Merck to establish its Sustainability Centre at District 2020, Dubai



HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and First Deputy Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, HE Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai, Dr. Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of Executive Board and CEO of Merck, and Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation.

  • A world-leading German science and technology company is the most recent organisation to announce its collaboration with District 2020 in Dubai

Merck KGaA Germany, a leading science and technology company, announced today the establishment of its Sustainability Centre in District 2020, Dubai. With a special focus on countries of the Global South, the centre comprises diverse programs that address and accelerate solutions for sustainable challenges through the application of advanced science and technology, which will be launched during Expo 2020 Dubai.

The idea of a Sustainability Centre right in the heart of Dubai was born from a meeting between HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and First Deputy Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, and Dr. Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of Executive Board and CEO of Merck, last month in Dubai. During the meeting, His Highness emphasised, “we are committed to working with those who share our vision of a better world.”

In order to accelerate sustainable solutions to global urban challenges, Merck Sustainability Centre plans to focus on capacity building through running a range of educational and research focused programs and provision of collaborative research and development spaces with the aim to support a new generation of innovators to accelerate the transition towards a more sustainable world. The centre will be a home to a start-up incubator focused on nurturing the growth of new innovative businesses in the sustainability space. Moreover, it will facilitate unique access to the broad expertise and infrastructure of Merck as a leading science and technology company.

Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai, added: “We are excited about our partnership with one of the world’s leading companies in science and technology and about the prospect of making a tangible and measurable impact on people’s lives around the world. This is a testament to the convening power of Expo and an Expo legacy based on technology, innovation and the vast array of opportunities.”

Dr. Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of Executive Board and CEO of Merck emphasized “Establishing Merck’s Sustainability Centre in Dubai, UAE emphasises our commitment to broadening our relationships with other innovators, scientists, and entrepreneurs. We at Merck are curious minds dedicated to human progress. This centre will work towards encouraging the knowledge exchange among like-minded individuals, build local capacity with special focus on women and youth, and support start-ups that have the potential to deliver sustainable solutions with the aim to improve people’s lives through science and technology. With such an emphasis on nurturing innovation and collaboration, District 2020 provides the ideal ecosystem for us to do so. Merck’s presence will help to underline Dubai and the UAE’s vision to continue creating a competitive knowledge economy underpinned by sustainable applications of science and technology.”

Through a cross-sector and action-orientated strategy, Merck will collaborate with local and global stakeholders, including academia, research institutions, multi-sectoral businesses, governmental and non-governmental entities, as well as community organisations and media. Bringing together multiple industries, District 2020’s diverse ecosystem will serve as an ideal environment for Merck to develop new technologies and partner with organizations to drive innovation and sustainability in the science and tech industries.

Merck is determined to leverage on their expertise related to the most cutting-edge innovations and transformational ideas impacting a wide array of industries such as healthcare, emerging biotechnology, government and academic research, architecture, auto-motives, cosmetics, and early stage start-ups that develop new solutions for sustainability challenges, science-driven innovation and next generation products and applications serving unmet medical needs.

Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation said, “Merck Foundation the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, strongly believe that young people have numerous untapped capabilities. We wish to unleash such capabilities which would empower and enable them to lead the sustainable development and Green Environmental Agenda of their countries in order to adapt to the impact of climate change. For this reason, we have developed The Merck Foundation Sustainability Initiative dubbed “Sustainability is a Shared Responsibility” (SSR). The aim of this Initiative is to educate, engage and empower youth and young entrepreneurs through access to information and change of mindset in order to enrich their understanding of sustainability as well as support their new innovative businesses in the sustainability space.”

Merck is the most recent organization to join District 2020, adding another acclaimed global name to the ecosystem’s growing partners list alongside Siemens, Accenture, and most recently announced, Shanghai-based Atlas Capital Holding.

About Merck

Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 56,000 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 2018, Merck generated sales of € 14.8 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.

About District 2020

District 2020’s vision is to become a mixed-use community and innovation ecosystem that directly contributes to the growth of Dubai’s innovation economy. A diverse and inclusive urban community in the heart of new Dubai that attracts the largest organisations, budding young enterprises, and families to live and work. A place to Connect. Create. Innovate.

Following the six months of Expo 2020 Dubai, District 2020 will transition into a connected and sustainable global destination, carrying forward the spirit of the World Expo. District 2020 supports the UAE’s vision for sustainable economic development and is focused on driving growth in key industries and technologies including: travel & tourism, logistics & transport, education, and construction, internet of things, artificial intelligence, big data, augmented reality.

District 2020 is integrated, with purpose-built smart infrastructure that caters to the needs of future workers and residents. It combines an innovation district with contemporary residences, education facilities, entertainment venues, and a range of social attractions. Designed to provide the perfect balance of convenience, connection and community.

  • District 2020 will repurpose 80% of the Expo 2020 Dubai site retaining the iconic structures including Al Wasl Plaza and Terra - the Children and Science Centre, the Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC), and three main districts, in addition to cutting edge digital and physical infrastructure.
  • The development will grow over phases, and at full capacity will be home to 145,000 residents and workers. With over 2,500,000 sqm of Gross Floor Area (GFA) that will become available for third parties to develop residential, commercial, hospitality, education, and mixed-use spaces.
  • Located within Dubai South, near Al Maktoum International Airport, District 2020 is ideally connected and easily accessible from all of the UAE’s air and seaports.
  • District 2020 will be the global headquarters for Siemens AG global logistics operations, and other key anchor tenants.
  • It will feature several neighborhoods made up of multi-use residential, commercial, and green open spaces, world-class social and cultural platforms, education facilities along with a varied hospitality, retail, and F&B offering.
  • District 2020 will be ready for occupancy in 2021 following a 6 to 9 months period of re-purposing and transition from Expo 2020.
  • Supporting the UAE’s 2021 Vision, which identifies digital technology as one of the top seven primary sectors, the Expo 2020 event will set a benchmark for digital connectivity through its adoption of 5G technology, which will be inherited by District 2020.

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About Merck Foundation

The Merck Foundation, established in 2017, is the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to quality & equitable healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with a special focus on women and youth. All Merck Foundation press releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Foundation Website.  Please visit to read more. To know more, reach out to our social media: Merck Foundation; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Flicker.