23-May-2018 - Merck KGaA

Merck Ignites Firework of Research Initiatives During its 350th Anniversary Year

Funding of up to € 350,000 per research grant or up to € 30,000 per research challenge

Merck announced several research grants and challenges during the company’s 350th anniversary year in addition to already existing initiatives. The new research grants and challenges are mainly directed to scientists working in institutes, universities or start-up companies around the world.

“The best innovation for patients and customers is generated when people from different disciplines or backgrounds work closely together. Therefore, we are constantly looking for new ways of connecting scientists, entrepreneurs and experts from various fields to find new solutions for today’s technological and scientific challenges,” said Isabel De Paoli, Chief Strategy Officer at Merck. “As a company that has been based on science and technology for 350 years, we not only think ahead at Merck but also engage with external researchers across the world to imagine the next 350 years in science and technology together.”

Merck aims to stimulate open innovation processes in the three areas of healthcare, life science and performance materials. Merck intends to provide several research grants of up to € 350,000 per year for three years in various research areas with the option of extension or expansion.

In detail, with the research grants the company is issuing a call to action in these fields:


  • Next game-changing molecule or technology to help cure cancer or autoimmune disease

Life Science (topic divided into two topics)

  • Next generation production technology for biologics
  • Revolutionize microbiome research

Performance Materials (three topics)

  • New generation of intelligent materials
  • Developing advances in characterization, control and surface chemistry
  • Developing better atomic layer processes - from modelling to materials

Furthermore, Merck is kicking off even more research challenges in its Healthcare, Life Science and Performance Materials business sectors:

Diabetes Prevention: Merck is curious to hear about innovative technology and digitally-driven solutions that can have a positive impact on the lives of millions of people at risk of type 2 diabetes. Share an idea and receive one of the three prizes of € 30,000, € 10,000, and € 5,000 for the three most innovative projects.

Compound Synthesis: A competition to identify the best synthesis route for a given small molecule. The submitter of the best synthesis route will win a prize of € 10,000.

Innovative Analytics Technologies: Get funding from Merck to develop new analytics technologies for the characterization of antibodies and antibody-drug conjugates, liquid crystals, OLEDs, or polymeric materials (three subcategories).

Protein Production: A competition to generate the most productive CHO cell line for antibody production. The participant that generates the best cell line will win a prize of € 20,000.

Next Game-Changing Technology: Submit information about a game-changing technology you have heard of in the areas of healthcare, life science or performance materials and win a prize of € 10,000, € 5,000, and € 3,000 for the most convincing proposals.

Deadline for handing in applications is August 15, 2018.

Facts, background information, dossiers
  • antibodies
  • diabetes
  • Merck
  • grants
  • Life Sciences
  • cancer
  • autoimmune diseases
  • biologics
  • microbiomes
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