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Life science

A Danish world-class life science ecosystem will enable us to better manage future challenges


We need strong basic research to respond quickly to unforeseen crises

Major breakthroughs often happen where they are least expected. Supporting curiosity-driven research is therefore important. Basic research is also required for tackling epidemics and climate change.


Harvesting innovative ideas from research and promoting collaboration across research fields have huge potential

We must improve how we collaborate across scientific silos and translate scientific ideas into new technologies and products to benefit health and the climate.


We want to contribute to children and young people getting inspired by and improving their skills in science

We need a knowledge-based society and a skilled workforce with strong competencies in the natural sciences to solve societal challenges and build a healthy and sustainable future.

A robust life science ecosystem is needed to create new solutions. The life science ecosystem comprises a strong scientific community in medicine, bioscience and the natural and technical sciences – supported by a world-class education and innovation system.”
Lene Oddershede
Professor, Senior Vice President, Natural & Technical Sciences

Our grants

The Novo Nordisk Foundation awards grants based on applications in open competition and supports a large number of different areas within health, sustainability and life science.

How to apply See our grants

Projects and initiatives we have supported

Novo Nordisk Foundation Quantum Computing Programme

Danish Pioneer Centre for Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence will contribute to solving big societal challenges

Helix Lab – education and research centre in Kalundborg

The Helix Lab Research and Education Center in Kalundborg aims to attract MSc students from universities in Denmark and abroad. The Novo Nordisk Foundation has awarded grants totalling DKK 65 million to the Helix Lab over a 5-year project period.

Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Genomic Mechanisms of Disease

With a USD 47.5 million commitment over a five-year period, the Foundation has supported the establishment of a new centre for genomic research at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Boston (US).

Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Medicine (reNEW)

The Foundation has awarded up to DKK 2.2 billion (300 million euro) over a 10-year period for the center, which is established as a partnership between three leading research institutions.


The nationwide science education initiative will receive up to DKK 1.9 billion from the Novo Nordisk Foundation over a ten-year period.

Science Academy NAFA

Developing competencies and research on science education at primary and lower-secondary schools in Denmark.

Nordic Innovation Fair – a speed dating event for Nordic scientists and international investors

The purpose of the fair is to showcase the best academic projects with commercial potential within life science, sustainability, AI, digitalization and robotics.