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Merck KGaA and Nano-Terra Announce Extension of Nanotechnology Solutions Alliance

Merck KGaA (EMD in North America) announced today the extension of its existing strategic alliance with Nano-Terra, Inc., a leading nanotechnology co-development company.

DARMSTADT, Germany (Business Wire EON) October 7, 2008 -- The original agreement between the companies, announced in February 2007, was to develop innovative, nanotechnology-based products and solutions based on Merck's materials.

After successfully meeting initial development milestones, this new agreement will focus on specific application development for Merck customers and moving the technical capabilities into the marketplace for commercialization.

Under the new agreement, which extends the partnership through 2011, Nano-Terra will develop novel application techniques for existing Merck materials which are designed to address market opportunities where smaller (micron and nanometer) feature sizes are required for certain printable electronics components. The Merck fabrication processes will be based on Nano-Terra's proprietary soft lithography technology, invented and pioneered by Professor George Whitesides of Harvard University, a co-founder of Nano-Terra, and the partners will share commercialization rights on a global basis. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The new development work will be done at Nano-Terra's lab facilities in Cambridge, with close cooperation of a Merck scientific team and by EMD Chemicals, Merck's North American affiliate.

  • Thomas Geelhaar, Vice President Liquid Crystals R&D and Business Development Chemicals of Merck KGaA, said, "We were very pleased by the progress made in the initial stages of our relationship with Nano-Terra. We look forward to our continued collaboration with Professor Whitesides and his team, and to building on these developments to create specific products which we believe will provide significant benefits to our customers."

"Through its embrace of innovative technologies and applications, Merck continues to underscore its commitment as a pioneer in research and development," said Dr. Carmichael Roberts, Vice Chairman of Nano-Terra. "We are delighted to extend our working relationship with them and to enhance their exploration of how to best optimize materials to improve products and processes for its customers."

  • 2006, Merck bestowed on Professor Whitesides the prestigious Emanuel Merck Lectureship prize.

About Nano-Terra, Inc.

Nano-Terra is a privately-held research and development company which has field-exclusive licenses to more than 50 patents on work done by co-founder Dr. George Whitesides at the renowned Whitesides Lab at Harvard University, where he is the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor. He is the recipient of the 2007 Priestley Medal.

  • company leverages its intellectual property through co-development and other agreements with Fortune 500 industrial and manufacturing companies and the U.S. government. Nano-Terra's scientific methods can be used to fabricate advanced materials and devices that enhance existing products or create entirely new products in a broad range of areas. These include smart materials and surfaces; flexible electronics such as displays and electronic packaging; fuel cells, batteries and solar power devices; sensors; industrial products and processes; and a wide range of consumer goods. For more information, visit

About EMD Chemicals Inc.

  • Chemicals represents the North American chemical sector of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. As an international organization with 1,100 employees and revenues of more than $US 350 million, EMD Chemicals focuses on specialty chemicals for pharmaceutical, biotech, cosmetic, agricultural, automotive, plastics, electronics and other industrial applications.

  • Merck Press Releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Website. Please go to to register online, change your selection or discontinue this service.

Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with sales of EUR 6.3 billion in 2006, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped about 35,000 employees (including Merck Serono) in 56 countries. Its success is characterized by innovations from entrepreneurial employees. Merck's operating activities come under the umbrella of Merck KGaA, in which the Merck family holds an approximately 70% interest and free shareholders own the remaining approximately 30%. In 1917 the U.S. subsidiary Merck & Co. was expropriated and has been an independent company ever since.

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