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Claus Felby to be the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s head of life science research and industrial applications promoting sustainability

Claus Felby is currently Professor of Biomass and Bioenergy at the Faculty of Science of the University of Copenhagen. Photo: Hanne Kokkegård.

Claus Felby, currently Professor at the University of Copenhagen, will head the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s awarding of grants for life science research with potential to be implemented as biotechnological solutions that benefit people and the environment.

The Foundation announced in June 2018 that it plans to quadruple annual payouts by 2023 and to expand the scope of its grants to more areas.

Among others, the Foundation will support research, education and innovation within industrial biotechnology, plant and food biotechnology and environmental technology that can improve the sustainability of society and contribute to reducing our impact on the environment.

Claus Felby says: “I am delighted to participate in setting up the Foundation’s new grant area within biotechnology and sustainability, which will become a major initiative area for the Foundation in the years ahead. I hope that my knowledge and experience in this area can enable the Foundation to award grants for projects that can achieve pioneering results to benefit society.”

Claus Felby is currently Professor of Biomass and Bioenergy at the Faculty of Science of the University of Copenhagen.

He is an internationally renowned researcher who has focused on biomass and biotechnology for more than 20 years in both academia and industry. He has extensive experience in managing major research projects in Denmark and in the European Union. Throughout his career, Claus Felby has strongly emphasized working across disciplines and collaborating with companies. He has predominantly focused on biofuels and sustainability but also on biomass production, crop breeding, agriculture, forestry and energy technologies.

Claus Felby has achieved impressive research results, publishing 113 scientific articles and having 24 patents or patent applications. In 2016, he and a research group discovered a reverse photosynthesis process that uses the energy from the sun to break down rather than build plant material. This discovery may have far-reaching perspectives for producing biofuels and biochemicals.

“Birgitte Nauntofte, CEO, Novo Nordisk Foundation, says: ”Claus Felby is a visionary, innovative and experienced leader within biotechnology research. He has led innovative research projects with partners within academia and industry. Claus Felby joining the Foundation will strengthen the grant area of basic and application-oriented life science research, which can promote sustainability with significant benefits to society.”

Claus Felby will be Head of Life Science Research and Industrial Applications Promoting Sustainability. He will start in the newly created position on 1 March.

About Claus Felby (born 1964)

2004– Professor, Biomass and Bioenergy, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen
2001–2004  Associate Professor, Plant Fibre Laboratory, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University (now part of the University of Copenhagen)
2001–2008  Consultant in pulp and paper and boards technology, Novozymes A/S
1997–2001  Research scientist, Enzyme Development and Applications, Novo Nordisk A/S

Academic degrees
1997 PhD in Forest Products, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University
1994 MSc in Forestry, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University

Further information

Christian Mostrup Scheel, Senior Press Officer, phone: +45 3067 4805, [email protected]