Community Engagement

We take on responsibility and solve tomorrow's challenges - not only with our products and technologies, but also through our social and community engagement.

Our responsibility to the community

We want to apply our knowledge in areas where we can truly make a difference. That's why we’re committed to improving healthcare around the world. Together with reliable partners, we support the training and continuing education of medical personnel and promote health awareness. This is how we help to give people all over the world access to health. 

We believe that curiosity, creativity and the courage to cross borders are crucial for the advancement of society. In addition to health projects, promoting education and culture is important to us. Our aim is to spark the interest of young people in science and further a deeper understanding of science and research. That’s why we hold competitions, recognize special achievements and offer opportunities for hands-on learning. We also see music and literature as important sources of inspiration and mediators between cultures in our globalized world. Our philharmonic orchestra is our musical ambassador. Moreover, we award literature prizes worldwide.

Last but not least, taking on responsibility in the countries in which we operate is important to us. We want to be good neighbors, which is why we support people in need, especially in the immediate vicinity of our sites.

Read more in our Sustainability Report

Our engagement in figures

  • 54M

    In 2020, we spent € 54 million on social and community engagement.

  • 274

    In 2020, we carried out 274 charitable activities in 96 countries.

  • 20%

    Our employees were involved in more than 20% of the projects.

Our spending by region in 2020
Our thematic focus in 2020

Some key projects

As part of our global volunteer program SPARK™, employees from our Life Science business sector share their skills and experience with students in order to spark their curiosity in science and inspire them to consider a STEM-related career. As an extension of our flagship Curiosity Labs™ program, we introduced the digital Curiosity Labs™ at Home program in 2020 to reach students remotely amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Curiosity Labs™ at Home includes 20 easy and educational hands-on science experiments that can be completed safely at home with materials typically found around the house. In 2020, the program generated more than 2.7 million video views on social media in 132 countries.

Classical music has a long tradition in our company – and the Deutsche Philharmonie sponsored by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany imparts our enthusiasm for this with the world. It is our musical ambassador and an integral part of cultural life in Darmstadt and the region. Our philharmonic orchestra regularly tours internationally and gives benefit concerts to help support the fight against cancer, for example. In addition, we want to give young people access to classical music by offering special events for children and adolescents.

Literature can inspire, encourage, and even lead to scientific and social change. As a future-oriented science and technology company, we want to make use of this potential. By awarding literature prizes worldwide, we strengthen cultural exchange in our globalized world and contribute to society's greater acceptance of science and progress. Our prizes primarily recognize those authors who build bridges between cultures, as well as between literature and science.

Superb research achievements that serve mankind deserve to be rewarded! Therefore, since 2019, we annually award the “Future Insight Prize”. It honors research achievements in the fields of health, nutrition and energy and involves prize money of up to € 1 million. In 2019, the first Future Insight Prize went to Pardis Sabeti and James Crowe, whose scientific work is laying the foundation for the realization of a “Pandemic Protector", a visionary dream product that would provide protection against pandemics. In 2020, Stephan Sieber received the Future Insight Prize. He is researching how antibiotic resistance can be overcome.

Find out more