Novo Nordisk Foundation

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Novo Nordisk Foundation
Novo nordisk foundation Logo.png
Founded1989; 30 years ago (1989) in Denmark
HeadquartersHellerup, Denmark
FieldsLife-sciences, natural sciences, social sciences
Endowment49.1 billion USD (331 billion DKK) in 2018[1]

The Novo Nordisk Foundation is an international foundation focusing on medical treatment and research. In 2018, the foundation had a net worth of US$49.1 billion (331 billion DKK), making it the largest financial endowment of any foundation in Denmark[2] and one of the largest endowments in the world.

Since 2010, the foundation distributed more than 1.3 billion US dollars for research, innovation, treatment, education and humanitarian and social purposes.[3] The Foundation typically distributes more than 300 million US dollars each year to research within the fields of Life- and Bioscience.[4] While the main focus lies within biomedicine and biotechnology research, the Foundation also awards grants for research in general practice and family medicine, nursing and art history.


The Novo Nordisk Foundation has a 90-year history. In 1922, Danish professor August Krogh received a permission to produce insulin in the Nordic countries. This sparked the development of new diabetes treatments and the beginning of a Danish business and export venture. Several foundations were also established which have subsequently merged into the Novo Nordisk Foundation.[5]

In recent years, the Foundation has increased its focus on innovation, diabetes treatment and grants for humanitarian and social purposes. In 2016 the Foundation awarded a little over 420 million US dollars to the Capital Region of Denmark to establish Steno Diabetes Center in Copenhagen, a diabetes treatment and research institution.[6][7]


The Novo Nordisk Foundation is the primary owner of Novo Nordisk A/S and NovoZymes A/S through the foundation's subsidiary company Novo Holdings A/S.[8] Aside from Novo Nordisk and Novozymes, the foundation is also a major shareholder in more than 75 other companies. The foundation's financial endowment is maintained by dividends and returns on these investments.


The current chairman of the Novo Nordisk Foundation is Sten Scheibye and Birgitte Nauntofte is the current CEO.[9]

See also[edit]


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  4. ^ "Novo-fond fordobler støtte til forskning og gode formål".
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  8. ^ "Inside View: Novo Nordisk Foundation". Nature. 4 November 2015. doi:10.1038/nj0470.
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