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Researchers will discover tomorrow’s materials for harvesting and utilizing the body’s energy under the Novo Nordisk Foundation Challenge Programme

How can we develop materials that can harvest and convert the body’s own energy, signals and impulses? And how can they be translated into small health-promoting wearable or implantable devices?

This is a key challenge for which the Novo Nordisk Foundation is seeking new knowledge in the 2022 Challenge Programme.

Energy Materials with Biological Applications is one of the three themes of the 2022 Challenge Programme, which challenges ambitious researchers to find solutions to global issues in health, sustainability or biotechnology. The Foundation will award grants of up to DKK 60 million over 6 years for the best project applications.

“Think of a kinetic clock that can harvest energy from the body’s natural movements and use that energy to power the clock. The body produces huge quantities of energy, both movement and heat, and harvesting, storing and utilizing this energy would be great. The 2022 Challenge Programme invites the research community to find creative solutions for developing materials that capture and use the body’s energy for biocompatible, intelligent devices – such as small devices for monitoring or maintaining the body’s functions,” says Lene Oddershede, Senior Vice President, Natural & Technical Sciences, Novo Nordisk Foundation.

“Our ambition is that the materials research resulting from this challenge will not only influence the development of health-promoting wearables and implantable devices but also contribute significantly to energy conversion technologies,” says Lene Oddershede, adding:

“We want to support research on materials that are suitable for converting the body’s own energy, such as the heat we produce, the kinetic energy we create or, alternatively, the solar energy that reaches us, into a usable form of energy. This energy can then be used to power implantable devices that can support vital functions or that can read our body’s signals and amplify them to ensure proper treatment of various diseases.”

The 2022 Challenge Programme themes are:

Theme 1: Recycling for a Sustainable Society

Theme 2: Energy Materials with Biological Applications

Theme 3: Immunity at Mucosal Surfaces

About the Challenge Programme
The Novo Nordisk Foundation established the Challenge Programme in 2014. Since then, the Foundation has awarded more than DKK 100 million every year for ambitious research projects based on a thematic approach addressing some of the major societal challenges.

In 2022, the Foundation’s Challenge Programme will award up to DKK 360 million for grants of up to DKK 60 million per project based on the themes for 2022. Read more about the Challenge Programme here.

How to apply

Read more about the application process here.

Further information

Marie-Louise Jersin, Senior Communications Partner, +45 3049 4957, [email protected]