biochemistry, chemistry, pharmacy, engineering or related fields. Postdoctoral students are also welcome to apply, as are advanced MBA students or recent MBA graduates with an interest in the pharmaceutical business and a background in life sciences.
This programme is not open to healthcare professionals.
"Learning, innovating, networking, having fun and winning – the Innovation Cup is the chance for graduate students to make a difference!"
Seize your chance!
Participating in the Innovation Cup is a unique professional development opportunity for students from life science, computer science and business administration with an interest in the pharmaceutical industry. The event brings together a promising new generation of talent with active researchers, members of senior management and accomplished retirees from our biopharmaceuticals division. All participants will also get a free ticket for the Curious2024 - Future Insight™ conference.
Enjoy the innovation experience of a lifetime! The winning team is awarded the Innovation Cup and a shared prize of €20,000! The runner-up receives a shared prize of €5,000 with €3,000 for third place. In the following, options to implement the best business plans will be evaluated. The Cup is also a great opportunity to network and boost your professional development. On the last day of the summer camp, a conference with alumni of previous Innovation Cup editions will be organized. Learn what alumni are doing today and expand your network of top innovators.
The 2023 winning team: Alexandre Guiraud, Anastasia Georiou, Jakob Träuble, Philipp Rosendahl, and Rudrarup Bose on stage with Ulrich Betz and coach: Dragana Savic
The 2022 winning team - Ada Liebenau, Alessia Petti, Niklas Grabicki, Ruth Ketley, Alfred Chin, Raphael Steinbach and coach Joshua Yang, on stage with Sue Herbert and Ulrich Betz
The winning team of the Anniversary Innovation Cup 2018 (l.t.r.): Stephan Lammel (team coach), Lorillee Tallorin, Arne Wehling, Belen Garijo (Member of the executive board), Michael Ogden, Sebald Verkuijl, Lian Zhu, Ulrich Betz (Vice President Innovation)
Sign the global call to action to devote more resources to the advancement of science & technology to enable humanity to solve the challenges of today and to realize the dreams of a better tomorrow.