German pharmaceutical, life sciences and chemicals giant Merck Group today announced the founding of a technological innovation laboratory that will function as an incubator for startups in Israel. The incubator, to be called PMatX, will focus on next-generation electronics. The program will be supported by other partners, including printing solutions manufacturer HP and the Battery Ventures fund.
Merck Ventures, Merck's strategic venture capital fund, will manage the venture. Its investments will total €20 million, and the initial commitment is for three years.
Merck is a science and technology company operating in health, the life sciences, and advanced materials. "The company's 50,000 employees worldwide are working on the development of technologies that improve and enhance life, including drugs for the treatment of cancer and multiple sclerosis, innovative systems for scientific research and production, and liquid crystals for smartphone and LCD television screens," the company's announcement stated.
"Because we are seeing growth in the number of Israeli startups in the materials sector, we believe that an incubator focusing on materials and manufacturing technologies in Israel is unquestionably the right choice," said Merck Ventures head Roel Bulthuis. "We invest in startups, and the new PMatX incubator will offer both infrastructure and geographic proximity to startups that are already operating in Merck's biopharma and life sciences framework. It will provide an opportunity for new startups to learn from more experienced companies."
PMatX, which will focus on startups of interest in Merck's advanced materials sector, plans to accept new startups to its program as early as the fourth quarter of 2017. The incubator will be located in new laboratories equipped with innovative technologies suitable for the development of next-generation electronics. PMatX will be located in Yavne on the Merck's research and development site in Israel, which is also the home of Merck's biopharma and life sciences incubator in Israel.
Founded in 2011, this successful incubator undertook to invest up to €10 million in Israeli biopharma startups by 2018. Four startups have since been founded in its framework: ARTSaVit, Neviah Genomics, ChanBio, and Metabomed. Both the biopharma incubator and PMatX receive important support from a Merck team in Israel with a staff of 300.
Merck Ventures invests in revolutionary ideas, and takes an active part in its portfolio companies, with the aim of translating innovation into commercial success.
"It is important to push ambitions and ideas in health, the life sciences, advanced materials, and other spheres to the limit of their viability. Through its venture capital fund, the company combines forces with people of vision in the industry in order to maintain its leading status in science and technology in the next generation," Merck wrote in its announcement.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on August 23, 2017
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