20% cut in Nobel Prize money award

Nieuws | de redactie
12 juni 2012 | The Nobel Foundation announced it will cut the prize money associated with every Nobel Prize award by 20% down to SEK 8.0 million (€0.90 million). This way, the Board of Directors hopes to create a financially viable future for its most prestigious science award in times of economic crisis.

The Nobel Foundation that grants the Nobel Prize to mostdistinguished scientists every year has announced that it will cut the prize money awards by 20% fromSEK 10.0 million (€1.13 million) to SEK 8.0 million (€0.90 million)per prize.

Lars Heikensten, Executive Director of the Nobel Foundation,commented: “The Nobel Foundation is responsible for ensuring thatthe prize sum can be maintained at a high level in the long term.We have made the assessment that it is important to implementnecessary measures in good time.”

Full press statement

“At its meeting on June 11, 2012, the Board of Directors of theNobel Foundation set the amount of the 2012 Nobel Prizes at SEK 8.0million per prize, at today’s exchange rate equivalent to USD 1.1million. This implies a lowering of the prize sum by 20 per cent.The Nobel Foundation regards this as a necessary measure in orderto avoid an undermining of its capital in a long-termperspective.

One of the most important tasks of the Nobel Foundation is tosafeguard the economic base of the Nobel Prize. The capital leftbehind by Alfred Nobel must therefore be managed in such a way thatit will be possible to award the Nobel Prize in perpetuity, whileguaranteeing the independence of the prize-awardinginstitutions.

The decision to lower the prize sum, from SEK 10.0 to 8.0million, is related to the assessment that the Board of Directorsmakes today of the potential for achieving a goodinflation-adjusted return on the Nobel Foundation’s capital duringthe next several years. Another part of the picture is that duringthe past decade, the average return on the Foundation’s capital hasfallen short of the overall sum of all Nobel Prizes and operatingexpenses. The costs of the Nobel Foundation’s centraladministration and the Nobel festivities are therefore beingreviewed.

“The Nobel Foundation is responsible for ensuring that the prizesum can be maintained at a high level in the long term. We havemade the assessment that it is important to implement necessarymeasures in good time,” says Lars Heikensten, Executive Director ofthe Nobel Foundation.

The various organisations in the Nobel sphere also jointlymanage large assets connected to the Nobel Prize as a trademark.This includes not only the Nobel Foundation and the prize-awardinginstitutions, but also the organisations that disseminateinformation about the Nobel Prize and the achievements of theLaureates, such as Nobel Media and the Nobel Museum in Stockholmand the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo. Since the Nobel Foundation’scapital must be used primarily to pay for the work of the Nobelcommittees and the prize sum itself, these information activitiesare essentially externally financed, for example via grants fromcentral or local government authorities, corporate sponsors,private donors, foundations or philanthropic entities.

The same is true of the investment in a Nobel Prize Center onthe Blasieholmen peninsula in central Stockholm which was announcedearlier. The equity of the Nobel Foundation will not be used eitherfor the building or for the operation of a future Center.

“The Nobel Prize Center will become an important base in ourlong-term efforts to preserve the stature of the Nobel Prize anddisseminate the message of the Nobel Prize to a global audience,”says Lars Heikensten, Executive Director of the NobelFoundation.”

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