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Merck Welcomes Ten New Startups to its Innovation Center

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Merck today announced the ten startups that will be joining the seventh intake of its Accelerator program at the Merck Innovation Center in Darmstadt.
  • From January 2019, startups from nine different countries will collaborate with Merck
  • Selected teams will have the opportunity to extend their stay in the Merck China Innovation Hub in Shanghai
  • For the first time, the program includes a startup specializing in the fight against multi-drug resistant bacteria
Darmstadt, Germany, January 16, 2019 – Merck, a leading  science and technology company, today announced the ten startups that will be joining the seventh intake of its Accelerator program at the Merck Innovation Center in Darmstadt. The teams come from nine different countries, making 2019 the most international intake in the Merck Accelerator’s history. They were chosen from a total of 565 applications, coming from startups based in 68 countries across the world.

“We are confident that inviting such a diverse group of collaboration-ready startups can lead to outstanding partnerships. We believe that startups and a company such as Merck can mutually benefit a lot from working together. Partnering with startups, we connect with new external ideas while we simultaneously help them to take off. Bringing curious and expert minds together is a tremendous opportunity to create innovations beyond our current scope,” said Michael Gamber, Head of the Merck Innovation Center.
The ten selected startups will join the Merck Accelerator for the program’s three-month duration. For the first time since the launch of the program, some of the participating startups will also have the opportunity to extend their stay by joining the company’s China Innovation Hub in Shanghai, which will give them the opportunity to access the Chinese market.

The Merck Accelerator welcomes startups operating in healthcare, life science and performance materials, as well as emerging areas such as bio-sensing and interfaces or liquid biopsy, which represent the Innovation Fields that the Merck Innovation Center is focusing on. This year’s program includes, for example, Nextbiotics – a startup focusing on antibiotic-resistant bacteria and microbiomes: Nextbiotics is developing a biotechnology platform that engineers bacteriophages to target antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The startup envisions using its technology to precisely modulate the microbiome with applications in the prevention and treatment of infections for humans and animals. The other startup teams (please also check the adjacent fact sheet) joining the Merck Accelerator program are also working on solutions that could make a positive difference in people’s lives. From affordable point-of-care diagnostic devices through intelligent solutions to developing 3D bioprinted skin, to even analysing patients’ tumour samples in order to identify their level of drug resistance and determine the best type of cancer treatment.
About Merck
Merck, a vibrant science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 51,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – Merck is everywhere. In 2017, Merck generated sales of € 15.3 billion in 66 countries.
Scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to Merck’s technological and scientific advances. This is how Merck has thrived since its founding in 1668. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Performance Materials.
Merck KGaA
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64293 Darmstadt