PRESS RELEASE ON THE PIONEER INITIATIVE
During the recent negotiation of Denmark’s Financial Act, the parties of the Danish Parliament agreed to give 177 million DKK to establish a so-called Pioneer Initiative, which will contribute to securing Denmark’s position among the global research elite.
The Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF), the Carlsberg Foundation, the Lundbeck Foundation, the Novo Nordisk Foundation, and the Villum Foundation have now agreed on cooperative funding for the Pioneer Centers, and the initiative can now be launched with a total funding of 1 billion DKK.
The ambition is to establish excellent research units that carry out basic research aimed at solving major societal challenges within 2-3 selected themes, including, among others, artificial intelligence and climate/energy.
“It is very gratifying for Denmark that we now have broad support politically and from the universities and the private foundations for an extraordinary ambitious research initiative. If we are to solve some of the enormous challenges facing the world today, there is a need to strengthen basic research in areas of interest, where research breakthroughs are the prerequisite for finding new solutions. For instance, we need to find new ways to store renewable energy if we are to solve the climate challenges while maintaining our standard of living. And artificial intelligence will, in many ways, shape our society in the future. We must help develop the technology and ensure that it is ethically and humanly sound,” said Professor Jens Kehlet Nørskov, chair of the DNRF board.
“The Pioneer Centers are a groundbreaking project that will give Danish basic research a solid boost. It is a very ambitious funding amount, but also the cooperation between the private foundations, the universities and the Danish National Research Foundation has a really interesting perspective for Danish research. With what the foundations are proposing, Denmark can be at the forefront of the research within artificial intelligence, and we can strengthen the basic research in climate-friendly solutions. I look forward to seeing the initiative become concrete in the coming years,” said Tommy Ahlers, Danish Minister of Higher Education and Science.
For further information from the Danish National Research Foundation:
Chair and professor
Jens Kehlet Nørskov
Mobile: +45 9351 1110
CEO and professor
Mobile: +45 2028 9706