Mode of operation decision making challenge

Open innovation challenge for individuals with an interest in manufacturing processes, smart manufacturing, and process operation decision making.

The challenge

Batch and continuous operations have advantages and disadvantages that are hard to compare. 

A software that calculates the productivity and financials of performing a process can support decision-making between batch, fed-batch or continuous mode operations. However, there is a lack of rational and scalable designs backed by explainable models that can successfully predict important strategic parameters such as cost of goods, productivity and quality for a range of scales and operating modes (room time yield). 

Participate in the mode of operation decision making challege for the chance to join a workshop and showcase your decision making model for either an organic synthesis process or a bioprocess.

We will work with you to plan in silico experiments, provide guidance on validation and evaluate your submission by the criteria

  • Strategic fit
  • Team strength
  • Technical approach​
  • Technological or business impact​
  • Quality of presentation

The best team wins 10,000 EUR and the chance to present their work to our scientists. 

How does it work?

Registration for this challenge starts on 26 June 2023 and finishes on 30 September 2023 (23.59 CEST).
  • Register by filling in the online application form and accepting the terms and conditions of the challenge. 
  • You retain any rights that you hold with your submission and publishing rights you may have. Please only submit non-confidential information.
  • Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany retains the exclusive right to make any press release or any kind of public communication about the competition and the winning proposal. 

Stage 1 is for submitting concepts:  

  • A non-confidential description of your idea. 
  • Short comments on how your submission fulfills the judging criteria. 
  • Submission deadline is 30 September 2023.

Stage 2: We invite selected participants to the solution round (up to 15).

  • We work with you to plan in silico experiments, provide guidance on validation and provide validation data.
  • You present your idea to our scientists 
  • We will evaluate all presentations subject to the terms and conditions of the challenge and the criteria. 
  • To join the second phase of the challenge, a CDA has to be signed.
  • The best team wins 10,000 EUR. 


  • Strategic fit
  • Team strength
  • Technical approach​
  • Technological or business impact​
  • Quality of presentation


  • Gold winner: EUR 10,000

Who can participate?

This challenge is open to all individuals who are interested in engaging with us on the topic. This competition is not open to Health Care Professionals nor may participants be employed at a Health Care Organization.