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1959 - Novo Foundation establishes the Committee on Medical Research

The Board of the Novo Foundation agrees that a formal application process for grants will enable the Foundation to distribute the available money to where it is most needed. However, the Board wishes to avoid a situation in which institutions that are turned down and that also consume Novo’s products become disenchanted with Novo and thereby stop using its products. The Board therefore decides to establish a committee with both internal and external members that can assess the applications. The Committee has four members: Hans H. Ussing (photo) and Poul Iversen from the Board and one representative from each of the medical faculties of the University of Copenhagen and Aarhus University: Erik Husfeldt and Knud Lundbæk, two of the most respected and well-known physicians in Denmark. The Committee is to be responsible for “... medicine and the related natural science fields”. This is the origin of the Committee on Medical and Natural Sciences Research, which still exists today. It is also the forerunner of the current committee structure of the Novo Nordisk Foundation.