When Thorvald Pedersen gives his New Year’s speech in 1955, Novo is on a roller-coaster ride. Having hit rock bottom in the 1940s, the company has hit new heights with its Lente insulins. Opportunities in an expanding European Community are growing, but so is international competition. However, the factory on Fuglebakken has become too cramped. The brothers, who hate spending money they do not have, are now forced to invest more money than they can afford.
The end of the Second World War heralds a new era for Novo. World markets are reopening. With hard work, Harald and Thorvald have put the defeat at the hands of rival Nordisk in the patent case behind them. The commitment of the workforce is a decisive foundation on the journey back to the top, which culminates in an explosion of inventiveness in the company.
The discovery of insulin in 1921 rapidly changes diabetes from being a deadly disease to a disease you can live with. In Denmark, insulin also kick-starts a long-running feud between two companies: Nordisk Insulinlaboratorium, led by the powerful doctor Hans Christian Hagedorn – and the breakaway group of Harald and Thorvald Pedersen, who surprisingly make a success of Novo Terapeutiske Laboratorium.
The Novo Nordisk Foundation awards around DKK 5 billion each year for scientific, humanitarian and social purposes.
In recent years, we have extended our range of grants considerably, and today we support many different areas, especially in Denmark and the Nordic countries.
But what is the money used for? Which activities do we support? You can learn more about that in this video.
Voices that talk to you. They encourage you to kill yourself, stab somebody or contemplate how to kill yourself. This is reality for 1 of 100 people. Most often they do not know that the voices are not real, and 1 in 4 actually try to commit suicide. 2020 Novo Nordisk Prize recipients Merete Nordentoft and Preben Bo Mortensen have dedicated their lives to studying suicide prevention and schizophrenia.
Hunger can be one of the most urgent needs to tame. The secretion of hormones and the emission of nerve signals can be so massive that people must eventually surrender. The violent interplay between the forces of the body – especially the interaction between the stomach and the brain – has become the main focus in recent years in the struggle to understand the escalating epidemics of type 2 diabetes and obesity. Jens C. Brüning is receiving the 2020 EASD–Novo Nordisk Foundation Diabetes Prize for Excellence for his outstanding contributions.
The current trajectory of global climate change will strongly affect how well plants can adapt to their environment. Contrary to what one might think, however, the plants in the hottest regions may not be those immediately hit hardest. Experiments in central and southern Europe show that especially the plants in central Europe lack the proper genes to survive a drier and warmer climate. According to Detlef Weigel, who has studied plant development and adaptation for three decades, evolution cannot keep up and therefore needs help. To recognize outstanding research or technology contributions that benefit the development of biotechnological science for innovative solutions, Detlef Weigel is receiving the 2020 Novozymes Prize.
Copenhagen Bioscience Cluster is a Novo Nordisk Foundation initiative with the ambition of establishing world-class centres and research infrastructure within biomedicine and biotechnology and create an innovative framework for collaboration and synergy.
Three decades ago, only a small number of researchers talked about gut hormones. Today, many people view these hormones as building blocks for developing new therapies to confront the obesity and diabetes epidemics that are sweeping the world. Daniel J. Drucker has studied the molecular mechanisms and physiological functions of hormones for 35 years. His studies unravelling their biological actions have led to several discoveries and the development of life-changing therapies. For his outstanding contributions, he is receiving the 2019 EASD–Novo Nordisk Foundation Diabetes Prize for Excellence.
The myriad processes that take place in our body’s cells are the basis of life as we know it. Since cells are filled with fluid, British chemist Carol Robinson created a lot of attention by setting out to investigate life’s processes in a vacuum. Despite massive resistance, she persevered. Now she is receiving the Novozymes Prize for founding a new subfield of mass spectrometry to investigate the shape of proteins and how they interact. Today, this technique is used to identify brand-new targets for drugs.
Asthma is the most common chronic disease in childhood and the most common reason children are hospitalized. The 2019 Novo Nordisk Prize recipient, Hans Bisgaard, found that giving fish oil to women during pregnancy reduces the risk of their children getting asthma by 30% and significantly more if they have a certain genetic profile. His latest result shows that fish oil also influences the development of the child’s nervous system, including cognition.
Of all the foundations in Denmark, the Novo Nordisk Foundation donates the most money for scientific, social and humanitarian causes.
But how do we get the money? And how does everything fit together? Here’s how.
Karsten Vrangbæk receives DKK 10 million to investigate impact of research on health and disease.
The Novo Nordisk Foundation will broaden its scope and increase grant payouts.
The 2018 Novozymes Prize recipient has achieved breakthroughs in studies of membrane proteins.
The 2018 Novo Nordisk Prize recipient has shown that RNA plays a key role in regulating cells.
The 2017 EASD-NNF Diabetes Prize for Excellence recipient has increased our knowledge on diabetes.
Mette Gørtz has received DKK 10 million to investigate the impact of research on health and disease.
Mickael Bech receives DKK 10 million to investigate the impact of research on health and disease.
Recipient of the 2017 Novozymes Prize for her contributions to developing the CRISPR-Cas9 tool.
Recipient of the 2017 Novo Nordisk Prize for his studies of the structure and function of ion pumps.
Learn about the cluster of research centres in Greater Copenhagen supported by the Foundation.