Nobel Foundation (Swedish: Nobelstiftelsen) is a private
institution founded on 29 June 1900 to manage the finances and
administration of the Nobel Prizes. The Foundation is based on the
last will of Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite.
It also holds Nobel Symposia on important breakthroughs in science and
topics of cultural or social significance.
1.1 The Nobel Foundation
2 Nobel Symposia
3 Other Nobel prizes announced by the Nobel family
4 See also
6 External links
Main article: Alfred Nobel
Alfred Bernhard Nobel (help·info), born on 21 October 1833
Stockholm Sweden, was a chemist, engineer, innovator, armaments
manufacturer and the inventor of dynamite. He owned Bofors, a major
armaments manufacturer, which he had redirected from its original
business as an iron and steel mill. Nobel held 355 different patents,
dynamite being the most famous. Nobel amassed a sizeable personal
fortune during his lifetime, thanks mostly to this invention. In
1896 Nobel died of a stroke in his villa in San Remo,
Italy where he had lived out the last years of his life.
Nobel's will expressed a request, to the surprise of many, that his
money be used for prizes in physics, chemistry, peace, physiology or
medicine and literature. Though Nobel wrote several wills during
his lifetime, the last was written a little over a year before he
died, and signed at the Swedish-Norwegian Club in Paris on 27 November
1895. Nobel bequeathed 94% of his total assets, 31 million
Swedish kronor, to establish and endow the five Nobel Prizes. (As
of 2008 that equates to 186 million US dollars.)
Alfred Nobel's will from 25 November 1895
The whole of my remaining realizable estate shall be dealt with in the
The capital shall be invested by my executors in safe securities and
shall constitute a fund, the interest on which shall be annually
distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding
year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind. The said
interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be
apportioned as follows: one part to the person who shall have made the
most important discovery or invention within the field of physics; one
part to the person who shall have made the most important chemical
discovery or improvement; one part to the person who shall have made
the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or
medicine; one part to the person who shall have produced in the field
of literature the most outstanding work of an idealistic tendency; and
one part to the person who shall have done the most or the best work
for fraternity among nations, for the abolition or reduction of
standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.
The prizes for physics and chemistry shall be awarded by the Swedish
Academy of Sciences; that for physiological or medical works by
Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm; that for literature by the Academy
in Stockholm; and that for champions of peace by a committee of five
persons to be elected by the Norwegian Storting. It is my expressed
wish that in awarding the prizes no consideration whatever shall be
given to the nationality of the candidates, so that the most worthy
shall receive the prize, whether he be Scandinavian or not.
— Alfred Nobel, Alfred Nobel's Will
The executors of his will were
Ragnar Sohlman and Rudolf Lilljequist
who formed the
Nobel Foundation to take care of Nobel's fortune and
organize the prizes. Although Nobel's will established the prizes,
his plan was incomplete and, because of various other hurdles, it took
five years before the
Nobel Foundation could be established and the
first prizes could be awarded on 10 December 1901 to, among others,
Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen. As of 31 December 2015, the assets
controlled by the
Nobel Foundation amounted to 4.065 billion
Swedish kronor (approx. US$443 million as of 12 December
The Nobel Foundation
Alfred Nobel by Gösta Florman
Nobel Foundation was founded as a private organisation on 29 June
1900 specifically to manage the finances and administration of the
Nobel Prizes. It is based on Nobel's last will and testament.
At the time Nobel's will led to much specticism and criticism and thus
it was not until 26 April 1897 that his will was approved by the
Storting. Soon thereafter they appointed the members of the
Norwegian Nobel Committee
Norwegian Nobel Committee that was to award the
Peace Prize. Shortly
after, the other prize-awarding organizations followed; Karolinska
Institutet on 7 June, the
Swedish Academy on 9 June and the Royal
Swedish Academy of Sciences on 11 June. The next thing the
Nobel Foundation did was to try to agree on guidelines for how the
Nobel Prize should be awarded. In 1900 the Nobel Foundation's newly
created statutes were promulgated by King Oscar II.
In 1905 the
Union between Sweden and Norway
Union between Sweden and Norway was dissolved which meant
the responsibility for awarding
Nobel Prizes was split between the two
Nobel Committee became the awarder of the Peace
Prize while Sweden became the awarder of the other prizes.
In accordance with Nobel's will, the primary task of the Nobel
Foundation is to manage the fortune Nobel left after him in a
fund. Another important task of the
Nobel Foundation is to
Nobel Prize to the outside world and to take charge of
informal activities and issues related to the awarding of the Nobel
Nobel Foundation is not involved in any way in the process
of selecting the Nobel laureates. In many ways the Nobel
Foundation is similar to an investment company in that it invests
money in various ways to create a solid funding base for the prize and
the administrative activities. The
Nobel Foundation is exempt from all
taxes in Sweden (since 1946) and from investment taxes in the United
States (since 1953). Since the 1980s the Foundation's investments
began to earn more money than previously. At the beginning of the
1980s the award money was 1 million SEK but in 2008 the award money
had increased to 10 million SEK.
According to the statutes the Foundation should consist of a Board
with its seat in Stockholm. It should consist of five men. The
Chairman of the board should be appointed by the King in Council.
The other four members should be appointed by the trustees of the
prize awarding institutions. The Board's first task was to choose an
executive director from among the board members. A deputy director
should be appointed by the King in Council and two deputies for the
other members were appointed by the Trustees. However, since 1995 all
the members of the board have been chosen by the Trustees and the
Execute Director and the deputy Director appointed by the board
Apart from the board, the
Nobel Foundation is made up by the
prize-awarding institutions (the Royal
Swedish Academy of Sciences,
the Nobel Assembly, the
Swedish Academy and the Norwegian Nobel
Committee), the trustees of the prize-awarding institutions and
In 1965, the Foundation initiated the Nobel Symposia, a program that
holds symposia "devoted to areas of science where breakthroughs are
occurring or deal with other topics of primary cultural or social
significance." The symposia has covered topics such as
prostaglandins, chemical kinetics, diabetes mellitus, string theory,
cosmology, and the
Cold War in the 1980s. The Nobel Symposium
Committee consists of members from the Nobel Committees in Chemistry,
Literature, Peace, Physics, and
Physiology or Medicine; the Prize
Committee for Economics; the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation;
and the Wallenberg Foundation.
Other Nobel prizes announced by the Nobel family
In 2007, the Nobel Charitable Trust, founded by Michael Nobel, Gustaf
Nobel, Peter Nobel, and Philip Nobel, announced their plans to
establish a new Nobel prize, the
Michael Nobel Energy Award, that will
award innovations in alternative energy technology. It will be the
first new Nobel prize established by the
Nobel family since Alfred
Nobel established his prizes. However, it will be awarded by the Nobel
Charitable Trust and not by the Nobel Foundation, although both are
organisations founded by the Nobel family.
The plan was announced at nanoTX 07. The
Nobel Foundation quickly
reacted by threatening legal action for "clear misuse of the
reputation and goodwill of the
Nobel Prize and the associations of
integrity and eminence that has been created over time and through the
efforts of the Nobel Committees". The Director, Michael Sohlman,
Nobel Foundation and the elected head of the Nobel family
disapproved to the institution of the so-called 'Dr. Michael Nobel
Award' as well as the
Nobel Charitable Trust (NCT) and Nobel Family
Lars Ernster (1920–1998) – a professor of biochemistry and a
former member of the Board of the Nobel Foundation
List of wealthiest foundations
^ Nobelstiftelsen Verksamhetsberättelse 2013 Nobel Foundation.org (in
^ Lemmel, Birgitta (2000-06-29). "The Nobel Foundation: A Century of
Growth and Change". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2010-12-19.
^ a b "The Nobel Foundation". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2010-12-19.
Nobel Foundation is a private institution established in 1900
based on the will of Alfred Nobel. The Foundation manages the assets
made available through the will for the awarding of the
Nobel Prize in
Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Peace. It
represents the Nobel Institutions externally and administers
informational activities and arrangements surrounding the presentation
of the Nobel Prize.
^ "Biography of
Alfred Nobel – Succeed through Studying
Biographies". School for Champions. 8 December 2001. Archived from the
original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2010.
^ a b c "Si-Facts_FS15b_ENG.bak" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-01-15.
^ a b c d e AFP, "Alfred Nobel's last will and testament" Archived 9
October 2009 at the Wayback Machine., The Local(5 October 2009):
accessed 14 January 2009.
^ a b "History – Historic Figures:
Alfred Nobel (1833–1896)". BBC.
^ "Guide to Nobel Prize". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 July 2011.
Retrieved 12 July 2010.
^ "The Will of Alfred Nobel", Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 6 November
^ Alfred Nobel"Alfred Nobel's Will", Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 15
February 2007. (English version).
^ a b c d e "Nobel Prize" (2007), in Encyclopædia Britannica.
Retrieved 15 January 2009, from Encyclopædia Britannica:
After Nobel's death, the
Nobel Foundation was set up to carry out the
provisions of his will and to administer his funds. In his will, he
had stipulated that four different institutions—three Swedish and
one Norwegian—should award the prizes. From Stockholm, the Royal
Swedish Academy of Sciences confers the prizes for physics, chemistry,
and economics, the Karolinska Institute confers the prize for
physiology or medicine, and the
Swedish Academy confers the prize for
Norwegian Nobel Committee
Norwegian Nobel Committee based in Oslo confers the
prize for peace. The
Nobel Foundation is the legal owner and
functional administrator of the funds and serves as the joint
administrative body of the prize-awarding institutions, but it is not
concerned with the prize deliberations or decisions, which rest
exclusively with the four institutions.
^ "All Nobel Laureates". Nobel Foundation. Archived from the original
on 6 October 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2010.
^ "First Nobel Prizes: December 10, 1901", This Day in
History[permanent dead link], The History Channel. Retrieved 30 July
^ "Financial Management"nobelprize.org. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
^ Lemmel, Birgitta (2007-06-29). "The Nobel Foundation: A Century of
Growth and Change". Nobel Foundation. Archived from the original on
2007-10-26. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
^ a b c d "The
Nobel Foundation – History". Nobel Foundation.
Archived from the original on 2008-06-12. Retrieved 2010-01-15.
Nobel Prize History –". Infoplease.com. 1999-10-13. Retrieved
^ Encyclopædia Britannica. "
Nobel Foundation (Scandinavian
organization) – Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Encyclopædia
Britannica. Retrieved 2010-01-15.
^ The Nobel prize: a history of genius ... – Google Böcker.
Books.google.se. Retrieved 2010-01-15.
Nobel Foundation – Financial Management". Nobel Foundation.
2008-12-31. Archived from the original on 2008-07-16. Retrieved
^  Archived 25 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
^ a b c "Statutes of the Foundation". Nobel Prize.org. Archived from
the original on 2008-06-13. Retrieved 2010-01-17.
^ a b "Nobel Symposia". Nobel Foundation. Archived from the original
on 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2007-10-28.
^ "Complete List of Nobel Symposia from 1965 – present". Nobel
Foundation. Archived from the original on 2007-05-14. Retrieved
^ Nobel, Philip (2007-10-09). "
Michael Nobel Energy Award".
PRBuzz.com. Archived from the original on 2007-11-09. Retrieved
^ Nobel, Philip (2007-10-09). "Statement from the Nobel Charitable
Trust Foundation regarding the
Michael Nobel Energy Award".
I-Newswire.com. Archived from the original on 2013-01-03. Retrieved
^ nanoPRwire (2007-09-24). "
Michael Nobel Relieved of nanoTX'07
Activities After Protest from
Nobel Foundation and Family Society".
Nano Science and Technology Institute. Retrieved 2007-10-18.
^ Feder, Barnaby J. (2007-10-18). "The
Nobel Prize That Wasn't". The
New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-18.
"2007 Nobel Conference" – Official site of the "2007 Nobel
Conference" at Gustavus Adolphus College, Saint Peter, Minnesota.
Retrieved 28 October,
"The Nobel Foundation– Official site of the Nobel Foundation.
"Nobel Symposia" – Official webpage of the Nobel Foundation.
"The Will of Alfred Nobel" – Official webpage of the Nobel
Foundation; quotes a pertinent excerpt.
Lists of Nobel laureates
Physiology or Medicine
Physiology or Medicine
Latino and Hispanic
by university affiliation
Head of Government and State
Physiology or Medicine
Norwegian Nobel Committee
Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet
1 Nobel Memorial Prize (not one of the original Nobel Prizes).
Coordinates: 59°20′15″N 18°04′28″E / 59.3376°N
18.0744°E / 59.3376; 18.0744
ISNI: 0000 0001 1086 8485
BNF: cb12076070h (data)