Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
With the Displaying Futures Award 2017, EMD expands boundaries in the Performance Materials field and fosters entrepreneurial spirit.

Flexibility Wins

Topics for Displaying Futures Award 2017

This year we will go beyond liquid crystals and expand our scope within in Performance Materials. 
The focus of the 2017 award is Innovative flexible hybrid electronic devices enabled by advanced materials. We are looking for break-through innovations in:
  • wearables for health monitoring
  • soft robotics and electronic skin
  • sensors and electronics packaging
 Application ended on May 19th. We have received 69 high quality submitted ideas with more than 120 registered users worldwide. The ideas are under evaluation. Please stay tuned for the further announcement.

Take a look at the 2016 Displaying Futures Award

Winner team 2016
The winners of the Displaying Futures Award 2016 come from the University of Central Florida, Kent State University and the Eindhoven University of Technology.

Curious to participate?

Have you stretched your imagination? Achieved a breakthrough innovation in the field of wearable health monitors or soft robotics and electronic skin? In sensors or electronics packaging? Are you dreaming of realizing your idea? If so, we want to hear from you! 
We will select the best three teams out of applications from all over the world. Every team will receive up to US$ 50,000 to explore and realize their idea. Over the course of 12 months, we will provide each team exclusive mentorship and coaching according to their individual needs, for example in business plan development and prototype building. There is only a need for being presence during the defined events.
Your team can be part of the action – grab the chance!

What happens when?

The application period opend on April 3 and closed on May 19, 2017. A jury of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany experts will select up to ten teams and ideas on the basis of innovativeness, business potential and social impact. The jury will be headed by Executive Vice President Dr. Michael Heckmeier, Head of the Display Materials business unit within the Performance Materials business sector of Merck.

We will invite the selected teams to participate in the kick-off bootcamp and to pitch their idea at our Innovation Center in Darmstadt, Germany. The bootcamp and pitch day for all teams are planned for June 2017 (June 21st - 23rd). Travel costs will be reimbursed for two members of each team (up to US$ 3,000 per team). Out of the pitches, the jury will select up to three winners of the Displaying Futures Award. In addition, the aforementioned support, the three winning teams will be invited in December 2017 for a mid-way pitch and a second bootcamp. At the end of the 12 months, a final event will take place for all teams, including a pitch in front of potential investors.
Displaying Futures Award - Timeline
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What can you expect?

  • Extensive mentorship from our experts
  • Up to US$ 50,000 in cash to further explore your idea
  • Access to proprietary materials and global network from Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
  • A special business curriculum in selected areas to support your team at the beginning, the middle and the end of the 12-month period

What do we expect from you?

We are committed to fully supporting the teams and therefore does not ask for equity or IP rights if a company is formed. However, our company would like to be offered a board seat and the opportunity to invest. We require the winning teams to spend their money according to the submitted proposal. All contracts are simple, transparent and available for all to see.

Who can participate?

Anyone can participate, however we would give preference to PhD candidates/post-docs and senior research scientists.

How can you apply?

The application platform was open from April 3rd to May 19th 2017. Provide us with an executive summary of your idea, its technical background as well as the related IP situation.
  • Elaborate the business potential of your idea and introduce your team.
  • Include a short- and long-term milestone plan and briefly describe the expected use of money.
  • Submit your application in English. 
Contact us

Stay tuned!



Publication of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.
There are two different, unaffiliated companies that use the name MERCK. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, which operates this website, uses the firm name “Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany,” in the United States and Canada, and also uses “EMD Serono” in biopharma, “MilliporeSigma” in life science and “EMD Performance Materials” in materials business. The other company, Merck & Co., Inc. holds the rights in the trademark MERCK in the United States and Canada. Merck & Co. is not affiliated with or related to Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, which owns the MERCK trademark in all other countries of the world.   To reflect such fact and to avoid any confusion, certain logos, terms and business descriptions of the publications on this website have been substituted or modified, such as by referring to “Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany” instead of “Merck” standing alone.  Publications on this webpage, therefore, slightly deviate from the otherwise identical versions accessible outside the United States and Canada.


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