Selection Panel

Ulrich Betz

Vice President Innovation Biopharma, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany


Dr. Ulrich A.K. Betz is Vice President, Head of the department Innovation and Entrepreneurship Incubator at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. He is the leader of the science and technology workstream of the company’s 350th anniversary. In his other role he is responsible for global innovation management at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany Biopharma across the entire value chain. Ulrich designed and implemented the Merck Innovation Cup, the Curious2018-Future Insight conference, the Future Insight Prize, the idea competition innospire, and the BioMed X Outcubator. He is also responsible for public private partnerships and strategic academic collaborations in Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany Biopharma R&D.

Ulrich Betz is an accomplished R&D manager with 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including positions in the President’s Office Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany Biopharma and positions reporting to the Heads of Research and Development at Bayer and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

Dr. Betz joined Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany in June 2005 as the Global Operations Manager for the Executive VP Preclinical R&D. Prior to joining Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, he worked 7 years for Bayer AG in various scientific and managerial positions in Pharma Research, including as the strategic assistant of the global Head of Pharma R&D at Bayer HealthCare. He is a co-discoverer of Letermovir and Pritelivir.

Dr. Betz received his PhD in functional genomics and immunology from the University of Cologne and his diploma in biochemistry and physiological chemistry from the University of Tübingen.

Dr. Betz has won several innovation awards for his innovation activities together with his teams such as e.g. the German Industry Innovation Award (the world’s oldest innovation award), two International Business Awards (Stevie Gold Awards Executive of the Year – Pharmaceuticals and Innovator of the Year), Stevie Gold Germany Award (R&D manager of the year Germany), Edison Award, the Bio IT world best practice award, and the German Idea Award.

Dr. Betz is author and co-author of more than 80 publications (e.g. Cell, Nature Medicine, Nature Biotechnology) and patents. He is married and has three children.

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