Regional Lead

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. He is the leader of the science and technology workstream of Merck’s 350th anniversary. In his other role he is responsible for global innovation management at Merck 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 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 Biopharma and positions reporting to the Heads of Research and Development at Bayer and Merck.

Dr. Betz joined Merck in June 2005 as the Global Operations Manager for the Executive VP Preclinical R&D. Prior to joining Merck, 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 such as e.g. the German Industry Innovation Award, Edison Award, Stevie Gold Award (R&D manager of the year), the German Idea Award 2014 and the Bio IT world best practice 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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