Multi-million kronor foundation creates innovation and entrepreneurship prize at Uppsala University

A new foundation has been established with founding assets of SEK 20 million: “Uppsala University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Prize Foundation”. The foundation will award an annual prize of at least SEK 500,000 each year with the aim of raising the visibility of the entrepreneurial culture at Uppsala University.

Stefan Nilsson, Chair of Friends of Uppsala University. Photo: Mikael Wallerstedt

The foundation’s statutes state that the prize is to be awarded to a person or persons who have played a decisive role in commercialising a discovery or innovation based on research or education at Uppsala University.

The initiative for the foundation was taken by the association Friends of Uppsala University and was made possible by ten founders who have each donated SEK 2 million in founding assets.

“The prize will be a means of recognising people who have successfully built on the results of their research, beyond the innovation itself, and have displayed successful entrepreneurial achievements,” says Stefan Nilsson, Chair of Friends of Uppsala University. 

“The founders wish to show their appreciation of the research achievement and the utilisation of research results, and to highlight the importance of this for our prosperity. Their hope is that the prize will inspire future generations to make such choices.”

A series of major research breakthroughs

Many products and innovations that now make a big difference in people’s lives have come into existence because the people behind the discoveries, on their own or together with others, have manifested great personal commitment and entrepreneurship.

In the course of Uppsala University’s more than five-hundred-year history, a series of major research breakthroughs have been made at the University. Although many of these are well known, the hard work involved in translating research results into social benefit in Sweden and internationally is often less recognised.

The prize will call attention to successful entrepreneurs and give greater visibility both to the innovation and to the efforts required to carry results from research over into social benefit.

A ceremony in early summer 2022

Anders Hagfeldt, Vice-Chancellor of Uppsala University. Photo: Mikael Wallerstedt

Anders Hagfeldt, Vice-Chancellor of Uppsala University, welcomes the initiative.

“I am very pleased and proud that the founders have chosen to call attention to Uppsala University’s innovative capacities. It is inspiring to sense the determination of the founders to highlight people associated with us who have made great contributions to the progress of our society. Uppsala University has a long and strong tradition of applying research to useful purposes and this entrepreneurial spirit really deserves to be rewarded,” says Hagfeldt.

According to plan, the prize will be presented for the first time at a ceremony in early summer 2022.

Those who have established the foundation, all on equal terms and with equal contributions, are: Ralph Axelson, Henrik Didner, Carl af Ekenstam, Lars Lannfelt, Anders Lindström, Arne Skoglund, Mathias Uhlén, Per Uhlén and the Kjell and Märta Beijer Foundation.

Linda Koffmar