Project grants for research within Industrial Biotechnology and Environmental Biotechnology

Project grants for research within Industrial Biotechnology and Environmental Biotechnology

Place of research
Nordic Region
Up to DKK 4 million per grant
Recurring call
Expected June 2021
Call opens
2020, 2PM (CET)
How to apply Apply
Call opens
25 Jun 2020
27 Aug 2020, 2PM (CET)
How to apply
Up to DKK 4 million per grant
Announcement of results:
December 2020

Nordic Region


The Novo Nordisk Foundation wishes to make significant contributions to the sustainability of society and the environment, including support of research within the areas of industrial biotechnology and environmental biotechnology. Grants within these areas support excellent research with a strategic perspective addressing major questions and challenges within these fields. The proposed research must involve a clear element of biotechnology, have an outlook to scaling potential(s), contribute to sustainability and, if relevant, increase productivity.

The research projects should preferably include one or more of the following topics:

  • Use or engineering of biological/biotechnological tools and systems for synthesis and production of valuable products (e.g., chemicals, proteins and materials)
  • Development of technologies and processes that can be utilized directly for bioproduction
  • Improvement of the efficiency of biomanufacturing
  • Use or engineering of biological/biotechnological tools and systems to protect or improve the environment
  • Understanding, protection or manipulation of natural or industrial ecosystems in relation to application of biotechnology
  • Data science promoting research within industrial or environmental biotechnology, including related ecosystems research

Projects primarily within plant science, agriculture or food biotechnology should be addressed to the foundation’s calls for these areas. Applications will be assessed by the most relevant Novo Nordisk Foundation review committee.

 For the biotechnology requirement, the OECD short definition of biotechnology will be used as a reference for assessments. The OECD single definition of biotechnology is: the application of science and technology to living organisms, as well as parts, products and models thereof, to alter living or non-living materials for the production of knowledge, goods and services.


Faculty members and researchers with an independent research program at a university or other non-profit research institution in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden are eligible to apply for these project grants.


Grants can support research activities at a level of DKK 300.000 – 1 million per year for 1 to 3 years. For projects having a main applicant and a co-applicant located in different Nordic countries, the maximum amount that may be applied for is DKK 1.35 million per year. Grant funding is available for:

  • Direct project costs and operating expenses.
  • Smaller scientific equipment.
  • Salary for scientific researchers, technical assistants and PhD students, although not for the main applicant or co-applicants.
  • Costs to publish the results of the project and to present them at an international conference.
  • Administrative support for administration of the grant (up to 5% of, and included in, the funding applied for from the NNF). Funding from the grant may not be used for general overhead costs.

Grants may fund an entire project or a clearly defined part of a major project (in the latter case, a summary of the major project must be included).

Application process

Applications must be completed and submitted using the online system following the instructions in the “Information and guidelines for applicants”. Additional essential information regarding eligibility, funding and the application process is found in this pdf.