Merck Signs MoU with KAIST to Advance Scientific Collaboration

Multi-dimensional program to build local research capability and startup ecosystem as well as joint R&D projects

31-May-2024
Merck KGaA

Partnership to facilitate collaborative research in academia and industry to further progress in life sciences

Merck, a leading science and technology company, has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). The academia-industry cooperation aims at advancing the research and development ecosystem in South Korea for industrial applications.

“Our collaboration with KAIST is an important step towards accelerating the biotechnology ramp-up for both the local and global life science industry,” said Matthias Heinzel, Member of the Executive Board of Merck and CEO Life Science. “Advancing research and preparing the next generation of scientists is key to discovering new medicines to meet the needs of a global population – this is how we impact life and health with science.”

Through the partnership, Merck will provide products from its chemistry and biology portfolios for researchers in the lab.  Merck will also offer development opportunities for KAIST researchers. These include the participation in the annual international programs Innovation Cup and the Curious Future Insight Conference as well as fellowships for graduate students and awards for professors. Additionally, Merck and KAIST will establish an experience lab in Korea. It aims to support researchers in improving their skills for developing new application notes and scientific workflows in areas such as material analysis, drug discovery, and omics solutions. A research partnership will also be established for joint R&D collaboration, focusing on advancing innovation in prioritized research areas. Merck’s corporate venture fund M Ventures will team up with the KAIST entrepreneurial team to build a startup ecosystem as part of the partnership.

"We are delighted that Merck and KAIST, which share an innovation mindset and a vision for scientific advancement, will work closely together," said Kwang-Hyung Lee, President of KAIST. "We look forward to this partnership as an opportunity to strengthen the connection between Merck's life science business and the global scientific community," he added.

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