The Government of the Republic of Serbia and Merck Signed the Memorandum of Understanding: FOUNDATION FOR FUTURE INNOVATIONS

16/04/2024

Photo: Zoran Petrović / NITRA

The Minister of Science, Technological Development, and Innovation of the Republic of Serbia, Dr. Jelena Begović, and Head of Mid Europe Healthcare at Merck and Senior Vice President Dr. Francois Feig, signed today a Memorandum of Understanding, which is important for the continuation of strategic cooperation with the BIO4 Campus and confirmation of partnership in the field of biomedicine and biotechnology in Serbia and science in general

"We are extremely pleased today that Merck, one of the most important science and technology companies, has joined our efforts to establish a new scientific research center in Europe through the BIO4 Campus right here in Serbia. The Government of Serbia and Merck will work together to make Serbia internationally recognized in the field of bioeconomy, and to through the development of medicine, improve diagnostics and access to innovative treatments for our citizens, as well as for people worldwide," said Dr. Jelena Begović, Minister of Science, Technological Development, and Innovation of the Republic of Serbia, emphasizing the global significance of Merck and its contribution to science and innovation for over more than 350 years.

The Minister thanked Merck for continually introducing innovations in Serbia, has donated around one million euros in Serbia over the past decade solely for the treatment of oncology patients, confirming its commitment to our country.
"We are proud to lay the foundation today with the Government of the Republic of Serbia for future innovations in this part of Europe, and to continuously pursuit our purpose "To help create, improve and prolong lives – as one for patients" in Serbia through this close collaboration”." said Dr. Francois Feig, Head of Mid Europe Healthcare at Merck and Senior Vice President and added, "We are pleased to see Serbia's acceleration in biotechnological and biomedical research, which we believe will significantly enhance and reshape our world."
During the signing, projects that will contribute to the advancement of scientific research and the promotion of innovation, investment in scientists, their development, and strengthening international cooperation, thereby contributing to further progress in science and technology in the country were presented.

Merck is dedicated to science and technology and will work with the Government of the Republic of Serbia to bring its resources closer to scientists in Serbia. Thus, part of the Memorandum includes the company's global projects dedicated to the development of science.

Our scientific community will have the opportunity to participate in the Future Insight Conference, which brings together many Nobel laureates and innovators from around the world every year. In 2018, Merck committed at this conference to award the Future Insight Prize for the best scientific project contributing to innovations in science worth one million dollars for the next 35 years.

Additionally, participation in the Innovation Cup project, which brings together students and postgraduates from around the world to meet at Merck's headquarters to learn from professionals, network, develop business plans, and compete for a cash prize. The Memorandum also encompasses the Curiosity Cube project, a mobile laboratory with interactive experiments that enables elementary school students to ask questions and discuss future career opportunities in scientific, technological, engineering, and mathematical (STEM) fields, as well as collaboration opportunities with Merck Life Science business sector, which produces laboratory materials and equipment necessary for scientific research and development.

The Memorandum will have a positive impact on positioning the BIO4 Campus, the largest individual investment in science in Serbia to date. The BIO4 Campus represents a unique interdisciplinary campus in the wider region, and the name BIO4 refers to the fusion of biomedicine, biotechnology, bioinformatics, and biodiversity. The construction of the BIO4 Campus began in December 2023, and it is expected to be operational by the end of 2026.

About Merck
Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across life science, healthcare and electronics. Around 63,000 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 providing products and services that accelerate drug development and manufacturing as well as discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2023, Merck generated sales of € 21 billion in 65 countries.

Scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to Merck’s technological and scientific advances. This is how Merck has thrived since its founding in 1668. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck operate as MilliporeSigma in life science, EMD Serono in healthcare, and EMD Electronics in electronics.