Norwegian-American gives millions for research on memory in Trondheim
The Norwegian Centre of Excellence in neuroscience at NTNU (Centre for the Biology of Memory) will receive several million kroner each year from the foundation established by Norwegian-American businessman and philanthropist Fred Kavli. The Centre will also be awarded status as a Kavli Institute, an honour shared with research groups at the world's foremost universities.
On 14 August, the Centre for the Biology of Memory (CBM) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim was selected to become the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, thereby joining an exclusive family of elite, international research centres at universities such as Cambridge, Yale, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). CBM will become the world's 15th Kavli Institute.
"Designation as a Kavli Institute brings enormous recognition. We have entered the Premier League," states Professor Edvard Moser, Director of CBM along with his wife, May-Britt Moser.
Excellence in research
Arvid Hallén, Director General of the Research Council, is extremely pleased about the selection. "The institute already enjoys status as a Norwegian Centre of Excellence (CoE) and therefore derives the benefits of the Research Council's considerable financial support of the top Norwegian research communities. Each of these centres receives NOK 6-20 million per year for up to 10 years," comments Hallén.
"In the midway evaluation of the first CoEs, the Centre for the Biology of Memory in Trondheim under the leadership of Edvard and May-Britt Moser received an outstanding assessment," explains Hallén. "Designation as a Kavli Institute will offer this dynamic research community even better opportunities to think big and long-term."
A "new Alfred Nobel"?
Fred Kavli was a student in the 1950s at the Norwegian Institute of Technology, the forerunner of NTNU. Following his studies, he moved first to Canada and then to California, where he founded and built up the aerospace company Kavlico. The Kavli Foundation provides funding to leading research communities in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience.
Research prizes in Kavli's name will be awarded in these three subject areas for the first time next year, leading Time Magazine to predict recently that Kavli would become the "new Alfred Nobel". The prizes, worth USD 1million each, will be awarded in Oslo.
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