Darmstadt, Germany, October 28, 2014 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in the pharmaceutical, chemical and life science sectors, today announced that its former liquid crystals researcher Ludwig Pohl (82) has been inducted into the Hall of Fame of German Research.

"Without the work of Ludwig Pohl and his colleagues, flat-screen televisions, tablet PCs and smartphones would have hardly been possible. And without liquid crystals, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, would have been an entirely different company. Today we are the global market and technology leader in liquid crystals," said Karl-Ludwig Kley, Chairman of the Executive Board of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in his laudatio during the ceremony for Pohl tonight in Essen, Germany. "With Ludwig Pohl, we are today honoring a researcher worthy of merit, a passionate scientist, and a visionary who fought for his ideas with persistence and tenacity."

As a department head at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Ludwig Pohl was a driving force of the development of liquid crystals and their application possibilities from the 1960s to the 1990s. Innovative energy-saving liquid crystals produce sharper images in flat-screen televisions, notebooks, tablet PCs and smartphones. In flat displays and intuitively operated touchscreens, they enable convenient mobile communication. For more than 40 years, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has been driving the development and application of liquid crystals, and as a liquid crystal manufacturer, is today the uncontested global market leader.

In 2013, the Performance Materials division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany generated sales of € 1,642 million, with the Liquid Crystals business unit accounting for more than 70% of this amount. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has sustained its high market share in liquid crystals and market leadership position by continuously improving its flagship technologies.

The German publication "manager magazin" launched the Hall of Fame of German Research in 2009. Each year, it recognizes two scientists whose life work has not only advanced Germany's position as a research location, but also enhanced the future prospects of Germany as a place to do business. Apart from Pohl, Stefan Hell (51) from the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany was elected into the Hall of Fame of German Research in March of this year. Hell is this year's winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his development of a revolutionary microscope technology.

Notes to editors

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