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Novo Nordisk Foundation allocates EUR 13 million (DKK 100 million) per year for research on the agricultural production and sustainable foods of the future

New knowledge on plants, agricultural production and food will help to create sustainable food production that can also meet the increasing demand from a growing global population. This is the rationale for the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s new research programme that will support original ideas, strengthen the food-related research communities and answer the question: What will we eat in the future?

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has launched a new programme with an annual budget of EUR 13 million (DKK 100 million) to bolster the research on plants, agricultural production and food. Researchers in the Nordic countries may therefore now apply for grants for research projects within these fields.

Claus Felby, Senior Vice President, Biotech, Novo Nordisk Foundation encourages researchers to focus on the major challenges and to think innovatively:

“We will support numerous projects each year with the ambition that they will provide knowledge that can help to solve the global challenges related to climate, the environment and food that will become increasingly urgent as the world’s population grows. Applicants do not need to have a business plan in their back pocket. We want to support original, wild ideas, and the researchers will be able to think and work freely,” he says.

It is well known that the world needs new solutions for agricultural production and food. Ecosystems and the climate are strained, and sustainable food production needs to increase further as the global population rises to a projected 10 billion by 2050. Innovation is required, and the starting-point may well be visionary thinking about what we will eat when another 3 billion people need food and the planet has to sustain this.

Researchers are invited to submit projects that address these challenges. They will then participate in open competition for research funds – specifically postdoctoral fellowships, project grants and grants under the Research Leader Programme. The Foundation expects to award about 25 grants each year, and the ambition is to boost the already strong research communities in the Nordic countries.

“This new programme will broadly support these research fields and aims to boost researchers from the PhD level and upwards. The grants will be awarded based on excellence and the extent to which the projects aim to solve the overall challenges within the sustainable food production of the future. In addition, we will award grants in different regions and to people at various career stages, so that we can strengthen the research communities now and secure the basis for future recruitment,” says Claus Felby.

The programme will give priority to basic research, with a strategic focus on creating solutions and applications.

Updated information on the opportunities to apply for grants will be posted on the Foundation’s website along with detailed information about the topics on which the applications must focus.

More information
The first round of applications for project grants and postdoctoral fellowships are open and will run until 27 August. For further information, see:

Further information

Anders Rosendahl, Senior Communications Partner, +45 7730 1532, [email protected]