Darmstadt, Germany, August 23, 2017 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, today announced the creation of a technology innovation laboratory to serve as an incubator for start-up companies in Israel. The endeavour, named PMatX, will address the topic of next generation electronics. The program will be supported by additional partners including HP, Palo Alto, California, USA, and US-based global investment firm Battery Ventures. PMAtX’ formation is supported by the Technology Innovation Lab program of the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA). The program involving all parties is led by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and run by the Corporate Ventures Fund of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany; the overall investment volume will be around € 20 million and the initial commitment is for three years.

“As we see an emerging number of materials start-ups in Israel we believe the creation of an incubator focused on materials and manufacturing technologies in Israel is absolutely the right choice,” said Roel Bulthuis, head of the Corporate Ventures Fund of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. “We are investing in start-ups and the new PMatX incubator will offer infrastructure and proximity to start-ups in our already running healthcare and life science incubator with the chance for the new start-ups to learn from experienced ones.”

PMatX, which focuses on start-ups close to the Performance Materials business sector of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, plans to bring the first companies into its program in the fourth quarter of 2017. Existing companies or those planning to establish a company in fields related to next-generation electronics, (including companies in the areas of disruptive materials, novel manufacturing technologies such as additive manufacturing, and those developing novel products enabled by such technologies), who might be interested in benefitting from PMatX should send their investment proposal here.

PMatX will be housed in newly constructed laboratories equipped with cutting-edge technology to enable developments related to next-generation electronics. The location of the new incubator will be at the research & development site of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in Yavne, Israel, which also is home to the company’s already existing Healthcare and Life Science incubator called BioIncubator. This successful experience was started in 2011 and has committed to invest up to € 10 million until 2018 in biomedically focused start-up companies in Israel. Since its inception, four start-ups have been funded: ChanBio, Neviah Genomics, ARTSaVit and Metabomed. Both the BioIncubator and PMatX are strongly supported by the local team of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, employs more than 300 people in Israel, mainly scientists, and has sites in Yavne, Herziliya, Rehovot and Jerusalem. All three of the company’s business sectors, Healthcare, Life Science and Performance Materials, have R&D sites in Israel.

Corporate Ventures Fund of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
The fund is the company’s corporate strategic venture arm, invests in transformational ideas and takes an active role in its portfolio companies to translate innovation towards commercial success. It is central to the ambitions of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, to push the edge of what is possible in healthcare, life sciences, advanced materials and beyond. Through the fund, the company joins forces with industry visionaries to maintain its science and technology leadership for the next generation