Innovation Cup 2021 – learn, innovate, network, win

Merck KGaA

26 June 2021

Near Frankfurt, Germany. In the event of travel restrictions, the event could be held virtually.

Registration Deadline

31 January 2021

If you are a post-graduate student with an interest in the pharmaceutical and chemical industry, the Innovation Cup is your chance to gain in-depth knowledge about pharmaceutical and chemical research and development, to network with top students from around the world and to build a business case together with experienced professionals.


Explore job opportunities at our company and visit the innovation summer camp near company headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, June 26 – July 2, 2021 and take your chance to win the Innovation Cup along with EUR 20,000 with your team (EUR 5,000 for the runner-up team).


Options to implement the best business plans will be evaluated. Top performing participants might be offered a position at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.


Who can apply


We invite advanced students in life sciences, chemistry, physics, computer sciences and business administration from all over the world to apply for participation in the Innovation Cup. 30 students will be selected:

• Sciences: Postgraduate students in the life, material and data sciences, on their way towards a PhD in biology, chemistry, medicine, physics, biotech, bioinformatics, biochemistry, pharmacy, informatics, computer science, data science, engineering or related fields. Also Post Docs can apply!

• Business: Advanced MBA students or recent MBA graduates with an interest in the pharmaceutical business and a life science background.

The cup is not open to healthcare professionals.


How does it work


During a one week Summer Camp, 30 selected postgraduate students will attend in-depth presentations about the pharmaceutical and chemical industry given by our management, scientists and external experts. Participants will work in small teams to generate an innovative idea that addresses a scientific challenge and develop the idea into a business plan. Teams will receive coaching and guidance from experienced veterans of our company, the Summer Camp moderator and our Innovation Management. You will learn the essentials about R&D within the pharmaceutical and chemical industry and understand how products may be successfully discovered, developed and brought to market. You will learn to evaluate your ideas from a technical and business perspective and build a convincing business plan.


• The team oncology will work on new innovative approaches for the targeted treatment of cancer with small molecules or proteins.

• The team immuno-oncology will work on new innovative approaches for the treatment of cancer via stimulating the immune system and overcoming the immunosuppressive environment of tumors.

• The team autoimmunity will work on new innovative approaches for the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as e.g. Lupus.

• The team drug discovery technologies will work on new innovative approaches to discover and optimize new small molecular drugs or new innovative approaches to design, screen or optimize new protein drugs

• The team digitalization will work on new innovative approaches to leverage the power of in-silico for drug discovery and development.

• The team pandemic threat will work on innovative approaches to fight emerging pandemics


The teams will present their business plans to a grand jury. The jury will be composed of our top management plus external consultants. The jury will select the best business plan and present the winning team with the Innovation Cup award and cash prize of EUR 20,000 plus EUR 5,000 for the runner-up. At the first day of the Innovation Cup a conference with alumni from previous events will be organized with ample networking opportunities. Options to implement the best business plans will be evaluated. Top performing participants might be offered a position at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.


All travel, accommodation and food expenses will be paid by the company. In the event of travel restrictions, the event could be held virtually.


Further information


Further information about the program and how to apply online from November 1st 2020 until January 31st 2021:

For visitors in the United States and Canada click here:

Innovationcup.emdgroup.com


For visitors outside the United States and Canada click here

Innovationcup.merckgroup.com