Novo Foundation begins advertising for grant applications

In January, the Novo Foundation places its first advertisement soliciting grant applications for the newly established committee. The advertisement in Ugeskrift for Læger (journal of the Danish Medical Association) reads: “DKK 25,000 of the funds of the Novo Foundation earmarked for medical research will be available this year.”


Thorvald Pedersen dies

Thorvald Pedersen is actively involved in managing Novo until he dies. He is remembered particularly for his ability to forge business connections through personal contact and for his willingness to help and listen to employees.

Novo Foundation establishes the Veterinary Research Committee

The Novo Foundation establishes the Veterinary Research Committee and begins awarding grants for veterinary research. The Committee was abolished in 1999.

Novo Foundation gets a new Chair

Harald Pedersen succeeds his brother Thorvald as Chair (1961–1966) of the Novo Foundation and is succeeded by Hans H. Ussing (1966–1986) and Olaf Behnke (1987–1989).


Novo Nordisk Prize awarded for the first time

The Novo Nordisk Prize (originally the Novo Prize) is awarded for the first time. The Novo Foundation establishes the Prize, which is awarded by a specially appointed assessment committee. The Prize is awarded to recognise unique medical research or other research contributions that benefit medical science. The first recipient of the Prize (pictured on left) is Professor Erik Warburg, The Prize was awarded based on the clinical knowledge he developed on the progression of coronary thrombosis (commonly known as a heart attack). The Prize was originally DKK 50,000 but has gradually increased to today’s DKK 5 million.


Nordisk Insulin Foundation begins advertising for grant applications

The Nordisk Insulin Foundation solicits grant applications. A modest advertisement placed by the (Norwegian) Chair of the Foundation in the journals of the various Nordic medical societies reads: “Applicants for funding by the Nordisk Insulin Foundation wishing to be considered at the annual general meeting of the Foundation should submit their applications by 31 March …”.


Harald Pedersen dies

Harald Pedersen dies, and Hans H. Ussing becomes Chair of the Novo Foundation. The real leader, however, is Knud Hallas-Møller, Novo Terapeutisk Laboratorium’s CEO. He has been a member of the Board of the Novo Foundation since its inception in 1951 and has gradually assumed the power and responsibility of the Pedersen brothers. Although he belongs to the family as Harald Pedersen’s son-in-law, he transforms the Novo Foundation from a family foundation into a commercial foundation through the 1960s and 1970s before retiring from the Foundation in 1983.


Hagedorn Prize awarded for the first time

The Chair of the Danish Society for Internal Medicine, Kurt Iversen, contacts the Board of Nordisk Insulinlaboratorium in 1965 and proposes creating an honorary prize in honour of Hans Christian Hagedorn. The Board agrees and the first Hagedorn Prize is awarded to chief physician Tage Hilden, At that time, the prize was about DKK 30,000, but this has increased over the years to DKK 1.5 million today.


Marie and August Krogh Prize awarded for the first time

The Danish Medical Society (now Organization of Danish Medical Societies) wishes to commemorate its 50th anniversary in 1969 by inaugurating an international lecture and prize and contacts the Novo Foundation to determine whether the Foundation is willing to fund such a lecture. The Foundation agrees and establishes the Marie and August Krogh Prize (then called the August Krogh Prize). The use of August Krogh’s name naturally honours a unique scientist, but in light of the long-standing antagonism between Nordisk and Novo, the fact that Novo names its prize after the founder of Nordisk is provocative. Nobel laureate Hugo Theorell (pictured) from Sweden gives the first lecture. The Prize is accompanied by DKK 10,000, which has been increased four times and is now DKK 1.5 million.