The Novo Nordisk Foundation (NNF) will focus on three key themes in the years to 2030, people’s health, the sustainability of society and the planet and boosting Denmark’s life science ecosystem.
“The COVID-19 pandemic, the world-wide spread of diabetes and the climate changes emphasize the need for a global effort to safeguard people’s health and boost the green transformation,” says Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, CEO, NNF. “The recent invasion of Ukraine has also exposed our dependence in the energy and food sectors and demonstrates that sustainable alternatives need to be developed fast to ensure energy and food security. These are some of the key challenges we will address in years ahead.”
In health, NNF will focus on prevention of and treatment for cardio-metabolic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease that threaten public health in countries worldwide, being the principal cause of human deaths.
“Another urgent health need is improving preparedness for new virus pandemics and the increasing antimicrobial resistance.”
“We have become significantly better at treating people with these diseases but still have much to learn about why some people develop them and others do not. Improving knowledge in this field can also contribute to creating greater equity in health, both in Denmark and globally. Another urgent health need is improving preparedness for new virus pandemics and the increasing antimicrobial resistance,” says Krogsgaard Thomsen.
NNF’s health initiatives will target research and innovation that contribute to prevention of and treatment for cardio-metabolic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, stem cell-based therapy targeting chronic diseases, developing new antiviral drugs for use in future pandemics, developing new types of antibiotics to counteract the increasing antimicrobial resistance and combatting inequity in health.
In sustainability, one urgent challenge is how to feed a growing global population while mitigating further climate change. In the years ahead, NNF will therefore enhance its support for research and innovation that can accelerate the green transformation in such areas as agriculture and food production while developing knowledge and technologies that can help to arrest climate change. One example is developing technology and methods for capturing, storing and recycling carbon dioxide as a valuable raw material.
Life sciences in Denmark
Research, innovation and new technology are the basis for society to implement the green transformation and to achieve major advances in health. NNF will therefore strive to ensure a world-class life sciences ecosystem in Denmark by supporting the entire value chain, including natural science education for children and adolescents, supporting the development of new research talent and already established researchers at universities and establishing new research-based start-ups, it states. In addition, NNF will support the establishment of research infrastructure that both researchers and companies can use to create and scale up new solutions and products.
“NNF will therefore strive to ensure a world-class life sciences ecosystem in Denmark by supporting the entire value chain.”
NNF will contribute to creating a world-class life sciences ecosystem in Denmark by supporting basic research, research infrastructure and technologies, translational research and developing and rolling out solutions that can create societal change and education and strengthening society’s scientific capital, it states.
International activities & total grants
NNF will also increase its international focus and total grants.
Denmark is a natural focal point for NNF’s grants, but it will increasingly focus on international activities in the coming years, it states.
“Global challenges require global solutions and international cooperation. In the years ahead, the Foundation will therefore launch several large-scale initiatives that involve major partners collaborating across sectors, research disciplines and national borders,” says Krogsgaard Thomsen.
NNF expects annual grants to exceed DKK 10 billion in the years to 2030.
Read more about each of the three key themes here!
Photo: The BioInnovation Institute, Novo Nordisk Foundation