Innovation Cup

The brightest students from all over the world meet at our company headquarters to learn from professionals, network, develop business plans and win the 20,000 EUR Innovation Cup.

Learn, innovate, network and win!

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

Innovation Cup Participant

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 and €5,000 for the runner-up. 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 on 26th June - 2nd July 2021, near Frankfurt, Germany provided the pandemic situation allows it. Your travel, accommodation and food expenses are paid for by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

How does it work?

As part of the Innovation Cup, we invite you to 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 us 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 will be 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).

Innovation Cup Alumni conference

Betz Freigestellt4 Betz Freigestellt4

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

Ulrich Betz

Vice President Innovation, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Innovation Cup Inventor and Manager

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.

Applications are now closed and open again for the 2022 Innovation Cup in November 2021.

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. 

Your benefits

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.  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.

FAQ

Awards

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International Business Awards
International Business Awards

International Stevie Award

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German Stevie Awards
German Stevie Awards

2017 Stevie Gold Winner

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Edison Awards
Edison Awards

Edison Awards 2017 Winner

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Innovationspreis der deutschen Wirtschaft
Innovationspreis der deutschen Wirtschaft

Innovationspreis der deutschen Wirtschaft Winner 2015

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Deutscher Ideen-Preis
Deutscher Ideen-Preis

Deutscher Ideen-Preis International Idea 2014