Merck Launches its Uptune Program in Asia for Collaborating with Startups

15 July 2022 | Friday | News

Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced the launch of its Uptune program in Asia, which aims to generate collaboration opportunities with early-stage innovative companies.

  • Application period for the Merck Uptune program starts today
  • Topics vary from AI-enabled health and cell and gene therapy tools to innovative technologies and materials in semiconductor and smart manufacturing
  • Selected startups can receive funding of up to € 100,000

"The startup environment in Asia is unique and inspiring. Building mutually beneficial and sustainable partnerships with promising startups and creating synergies between Merck and young companies will bring forward the next big ideas." said Steven Johnston, Vice President, Head of Technology Innovation and Enablement, Merck Group Science and Technology Office. "Merck can be a strong supporter for them to jointly grow their business, providing not only funding, but also knowledge and industry expertise."

The Merck Uptune Program is Merck's startup collaboration program. It supports early-stage companies across Asia working on relevant topics within healthcare, life science, electronics, and smart manufacturing, and with a strong focus on

  • digital health solutions;
  • innovative technologies/materials for semiconductor and display;
  • cellular, molecular- and immuno-assays; cell and gene therapy tools, chemistry and materials for life science;
  • Supply chain innovation, data management, simulation and analytics for manufacturing

The selected companies will receive up to € 100,000 in financial assistance, mentoring, and coaching from Merck experts in the areas of research, business development, strategy and finance. With the aim of developing proofs-of-concepts, the companies have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of business scenarios and needs and test their solutions on the international stage with Merck's global presence in 66 countries, which could lead to instrumental business cases or a partnership with Merck.  

The Merck Uptune startup collaboration program will start in mid-November 2022. The application period will run through September 4, 2022 via the website (Apply Now). Merck is looking for up to five startups to participate in the program. 

Merck has offered various support for emerging startup companies in China. In the past three years, 30 startups were enrolled in the Merck China Accelerator program and received up to € 50,000 in funding and individual mentoring and coaching from internal and external experts. 60% of those startups reached collaborations with Merck. Now, Merck is taking a further step towards evolving its Accelerator program to the Uptune program in Asia, by means of increased funding of €100,000 to empower young companies to devise proofs-of-concepts, run pilot projects, and develop partnerships with Merck.    

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