Trond Mohn Foundation and Tromsø Research Foundation collaborate on their own UiT initiative

Trond Mohn Foundation and Tromsø Research Foundation collaborate on their own UiT initiative

Trond Mohn’s long-standing commitment to research at UiT The Arctic University of Norway is now being continued through a cooperation between the sister foundations Trond Mohn Foundation (TMS) and Tromsø Research Foundation (TFS).

The foundations, both established by industrialist and philanthropist Trond Mohn, have similar objectives, namely to support research and initiatives that promote research in Bergen and Tromsø, respectively. The foundations have cooperated closely in administrative matters for several years. Their cooperation is now set to be strengthened further through a special research initiative in relation to UiT The Arctic University of Norway. 

Trond Mohn has high expectations for the initiative

I am pleased that the Trond Mohn foundation board unanimously supports this new initiative, and I look forward to seeing many excellent projects,’ says Trond Mohn. ‘Good, strong cooperation forms a solid foundation that allows research initiatives to provide value beyond the project funding.’

Enhanced cooperation between Bergen and Tromsø

The foundations in Tromsø and Bergen have long cooperated on the development of work processes to ensure high research quality, and they share the same two main pillars: thematic initiatives and investing in young outstanding researchers through starting grants.

TFS has now allocated a total of NOK 400 million of donations from Trond Mohn. The capital has been well managed and has provided over NOK 500 million to research in Tromsø. In order to continue Mohn’s strong research initiatives at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, the two sister foundations will join forces in the future. The foundation in Bergen has set aside funds for a UiT initiative, and the Tromsø Research Foundation will continue its work on identifying and developing research projects worthy of funding within this framework. The new projects can either be pure UiT projects or UiT-led collaborative projects with Bergen.

The research communities at UiT will reap the benefits of this cooperation. Rector Dag Rune Olsen is excited about the agreement between the two foundations:

‘Trond Mohn’s support for research communities, through the Tromsø Research Foundation, has obviously helped to lift this region, and this clear continuation of support expresses confidence in UiT as well as a genuine love for the region.’

Satisfied chairs

‘The support from the Tromsø Research Foundation has been a game changer for several fields of research at UiT and has especially contributed to the recruitment of a number of outstanding candidates. It is simply fantastic that the continuation of research funding to UiT has now been secured,‘ says Anne Husebekk (UiT), chair of the board of the Tromsø Research Foundation.

This excellent and long-standing cooperation between the foundations is now entering a new and exciting phase, and I look forward to being part of it,’ says Asbjørn Strandbakken, chair of the board of the Trond Mohn Foundation.

Celebrating the cooperation by announcing new starting grants in Tromsø

After a break of a couple of years, Tromsø Research Foundation will celebrate the cooperation by announcing a new call for applications to the Starting Grant programme. The programme has so far recruited fourteen outstanding candidates, who are now making their mark not just locally at UiT, but also internationally. One example of this is recent ERC Consolidator grant recipient Shona Wood. She received the starting grant from the Tromsø Research Foundation in 2017 and is now employed as an associate professor at the Department of Arctic and Marine Biology.

‘It is excellent news that TFS can now announce new starting grants. The programme gave me the chance to realise my dream project, and also the opportunity to establish my own research group and show my capabilities.’

Shona Wood, forsker ved Institutt for arktisk og marin biologi på UiT. (Foto: Christian Halvorsen)

Shona Wood, Associate professor in Arctic chronobiology and physiology at UiT. (Photo: Christian Halvorsen)

New thematic research initiatives in Northern Norway

Chair of the board Anne Husebekk refers to a number of ongoing thematic research programmes supported by the Tromsø Research Foundation that are taking place in close cooperation with the Trond Mohn Foundation. She mentions in particular the initiatives in pure mathematics and PET nuclear research. The mathematics initiative has revitalised activity and cooperation in pure mathematics nationally, but especially at UiT, as evidenced by the mathematicians’ strong performance in the shortlisting stage when the Research Council of Norway recently announced a call for proposals for the Centre of Excellence scheme. Trond Mohn has privately donated identical PET scanners to the research communities in Tromsø, Bergen and Trondheim, and the research initiative in PET nuclear medicine is based on these ‘triplet laboratories’. The initiative is based on the close collaboration between the specialist communities and contributes to improved patient treatment. Expectations are high for the initiative’s future.

The Tromsø Research Foundation is delighted to have the chance to facilitate new thematic research initiatives and continue the work of recruiting talented young researchers to UiT through the Starting Grant programme. TFS will continue to prioritise high quality (peer-reviewed) initiatives that provide a positive effect for society/the region. The foundation wants to continue to work to make a difference. The work starts immediately.

Foto: Melanie Burford. Illustrasjon Jordal og co

Foto: Melanie Burford. Illustrasjon Jordal og co

Ingressfoto: Anne Husebekk og Trond Mohn, foto: Lars Aake Andersen