Sun Zhengjie, managing director of Merck Innovation Hub China, addresses the inauguration of the Merck Guangdong Innovation Hub on Nov 15.
The German science and technology firm Merck's first innovation hub in the Guangdong - Hong Kong - Macao Greater Bay Area has opened on Guangzhou International Biotech Island.
The center will cooperate with the local scientific community to develop technological innovation and industrial projects in biomedicine, life sciences and high-performance materials, and also facilitate the growth of the Greater Bay Area.
Merck, founded in 1668, is one of the world's leading tech firms. Its industries include biotherapy for cancer and multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, and liquid crystal materials for smartphones and flatscreen televisions.
In 2018, its total sales in 66 countries reached 14.8 billion euros ($16.37 billion).
China is one of the most important countries in Merck’s globalization strategy. The company signed an agreement with the Guangzhou Development District (GDD) in November 2018.
The agreement included the creation of the innovation center in Guangzhou to bring its latest technologies, projects and solutions to the market.
The company will also join hands with companies, academic institutes and investors in GDD to create an innovative business ecosystem.
Allan Gabor, president of Merck China, said the Guangdong innovation hub will cover all three of Merck's major businesses, which are in line with the industrial planning of new materials, biotechnology and health care formulated in the development plan for the Greater Bay Area.
A highlight of the Guangdong Innovation Hub will be its acceleration projects, which will help identify and develop promising start-ups in emerging technology fields, and provide support to more Chinese start-ups.
Merck’s accelerator has held two rounds of project selection. From more than 300 entrants, 12 start-ups from the Greater Bay Area have been selected to get financial and internal resources support from Merck.
These enterprises will also strengthen exchanges with global R&D institutions with the help of Merck's headquarters in Germany, so as to expand its presence on the international market.
Sun Zhengjie, managing director of Merck Innovation Hub China, said Merck hopes to work with start-ups, academic institutions and industry insiders to seek more innovative ideas, get mutually-beneficial results, and speed up the use of science innovation in industrial projects.
At its inauguration, ten experts were employed to be mentors of the Merck Guangdong Innovation Hub.
In addition, Merck has launched a 100 million yuan ($14.22 million) fund which will benefit new start-ups and innovators in the Greater Bay Area.