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Challenge Programme 2022 – Energy materials with biological applications

Call opens
15 June 2021
Call closes
3 November 2021 2:00pm (CET)
Announcement of results
Stage 1: Early January 2022
Stage 2: June 2022
Application guidelines


The purpose of the NNF Challenge Programme is to make substantial contribution to the development and strengthening of the Danish research environment, within research aimed to solve major challenges in global health, technology and sustainability. The Challenge Programme supports excellent researchers, that will establish and collaborate in a dynamic centre structure with a unifying vision and mission. The Programme provides long-term funding to enable scientific depth and focus and facilitate synergy between the research partners.

About the grant


Up to DKK 30-60 million per grant




For grant inquiries
Morten Bache
Scientific Director, PhD, Dr. Techn.
[email protected]
Pernille Julø Risegaard
Senior Manager, PA
[email protected]

Research Theme 2022

The programme strategically targets specific challenges within annually selected research themes. For the 2022 application call, the Challenge Programme supports the following research theme:

  • Energy harvesting, transforming, or storage materials with potential use for bioelectronic devices – enabling next generation wearable or implantable health technologies

With the overall aim of enabling novel applications within the life- or biosciences, the challenge is to design, model, synthesize, and/or characterize novel bio-compatible energy materials. The focus is on energy harvesting, transforming, or storage materials with potential application for health-tech wearables, implantable devices, or other bioelectronic applications. The research should also address biocompatibility and potential toxicological or mechanically adverse effects.

The research must be in-depth, preferably cross- or inter-disciplinary, of fundamental character and may include any research methodology or discipline within the life-, natural- or technical-sciences.


The Challenge Programme supports excellent research leaders from 2-4 research groups (main applicant plus 1-3 co-applicants).

The programme leader must be at least 75% affiliated with a Danish university, hospital or other non-profit research organization, that will be considered the host institution of the project.

The research institutions of the co-applicants can be located in Denmark or abroad. The co-applicants should contribute significantly to the advancement of the project and should receive part of the funding.

Industry collaboration is possible; however, funding cannot be awarded to industrial partner(s).

General rules for applications:

  1. Being the recipient of another Novo Nordisk foundation research grant does not preclude receiving a Challenge Programme grant.
  2. Holders of an active Challenge Programme grant may apply for a new Challenge Programme grant during the final year of the grant; however, a new Challenge grant cannot be activated until the existing grant is completed and no longer active.
  3. Please refer to our general terms and conditions ( for further information that apply when applying for/receiving a grant from NNF.


A total of up to DKK 120 million is available for grants between DKK 30 million and DKK 60 million for projects running for up to 6 years.

Application process

The application process will consist of two stages.

Stage 1: A short expression of interest will be evaluated by an international expert committee. The best applicants will be invited to submit a Stage 2 application.
Stage 2: An application with a detailed project proposal. The main applicant will be invited for interview with the international committee.

Please read “Information and Guidelines for Applicants” carefully before initiating the application process. Additional and essential information is found in these guidelines.

Click here to see a list of previous Grant recipients.


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