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A cluster of research centres

The aim of awarding these very large grants is to create a cluster of research centres that can attract and retain the world’s best researchers, thereby creating the basis for an internationally oriented and innovative research environment of the highest quality to benefit society.


Sten Scheibye, Chair of the Board, Novo Nordisk Foundation

Pulsating synergy and success

Since 2007, the Foundation has awarded DKK 3.7 billion (€497 million) for establishing four large research centres and the Danish National Biobank in Greater Copenhagen. The centres’ respective fields of research are proteins, stem cells, metabolism and biosustainability.

The Foundation aims to create a cluster of research centres that comprise outstanding knowledge environments with world-class infrastructure and research. This will make Greater Copenhagen an international beacon within bioscience research by developing and strengthening scientific competencies, attracting the best researchers and sowing the seeds for pioneering research results.

The vision is that the centres can contribute to solving some of the challenges threatening global health and welfare such as diabetes and the depletion of natural resources.

The grants extend over at least 10 years and therefore provide a long-term perspective. This, combined with substantial funding, is a vital element in realizing the ambitions.

The cluster of centres has been established in partnership with public research institutions that confirmed in their applications that they would house the respective centres. The Board of the Foundation decides whether to award these grants.

The Foundation protects free and independent research. Researchers can decide their own research priorities and have full publishing freedom. Any research results belong to the researchers and the public research institutions.


The cluster of research centres is located in Greater Copenhagen, where the University of Copenhagen, the Technical University of Denmark and several other research institutions and university hospitals are located and where several biopharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are headquartered. This provides opportunities for interaction and collaboration.

One objective of the centres’ geographical proximity is that this will lead to a dynamic and innovative environment capable of creating fruitful interdisciplinary collaboration based on the centres’ closely related scientific fields. The result is synergy in the form of mutual inspiration and knowledge sharing, which neither the centres nor the individual research groups could otherwise achieve on their own.

In 2012, as part of its strategy of making Copenhagen a hub for research in the biosciences, the Foundation has established the Copenhagen Bioscience Conferences as well as the Copenhagen Bioscience PhD Programme.

Read more about the research centre cluster in the cluster folder, click here.

Read more about the Copenhagen Bioscience Conferences, click here.

Read more about the Copenhagen Bioscience PhD Programme, click here.