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Pioneer Innovator Grant – Fall 2022

Call opens
1 August 2022
Call closes
22 September 2022 2:00pm (CET)
Announcement of results
December 2022
Application guidelines


The purpose of the Pioneer Innovator Grant is to accelerate commercialization of research findings and development of novel technologies within the health sciences.

The Pioneer Innovator Grant seeks to support novel academic science-based discoveries with a commercial potential. The grant aims to stimulate the evaluation of ideas and to support experiments and activities leading to proof-of-concept.

About the grant


Up to DKK 1 million per grant.


Committee for Exploratory Pre-Seed Grants


For grant inquiries
Pål Fernvall
Grant Manager
+45 2089 9681
Karin Hultman
Senior Scientific Manager, PhD
+45 41727935

Areas of support

The Pioneer Innovator Grant seeks to support research within Life Science (medtech, industrial biotech, or pharma) and to stimulate the evaluation of ideas that may lead to the development of new medical treatment, disease prevention, diagnostic methods as well as new health technologies, devices and technological platforms.


The research project must comprise a main applicant and has the option of including co-applicants when deemed relevant.

The Main Applicant:

  • The main applicant must be a faculty member, a researcher or a student employed at a university, hospital, or other research institution in the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, or Sweden).


  • Co-applicants can be included in the project, but not required.
  • Co-applicants may come from the same hosting institution as the main applicant or from different university, hospitals, or research institutions locally and abroad.

Hosting Institution:

  • A Pioneer Innovator Grant must be administered by a non-profit organization.
  • A Pioneer Innovator Grant cannot be given to a company.
  • Projects from incubator development programs and projects where IPR is owned by a university’s holding institution, are eligible to apply if:
    • The administrating institution is the university
    • The project and its findings are anchored in academia
    • The project has not resulted in the establishment of a company (given company has not established a CVR/company number)

Project Scope:

The Pioneer Innovator project idea and focus must be directly linked to improving the lives of patients and health of people. Applications in which the project idea is not directly linked to patients or health of people, will receive an administrative rejection during the initial screening process of applications.


The total grant budget is DKK 35 million in 2022. Each granted project can receive a grant of up to DKK 1 million for one year.

Application process

The application should be completed and submitted using the Foundation’s application system.

It is important to carefully read the “Information and guidelines for applicants”, accessed via “how to apply”, before initiating the application process, as this document contains the complete call, as well as detailed instructions for the application.


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Unsolicited inquiries

We receive a great number of inquiries, expressions of interest and applications outside of our open calls. To facilitate an effective assessment, unsolicited inquiries, expressions of interest and applications for the Novo Nordisk Foundation should be received according to guidance below.