Life science innovation and entrepreneurship

Life science innovation and entrepreneurship

Innovation constitutes a critical bridge in translating scientific discoveries into products and solutions that improve the health of people and the environment. The Novo Nordisk Foundation wishes to build a strong innovation ecosystem that promotes scientific discoveries with commercial potential within life science (pharma, medtech and industrial biotech) for the benefit of people and society, and which can pave the way for the creation of new companies that contribute to increased growth and economic activity. The Foundation will achieve this by helping Danish and Nordic research institutions to mature and translate early discoveries, and by supporting the establishment of new life science and bio-industrial companies.

The various stages of the innovation value chain call for different types of support, as the technical and commercial requirements change along the way. The Foundation supports the early life science innovation ecosystem at the universities and clinics through a broad range of grant-awarding activities, providing a stepping stone to the next level of innovation and commercialization support provided by various accelerators and incubators, such as the Novo Nordisk Foundation-funded BioInnovation Institute.

Our innovation research grants are awarded in open competition and provide researchers with the resources needed to mature discoveries throughout the innovation lifecycle, from idea generation to lead-candidate optimization and selection or prototyping. The Pioneer Innovator Grant and the Distinguished Innovator Grant are personal grants highlighting the importance of innovation at the Nordic universities and research institutions.

Our strategic grants aim at increasing the number and maturation of discoveries at universities and clinics within the early innovation ecosystem, and cover four areas:

  • Educational and international exchange programmes for academic researchers at all levels (read for instance about CBS- BIO under ‘Projects and initiatives’)
  • Infrastructure for universities and clinics and support from business and innovation experts (read for instance about NOME under ‘Projects and initiatives’)
  • Initiatives driving collaboration between academia and industry (read for instance about ODIN under ‘Projects and initiatives’)
  • Initiatives driving investments in Nordic inventions (read for instance about the Nordic Innovation Fair under ‘Projects and initiatives’)

Through these grant-awarding activities, the Foundation further aims to build bridges between various initiatives in the Nordic innovation ecosystem and catalyze the interdisciplinary dialogue and activities needed to promote innovation.