Building an innovation powerhouse

The Challenge

Together with MTI², Merck built Innospire, a global award-winning process, that crowdsources new business ideas from employees throughout the organization. Since 2008, we continued developing new exciting editions of Innospire, including an edition open to external startups and universities and editions which included emerging markets.

In recent years, we are working with the newly opened Merck Innovation Center to deploy the Merck Innovation Think Tank and Open Program, on top of Innospire. In the Innovation Think Tank, dedicated teams analyze future trends and technologies during a 3 month stay at the Innovation Center. Open Campaign is a dynamic, flexible ideation approach that accelerates internal ideas to innovation projects within a short time frame.


Over 5,000 Merck employees have participated across the processes we deployed at Merck. This has truly created a culture of continuous innovation at Merck. Innovations from these processes have generated several hundred million euros. The process and innovations coming out from the process have received several awards. Merck Group received the 2012 best practice award in the category of knowledge management for the capacity of Innospire to Mobilize the innovation potential of all Merck Group employees. The Innospire Lisprova project (silica for drug delivery) won the Cphi Pharma 2012 Silver Award for "Best innovation". In 2015, Merck was awarded the prestigious Innovationspreis der Deutschen Wirtschaft (the Innovation Award of the German Economy), the oldest innovation award in the world, which recognizes the most significant scientific, technical, managerial and intellectual innovations in Germany. In 2019, the Merck Innovation Center received the Gold German Stevie Award As most innovative company with more than 2,500 employees and the XING New Work Award 2019 in the category "team".

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Results: two examples