Curiosity is the theme of the conference that has brought together an impressive group of globally renowned scientists and entrepreneurs from around the world to Darmstadt. At the very first Curious2018 Future Insight Conference, which started on Monday, researchers, engineers, managers, and other bright minds are discussing the technologies of tomorrow.
I too have met many exciting people and learned about impressive future technologies at this science conference.
Hosting the world in Darmstadt
The Curious2018 FutureInsight Conference is another one of my favorite highlights among all the exciting events that are taking place this year to mark the 350th anniversary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Nearly 40 renowned scientists from all over the world will present their research at the conference in Darmstadt and exchange ideas with entrepreneurs and technology pioneers on the future of science and technology. The scientists include five Nobel laureates. It’s easy to imagine the wealth of knowledge accumulated over the next three days of the conference here in Darmstadt.
The range of topics discussed by speakers from science and industry in the lectures and discussion rounds during the conference is remarkable. In addition to the latest medical therapy and diagnostic methods, genetic engineering and cybernetics, the agenda also includes intelligent materials, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence.
I think it is particularly valuable that Curious2018 is not limited to the purely scientific perspective. Instead, it also discusses how all these new technologies will affect the way we humans will live and, above all, work in the future. For some time now, I’ve been discussing the future of work on this dialogue platform.
Science meets business
At the Curious2018 conference, which Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany is supporting as the main sponsor, sharing knowledge is not the only aim. The format has been conceived as a catalyst for tangible innovations by offering scientists and entrepreneurs a forum for direct exchange. Researchers present their ideas to entrepreneurs and vice versa. You exchange ideas and establish business relationships that ideally lead to long-term partnerships. The strong spirit of creativity and entrepreneurship permeating the conference can truly be sensed.
Of course, the Performance Materials business sector of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany is also represented at Curious2018 with an exhibition stand. I was particularly impressed by an exhibit item that I actually hold in my hands every day. I’m talking about a smartphone – but in this case one that has been completed dissembled into all its individual parts. It clearly shows how many of the technologies from Performance Materials are inside a commercially available smartphone. Starting with the display, where our liquid crystal technology is used, to the housing, which is coated with our pigments, up to the processor, the development of which would not be possible without our specialty chemicals for semiconductor manufacturing.
Being open to a change in perspective
The fact that so many major manufacturers today rely on the globally unique portfolio of products offered by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany is no coincidence. All our innovations reflect decades of research and development work. The Curious2018 conference stands for everything that the company culture of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany stands for: The firm belief that groundbreaking science and technology result from the interplay between research and entrepreneurial activity and that every innovation originates from curious individuals.
The conference name Curious2018 is also the conference’s purpose. Curiosity is the overriding theme that has brought together an international selection of scientists, engineers and managers from a wide variety of disciplines and industries to Darmstadt. For every technical problem there are always dozens of different perspectives. I am convinced that the best solutions to a problem always arise when people from different disciplines share their respective viewpoints and learn from each other. That’s exactly what Curious2018 is all about: looking at curiosity from different angles.
That’s why I, and we at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany as a company, are always curious to learn about perspectives beyond our usual realms of perception. Curiosity and the resulting openness for new ideas have always been the most important prerequisite for our innovative strength and thus ultimately for our success.
It’s therefore obvious why the theme of our anniversary year is “Always curious – Imagine the next 350 years.” The Curious2018 conference is the best evidence that we are not only committed to curiosity, but are also living it in practice and are actively promoting it. It’s why we are curious and excited to see which innovative ideas will make their start here.