OREANDA-NEWS. Merck, a leading science and technology company, today presented the first "State of Curiosity" report in the U.S and aims to spur a conversation about curiosity and innovation in the market where it makes almost a fifth of revenue and is set to expand further.

Nearly nine out of 10 American workers believe that curious people are more likely to bring ideas to life at work, while only about one-fifth describe themselves as curious in the workplace, according to an online survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adult workers sponsored by Merck and conducted this summer by Harris Poll. Those who do describe themselves as curious place a greater emphasis on the value of new ideas saying they would rather be known for always trying new ideas than for relying on widely accepted practices.

"A culture of asking questions - the really big ones and the seemingly small, incremental ones - is critical for innovation," said Karl-Ludwig Kley, Chairman and CEO of the Executive Board of Merck when presenting the results to scientists, politicians and partners at the Museum of Natural History in New York. "By encouraging the pursuit of the great questions in science and technology, we hope to accelerate the breakthroughs of tomorrow."

Merck over the past years has built up its presence in the U.S., with North American sales amounting to around EUR 2.2 billion last year, almost a fifth of the Group's net sales. With the pending Sigma-Aldrich merger, Merck has the potential to double its footprint in the U.S. The company on Tuesday announced it had reached an agreement to fulfil commitments made to win antitrust clearance in Europe in order to complete the USD 17 billion transaction.

For Merck, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary in the U.S. this year, the country presents a growth platform for its three business sectors - healthcare, life science and performance materials. With the acquisition of AZ Electronic Materials last year, Merck has doubled its Performance Materials presence in the U.S. and added some of the major U.S. semiconductor players to its mainly Asian customer base. In November 2014, Merck formed a global strategic alliance with Pfizer to jointly develop and commercialize avelumab, an investigational anti-PD-L1 antibody, to accelerate the development of immuno-oncology medicines for patients with multiple types of cancer.