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Merck and CSIR-IMTECH Open High-tech Skill Development Center

News Release

  • Joint academia-industry-led lab is equipped with genome-editing, single-molecule biomarker detection and other technologies

Chandigarh, India, January 10, 2020 — Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced the opening of new, non-profit center where Indian students and researchers can learn the latest genome-editing and single-molecule biomolecule biomarker detection technologies from Merck experts.

“With the rapidly growing biopharmaceutical industry in India and demand for therapies, researchers who collaborate with us will benefit from our expertise to enhance their scientific competency and develop advanced technologies to accelerate development and production of new therapies,” said Sunil Punjabi, country speaker and head of Research Solutions, Life Science, India. “They will gain hands-on experience and enhance their skills in areas such as cancer research and novel drug development, conducting real-time analysis on their samples as part of workshops here.”

The center was developed by Merck in collaboration with CSIR-IMTECH, an institute of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, under the aegis of Ministry of Science and Technology. It focuses on research, development and training in new drug discovery, affordable healthcare, fast and accurate diagnostics as well as agriculture biotechnology. Located in Chandigarh, the center augments the Indian government’s initiative for life science skill building in the country.

Dr. Shekhar C. Mande, director general CSIR & Secretary DSIR, said this collaboration would be a new benchmark for up scaling employability skills for graduates and post graduates who are interested in life science careers.

“India is a country today with 65 percent of its youth in the working age group (15-59 years) and more than 54 percent of its total population below 25 years of age,” Dr. Mande said. “If ever there is a way to reap this demographic advantage, it has to be through skill development of the youth and I am happy that IMTECH has a role to play.”

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CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTech) was established in 1984. the Institute of Microbial Technology is one among the chain of 37 national laboratories, 6 units and 39 outreach centres of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research). The Institute provides laboratories which are functionally modular and offers large, air-conditioned, clean research areas to all the scientists. The Institute's primary asset is a team of more than 55 highly motivated scientists, with a majority of them having several years of training experience in world renowned laboratories. Supported by more than 300 well trained technical staff and graduate students, these scientists have built strong peer credibility both in basic and application-oriented broad thematic areas of Molecular biology and microbial genetics, Cell biology and immunology, Protein science and engineering, and Fermentation technology and applied microbiology. These overarching focus areas required enabling research facilities, structures and practices which IMTech has created over the years, recognized nationally to be the best, and globally at par with the best.

About Merck

Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 57,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2019, Merck generated sales of €16.2 billion in 66 countries.

Scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to Merck’s technological and scientific advances. This is how Merck has thrived since its founding in 1668. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science and EMD Performance Materials.