In partnership with

Pharmaceutical giant Merck is calling for startups from around the world to enter its “AI +” Supernova Award, which takes place in China, with cash prizes, useful resources, and investment opportunities on offer.

Organized by Merck China Innovation Hub and Zhangjiang Group, here’s the deal:

The “AI +” Supernova Award is focused on two fields: AI-enabled medical health and AI-based hardware, as well as related technologies and components, new products, and new applications.

AI plus healthcare: Application of AI in biomedicine, medical devices, medical informatization and other fields.

The application of AI in the R&D of biomedicine, such as new drug development, clinical research, new drug and vaccine research; The application of AI in the health management, such as patient health management and disease risk prediction; The application of AI in the auxiliary diagnosis, such as improvement of early diagnosis rate and AI-enabled clinical-decision support system; AI-enabled technical solution to medical informatization and AI plus biomedical technologies.

AI plus hardware: AI chips and applications

AI chips applied in the architecture and sensing technology for neuromorphic chip, new memory technology and its materials, new in-memory computing technology, photon technology and next-generation AI technology, as well as its application technology in cloud computing (including edge computing) servers, smart phones and internet-of-things terminals.

How to Apply

“AI +” Supernova Innovation Project Award is open to all enterprises, universities, research institutes and individuals, whose funding rounds shall be before series B (including yet-to-be-funded, seed, angel, pre-A, series A and series B).

Enterprises, organizations and individuals are specialized in R&D, manufacturing and service of high-tech products featuring innovation and high growth potential; and they are willing to further collaborate with the organizers and other partners.

Special Note:

Applicants shall have independent intellectual property rights for their projects, without any relevant disputes. Products and solutions must be in line with China’s laws and regulations. (More details can be found here.)


  • June-September 2020: Nationwide projects scouting and screening
  • October 2020: Shortlisted projects announcement, and a seminar and award ceremony

The jury panel for the “AI +” Supernova event consists of experts from organizers, partners, entrepreneurs and investors.

Rewards and benefits

  • Two Supernova Awards with project funds at RMB120,000 each
  • Two Nova Awards with project funds at RMB80,000 each
  • One Quantum Star Award with a project fund at RMB50,000

Additionally, outstanding applicants and teams will are entitled to have:

  • Prioritized opportunities of collaboration with Merck
  • Investment opportunities by the Zhangjiang Venture and Merck
  • One-on-one coaching from senior venture capital experts
  • In-depth exchanges with industry experts to explore market cooperation
  • Free access to Merck-Zhangjiang AI Innovation Lab
  • Recommendation for supportive service from Microsoft AI and IoT Lab technology and Microsoft Azure resources

To register, hit this link or scan the QR code below.