Merck Announces Future Insight Prize for Groundbreaking Scientific Work

Prize money up to 1 million Euro

18-Jul-2018 - Germany

Merck announced a new research prize. The company will award the “Future Insight Prize” of up to € 1 million annually for the next 35 years. The prize will be presented to researchers who will make outstanding contributions to enable innovations important for the future of humanity in the categories of health, nutrition and energy.

“As we are discussing the future of science and technology at the ‘Curious2018 – Future Insight’ conference, this is the right place to announce the ‘Future Insight Prize’. With this award we aim to stimulate groundbreaking science and innovative development of key products or technologies, to bring meaningful visions to life for the benefit of humanity,” Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck, said when he announced the prize today at the conference. This event in Darmstadt, of which Merck is the main sponsor, is currently being held for the first time and brings together globally renowned scientists, among them five Nobel Price laureates.

The new award will be issued for the first time at next year’s “Curious2019” conference. It will relate to the health category and a ‘Pandemic Protector’ – a visionary dream product enabling an accelerated protection against newly emerging pathogens. The ‘Pandemic Protector’ should make it possible to swiftly analyze emerging pathogens, to generate an agent for disease treatment or prevention, and in doing so protect humanity against the outbreak of a new, global plague.

A scouting team will monitor scientific activity worldwide with a view to selecting potential candidates for the award. Experts in the relevant fields are likewise free to propose candidates of their own. The chosen scientists will be approached and asked to submit their entry to a jury of distinguished scientists and managers, drawn both from Merck and beyond. The winner of the respective award should use the prize for further research on the specific topic.

The Future Insight Prize for the years thereafter will be awarded for the following three topics:

  • 2020: Multi-Drug Resistance Breaker - solving the problem of antibacterial resistance to multiple antibacterials (category health)
  • 2021: Food Generator – Technology to help feed the world’s growing population (category nutrition)
  • 2022: CO2-to-Fuel Converter – Generating fuel by photocatalytic conversion of atmospheric CO2 (category energy)

All future research projects receiving this award should contribute to laying the scientific and technological basis for the later realization of so-called “dream products”, in the first year the ‘Pandemic Protector’. The products envisaged are visionary products which the prize will catalyze to become reality. The same principle applies to the dream products Multi-Drug Resistance Breaker, Food Generator and CO2-to-Fuel Converter. None of the awarded projects is meant to be in connection to or to directly contribute to any of the three business sectors of Merck.

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