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Merck to spend €1 billion more at Darmstadt

The management and joint works council of Merck KGaA have made a comprehensive agreement about the main site in Darmstadt, Germany, with the stated aim of securing its future viability as a central science and technology hub and further expanding it. To this end, the company will invest a total of €1 billion there by 2025, on top of the same sum it committed in 2015 for the years to 2020.

“We believe in the tremendous potential of the Darmstadt site,” said Kai Beckmann, CEO of the Performance Materials business. “There is no other Merck site in the world that has so much expertise combined at one location.” Talks are now going on about the construction of a new membrane plant in Darmstadt. The company plans to build a new vocational and advanced training centre there too.

Merck will also extend the employment guarantee at Darmstadt and its other German sites at Weiterstadt and Gernsheim, which together employ about 11,000, until the end of 2025. This includes commitments on qualification and advanced training, a voluntary leaver programme and a bridge model for an early transition to retirement

Separately, Merck has officially opened its first European and ninth overall M-Lab collaboration centre at Molsheim, France. The site has 4,000 m2 of space and cost €10 million. It has a fully equipped, non-GMP pilot and bench scale lab and meeting centre for processing development challenges.

Other M Labs are in the US, Brazil, China, South Korea, Singapore, Japan and India. They are said to offer biopharmaceutical manufacturers “a shared, exploratory environment where they can closely collaborate with Merck scientists and engineers to solve their toughest challenges and accelerate development and production of new therapies”.

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