AROUND THE WORLD IN THE NAME OF INNOVATION
Jazzunique was commissioned by Merck – a leading scientific and technology-driven company in the fields of healthcare, life science and performance material – to conceive the opening celebrations of the modular innovation centre on 1st October at the Merck headquarters in Darmstadt. The run-up to the grand opening was accompanied by an inspirational and interactive communication campaign with the tagline “Journey of Innovation”. The objective of the Innovation Centre is to encourage interdisciplinary innovation, with the aim of securing new growth potential. Jazzunique developed the pre-event communication as well as a multitude of innovative initiatives for the grand opening in order to endorse the added value of the Innovation Centre and promote its philosophy among the company’s 40,000 employees. This was followed by the laying of the foundation stone of the future Innovation Centre, which will be completed in 2018 to replace the modular, temporary Centre currently in place. The Innovation Centre is the fruit of a strategic initiative and is part of a programme for transformation and growth, Fit for 2018, which Merck intends to make more efficient and innovation-oriented. The initiative’s objective is to continue developing the Merck headquarters in Darmstadt into the global centre for the group.
Merck will be investing a total of around 1 billion euros in the site over the next 5 years, until 2020. The Merck Management Board, external guests and employees took part in interactive panel discussions to talk about the opportunities for turning the Innovation Centre into a platform for innovators from around the world, and an ‘open house’ for cooperative partnerships involving different sectors and disciplines. Furthermore, Jazzunique managed to recruit another high-calibre guest speaker – Prof. Hal Gregersen from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – who addressed the question of whether a person is born an innovator, or whether anybody can become an innovator just by asking the right questions. The exhibition “Innovative Worlds” (Innovationswelten), also designed by Jazzunique, was opened to coincide with the Innovation Centre. As part of this exhibition, visitors can explore six multi-sensual cargo containers that are filled with innovative projects by Merck. Each of these innovative worlds reveals another aspect of the innovative potential of the group. Visitors could enjoy dishes from five different regions of the world, which were served up in six black catering containers.
The communication campaign reached its climax at the opening event with the premiere of the film, Journey of Innovation. Together with Merck’s innovative advocate ‘Mike’ – alias hr3 presenter Daniel Boschmann – Jazzunique and a camera team headed off to all four corners of the world in search of innovative projects at the different Merck sites. Between June and September, the tour took the team across four continents in a total of 30 days, passing through Switzerland, Israel, Japan, China, Malaysia, the Netherlands, the USA, Brazil, Kenya and Germany. Merck employees could follow Mike’s journey in a travel blog, which was published on the company’s intranet. Merck personnel were also delighted with the ‘Wish-wall’ – a column on which employees could post their well-wishings to the company, which is just short of celebrating its 350-year milestone. Everyone’s words were engraved onto a small, high-quality metal plaque for the column. The well-wishings were also saved to a USB stick, which, together with other items, was sunk into the foundation stone of the future Innovation Centre to symbolise the importance of a company’s employees as the foundation upon which innovative strength is built.
- Famab Award 2016 Silver: “Best Employee Event”
- Galaxy Award 2016 Gold: “Grand Opening”
Project team: Katja Ellrodt-Stich, Neele Zimmermann, Samira Schulze, Giuliano Heil, Damiano Heil, Michael Jandt, Sacha Knoche and Philomena Gottschlich