Frequently Asked Questions

Have a look at our Frequently Asked Questions to have everything under control!

Participants & Applications

Can I apply to a challenge if I’m from a different country to the MSD local team?

Worldwide participants are welcome to participate in any challenge. 

If you are selected as a finalist, conversations with MSD local teams will be held in English.  They can take place remotely. You only have to travel to the Final event.


Which languages should the solution be developed in? 

Every challenge has its own required solution language, have a look in the website. Nevertheless, most of them accept English. Also, for all the challenges, the solution interface can be in English even if the content is required in a different one. 


Can I take part in several challenges?

Of course! But you please submit a different application for each of the challenges. 


What kind of solutions are eligible?

  • Activities/Solutions that support the patient- HCP relationship
  • Activities/Solutions oriented to provide medically relevant information and services which are directly related to improving patient outcomes, adherence and/or treatment
  • Activities/Solutions that inform/educate customers about MSD products, their clinical benefits, risks and other attributes, consistent with product label and MSD’s promotional standards as permitted under local regulations
  • Activities/Solutions to educate customers about disease areas, patient types, epidemiology and other relevant scientific/medical information
  • Activities/solutions that support medical research and education
  • Patient assistance programs/solutions that occur after or independent of the HCP treatment choice for specific individual patients
  • Pharmacy display programs for MSD products
  • Provision of MSD-developed tools to customer for a fee at fair market value.

What do I have to do to submit?

Simply follow the instructions and fill out this online form in English before 31st October.

You will have to register in the YouNoodle tool first. 

Finalists and co-creation

How many finalists will participate in the Final event?

There will be 7 finalists, one per challenge.


Who decides the finalists?

For each challenge, the local MSD team that proposed the challenge.


What is the judging criteria? 

The main judging criteria are:

  • Solution fit to the proposed need, considering the expected outcomes (50% weight)
  • Feasibility of success in 12 months (30% weight)
  • Competitive advantage: innovativeness and uniqueness of the solution (20% weight)

When will I know if I’ve been successful?

The 7 finalists will be announced on November. Finalists will be then put in contact with the corresponding local MSD team to jointly work on an improved version of the initial solution. 


How do finalists communicate with the local team? 

Conversations with local teams to prepare the Final event will be held in English and, of course, remotely if needed. You will only have to travel to the Final event.


What does co-creation actually mean and how will MSD help us? 

Co-Creation starts from the very beginning. It means that the Startup and the local MSD team will sit together to define how to present the project in front of the regional sponsors in order to ensure a win, win, win for all the stakeholders, our customers, the startup and MSD. Basically it will be divided on three phases.

  • Final pitch preparation: Together, local teams and startups will brainstorm and enhance the proposed solution in order to make it feasible and of value for our customers. A pilot will be planned to be presented in front of the regional sponsors.
  • Final event: 7 Finalists, together with MSD will present in front of the jury. Top three solutions (pilot proposals) will be taken into execution.
  • Pilot execution: For the winners, local teams and participants will run the pilot as presented in the final having the opportunity to feedback and enhance the solution as we deploy coming at the end with a final product that MSD can escape in other geographies.

** Licenses, costs and business relationships will be defined during the pitch preparation phase. 

The Final Event & Winners

What does the Final Event consist of?

The 7 finalist teams will pitch in front of an expert MSD jury that will select the winners.


Will each MSD local team present together with its finalist?



Is it compulsory to attend the event? 

Attending physically the Final is compulsory. 


Does the competition cover travel expenses?

Each finalist company will receive €500 to cover travel expenses -several people can travel but the coverage is per company-. Funds will be received after the live presentation.


How many winners will be selected?

The jury will select 3 winners. 


What do the winners get?

The prize for the 3 winners will consist of up to $20,000 each to roll-out their solution in the local market of each challenge following 12 months. The actual amount granted to each winner will be decided by the jury at the Final, depending on requirements and characteristics of each solution.


What happens with the remaining finalists?

They will network and receive direct insight from the jury and the other participants of the Final event. The Innovation Factory initiative does not guarantee any further advancement, but you can always try to investigate further synergies with the MSD local team of your challenge. 


When will be the payment be made to the winners?

Prizes will be transferred by MSD to the winners in the conditions agreed after the Final. The schedule will consider the characteristics of each solution together with any potential milestone negotiated between MSD and each winning Solver. Exact payment agreements will be specified once each market winner is selected (to be presented as well in the final). However, pilot payment execution will be done just for the winners on the final event.

Travel support will be provided after the final event if the startup attend in person to the venue.

Next steps: post Final Event

Does MSD ensure that the 3 winning solutions will be rolled-out? 

Yes, winners will roll-out their solution in the local market of each challenge in the following 12 months. 


I would like more information on the collaboration process with MSD if I become a winner.

For the solution roll-out during the first year, MSD economic and business support will be granted as indicated in the section ´Preferred relationship model´ of the  challenge description. There is no commitment for follow-up support, which will depend at any case on the achievements after 12 months.


What happens with IP?

All intellectual property rights in the idea or concept presented in your solution, independently of the end results of the initiative, will remain as your property. 

More questions?

See the full terms and conditions for more information. 

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