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Merck is looking for relevant startups to partner with and co-create new solutions. To do this, the company has established the Merck Accelerator program, which is open for applications now but, perhaps curiously, isn’t really meant to ‘accelerate’ third-party startups as such.

Or, at least, that’s just part of what Merck is offering; the real purpose is to find up to 12 relevant startups that they can genuinely collaborate with.

The company is currently inviting to the three-month program any startup active in a number of specific areas that Merck considers ‘the next big thing’, including ‘Bio-Sensing & Interfaces’, ‘Clean Meat’ and ‘Liquid Biopsy Technologies’, but also in its core areas of healthcare, life sciences and performance materials. And it really wants to build long-term business relationships with those fledgling companies.

To wit, the company says 90 percent of the startups that graduated from the last Merck Accelerator intake back in April are either already collaborating or in negotiations to partner up with Merck. This is undoubtedly in part because of the fact that startups will get to work with the company out of its Innovation Center based at its headquarters in Darmstadt (near Frankfurt), Germany. In fact, selected startups even get a chance to extend that stay at Merck’s Innovation Hub in China.

Aside from long-term business partnerships with Merck, promising startups will also gain access to the company’s vast internal resources and a global network of over 50,000 field experts as part of the program. The Merck Accelerator also comes with tailored coaching sessions, workshops and mentoring by senior company management, as well as from a variety of internal and external experts, and includes access to high-tech prototyping tools at the Makerspace in its Germany-based Innovation Center to boot.

All this comes on top of seed funding to the tune of €50,000, with no equity being taken by Merck as part of the investment.

If this sounds like something your startup (or one you know) can benefit from, head on over here for more information or to apply. The deadline is 25 August!