February 20, 2018 | German science and tech company Merck announced the foundation of a pre-seed-investment fund of $25 million to tap into young Israeli biotech startups. The fund was set up in collaboration with China’s Wuxi Apptec, Arkin Bio Ventures, and Pontifax Fund. The fund, ExploreBio, plans to invest between $1.23 million to $1.75 million each in approximately four companies per year over five years. Merck has two tech incubators in Israel, one for medical ventures and another for next-generation electronics. The company employs 300 people in the country, a majority of them scientists. All three of its business sectors, Healthcare, Life Science and Performance Materials, have R&D sites in Israel. “Israel’s start-up spirit is unique and so inspiring. We are proud to be an active part of this great success story. Now we are taking a next important investment step as we believe in the innovative potential of ExploreBio,” said Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck, in a statement.