UC San Diego Signs Merck KGaA as its first Premier Innovation Partner

UC San Diego and Merck KGaA have partnered to increase innovative solutions to advance commercialization on the La Jolla campus

Breakthroughs Begin with Curiosity.

As UC San Diego’s first Premier Innovation Partner, Merck is looking to collaborate on potential research projects with campus inventors, providing support in the form of licenses and sponsored collaborative research, driving collaboration across a variety of innovation clusters.

"Our campus generates more than 500 inventions and 250 patents each year and it spins up to 50 companies annually,” said Paul Roben, Associate Vice Chancellor for UC San Diego’s Office of Innovation and Commercialization. Roben continued, “Given Merck KGaA’s broad range of interest in technologies developed at UC San Diego and its long history of sustained innovation, we are pleased to enter this agreement with Merck as UC San Diego’s first Premier Innovation Partner.”


UC San Diego research powerhouse boasts expertise from a wide range from innovations in materials, software, diagnostics, therapeutics, bioengineering, and broader life sciences. The partnership naturally builds on these strong foundations of engagement and further contributes to points of connection at the Center for Microbiome Innovation and Institute for the Global Entrepreneur in the Jacobs School of Engineering and The Global Health Institute in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Merck KGaA and EMD-Serono will work with UC San Diego in the following ways;

  • Identifying events and programs for Merck employees to visit and collaborate with UC San Diego scientists and inventors.
  • Facilitating the participation of Merck's experts in UC San Diego’s Office of Innovation and Commercialization’s technology assessment panels.
  • Evaluating opportunities for Merck to cross-pollinate technology development across intellectual property assets available at either institution.
  • Sourcing emerging technologies relevant to Merck KGaA in UC San Diego’s Accelerating Innovations to Market program.

Premier Innovation Partnership Program Benefits

  • Develop and establish a structure and set up to Exchange Researchers
  • Early access to IP/technologies, novel Innovation, and spin-offs or startups from faculty
  • Collaboration opportunities with UC San Diego faculty in fields of interest
  • OIC will be ambassadors to UCSD faculty on behalf of Merck KGaA/EMD Serono
  • Ability to connect directly with University faculty through OIC in multiple areas of interest, mainly but not limited to healthcare technologies, therapeutics, antibodies, small molecules, microbiome interventions, artificial intelligence & digital health.

Ready to find out more?

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany is currently looking for innovative research proposals from scientists from UC San Diego. Learn more here on their 2020 Research Grants.

About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science, and performance materials. Around 56,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene-editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2018, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, generated sales of € 14.8 billion in 66 countries.

The company holds the global rights to the name and trademark “Merck” internationally. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Performance Materials. Since its founding 1668, scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to the company’s technological and scientific advances. To this day, the founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company.

About UC San Diego

At the University of California San Diego, we constantly push boundaries and challenge expectations. Established in 1960, UC San Diego has been shaped by exceptional scholars who aren’t afraid to take risks and redefine conventional wisdom. Today, as one of the top 15 research universities in the world, we are driving innovation and change to advance society, propel economic growth and make our world a better place. Learn more at www.ucsd.edu.