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HKSTP and Merck Enter Partnership to Scale Hong Kong Biotech Innovation and Digital Health

Merck establishing its first co-incubation programme in Hong Kong to boost city’s biotech startups and advance ambition to be a world-leading biotech hub


20 Sep 2022


Photo 1: Witnessed by Mrs. Stefanie Seedig, German Consulate General to Hong Kong and Macau (back row, centre), Mr. Eddie Mak, Permanent Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry (back row, second left), Dr Sunny Chai, Chairman of HKSTP (back row, left), Ms. Liz Henderson, Regional Vice President, APAC, Merck (back row, second right), and Prof. Thomas Herget, Head of Merck Innovation Hub (back row, right), Mr. Albert Wong, CEO of HKSTP (front row, left) and Ms. Boon Huey Ee, Managing Director of Merck HK (front row, right) signed the co-incubation agreement to accelerate the growth of biomedical tech startups engaged in digital health solutions.

Photo 1: Witnessed by Mrs. Stefanie Seedig, German Consulate General to Hong Kong and Macau (back row, centre), Mr. Eddie Mak, Permanent Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry (back row, second left), Dr Sunny Chai, Chairman of HKSTP (back row, left), Ms. Liz Henderson, Regional Vice President, APAC, Merck (back row, second right), and Prof. Thomas Herget, Head of Merck Innovation Hub (back row, right), Mr. Albert Wong, CEO of HKSTP (front row, left) and Ms. Boon Huey Ee, Managing Director of Merck HK (front row, right) signed the co-incubation agreement to accelerate the growth of biomedical tech startups engaged in digital health solutions.

(Hong Kong, 20 September 2022) – Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) today signed a co-incubation partnership with Merck, a leading science and technology company. The partnership is Merck’s first co-incubation programme in Hong Kong and will accelerate the growth of biomedical tech startups engaged in digital health solutions, while fostering the overall development of digital health to enhance the human wellbeing.  

With increasing demand from patients, healthcare service providers and other stakeholders to digitalise the patient journey, HKSTP and Merck will collaborate to open up new R&D opportunities for startups. The goal is to bring innovative digital solutions including but not limited to digital therapeutics, digital wearable device and AI drug discovery and development, to address unmet medical needs.

Albert Wong, CEO at HKSTP, said: “HKSTP and Merck share the same vision of impacting life and health with science and technology, we aim to get together world-class scientists, entrepreneurs and game changers to innovate for good. This partnership provides an ideal environment to co-incubate ground-breaking ideas from research to market-ready solutions and impactful innovation, while fulfilling the vision of transforming Hong Kong into a global biotech hub.”

Boonhuey Ee, Managing Director of Merck Hong Kong, said “Hong Kong has boundless potential and innovative capacities, and the innovations in digital health are reshaping future healthcare. As a science and technology company, Merck believes in power of curiosity to drive human progress and innovation powered by data and digital. Through various support, mentorship initiatives and co-incubation programs, we are keen to promote and nurture the best start-up companies that augment the landscape of digital health solutions in the country. We look forward to witnessing exciting ideas spring from this program, ones that will benefit patients in need and make a positive impact on the wider community.” 

The three-year collaboration will pave the way for startups around the globe to rapidly commercialise digital health products by leveraging the full capacity of HKSTP’s ecosystem and Merck’s extensive investor and strategic partner network. Merck will provide deep industry insight and help connect promising startups to Merck’s Innovation Hub strategic partners and business units to explore market opportunities in emerging markets.

Supported by the thriving biotech ecosystem in Hong Kong and the city’s status as the second largest biotech fundraising hub in the world, the co-incubation partnership operates under the HKSTP’s existing Incu-Bio programme which provides startups with direct funding of up to HK$6M, investment opportunities, connections to HKSTP’s biomedical cluster and lab facilities to bring ideation to commericalisation. This is all directed under HKSTP’s Institute for Translational Research (ITR) which is an ecosystem-wide platform dedicated to driving transformation in healthcare, by accelerating the whole process of turning biomedical research into impactful innovation.

The current partnership also provides potential for HKSTP and Merck to explore further collaboration on additional scopes such as Smart Manufacturing and Electronics.

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