Darmstadt, Germany, February 4, 2021 — Building on its commitment to accelerate scientific research and science education, Merck has announced seven expanded partnerships with leading nonprofit organizations across the world. These long-term, multi-dimensional partnerships are designed to increase educational and research equity supporting UN Sustainable Development Goal 4, Quality Education — giving students, researchers and teachers the tools they need to spark curiosity in science and pave the road to a future of innovation.
“As 2020 has demonstrated, the world needs the full contribution of our population, which means a diverse, inclusive and equitable representation in the sciences,” said Renee Connolly, head of global communication, Life Science, at Merck. “Our commitment to bring this to bear is not new, but it is now clearer and more intentional in impact and outcomes.”
To support today’s scientists, Merck continues to support the below organizations geared toward scientific research.
- BioSTL – Merck is partnering with BioSTL to advance the bioscience and innovation ecosystem in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. The partnership will help local bioscience startups build their businesses through an entrepreneurship engagement in which Merck employees will serve as mentors to help startups solve problems. Since this partnership began, Merck’s support has enabled more than 275 startups to receive one-on-one support. This partnership will also further BioSTL’s work to promote diversity, inclusion and equity by strengthening science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and employment opportunities in underserved communities, particularly for women and people of color.
- Seeding Labs – In partnership with Merck, Seeding Labs will continue to strengthen 45 global Instrumental Access STEM hubs in developing countries throughout Africa, South America and Asia. These hubs will power research, hands-on scientific education and community-centered development. Through 2019, Merck donated more than 1,500 pieces of equipment, serving 46 universities in 20 countries, reaching 1,100 staff members and 29,400 students. Merck will also promote global knowledge sharing as an exclusive sponsor of the TeleScience platform. This platform includes educational videos and sessions created and led by trained Merck employees. To date, the TeleScience videos have generated 2.6 million impressions across 133 countries.
To spark curiosity and increase opportunities for the next generation of scientists, Merck continues to focus on signature partnerships that advance science education.
- Chemistry on the Go – Merck is extending its work with Tamkang University in Taiwan for its Chemistry on the Go program. The company will help equip two mobile labs to increase capacity, broadening their reach to underserved schools. This program expansion will help serve 1,000 additional students annually. Employees from the Taiwan site will be involved in content and experiment development, as well as volunteer to conduct hands-on experiments during events. In the first three years of the partnership, the program has doubled its capacity, creating 28 new hands-on chemistry activities and reaching 30,000 underserved students.
- Discovery World – Through a partnership with this interactive science and technology center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, Merck will continue to support the expansion of its “Virtual Explorer” exhibit that allows visitors to explore science using virtual reality (VR) equipment. More than 62,000 people per year visit the VR exhibit, and this expanded partnership will continue to reshape how science content is imagined, envisioned and delivered. Additionally, the partnership will support new virtual school programs, which will be offered at no cost to under-resourced schools, bringing hands-on science directly into classrooms and homes.
- Girlstart – Merck is continuing its partnership with Girlstart in the USA to strengthen the organization’s presence in Austin, Texas; Houston, Texas; Boston, Massachusetts; St. Louis, Missouri; and San Francisco, California, USA. In addition, it will support Girlstart’s expansion into Milwaukee, Wisconsin through the availability of summer camps and after-school programs. This support also includes the launch of two new community STEM initiatives: community-wide STEM festivals and STEM activities to connect work to home. Since 2017, Merck has supported Girlstart’s national expansion to reach more than 53,000 underserved girls. Of the students served, 97 percent expressed an interest in a STEM career.
- Technorama – Through its partnership with the Swiss Science Center Technorama, Merck will support the expansion and operation of its Chemistry Labs, including sponsoring staff and equipment for two labs. The company will also help design new workshops and activities focused on hands-on content to build science capital across diverse ages, cultures and backgrounds. Since the launch of the partnership, Technorama has converted its Chemistry Labs into state-of-the-art spaces, visited by 69,000 guests; held 1,500 workshops serving 22,000 students; and enabled more than 3,700 teachers to benefit from either introductory events or enhanced professional development and training services.
- KIPP St. Louis – Merck is partnering with the St. Louis, Missouri, USA-based Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) to install science lab infrastructure and expand the capacity of its middle school science program. Employees will donate their time and expertise, giving students insight into science-based careers and personal connections to the industry while increasing access to scientific equipment and exposure to STEM careers for underserved populations. In addition, in 2019, KIPP St. Louis eighth-graders who were advanced or proficient at math have shown a 357 percent improvement over St. Louis Public School peers, and students have shown 3.3 points average improvement on American College Testing scores each year.
For more information about Merck’s employee and community engagement initiatives, visit the Life Science Sustainability and Social Innovation page.
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