Why this year’s Nobel laureates will get more cash than previous winners

Why this year's Nobel laureates will get more cash than previous winners
Nobel Medicine laureate Gregg L Semenza receiving the 2019 prize from Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT
The award money handed out for each Nobel Prize will be increased this year from nine to ten million kronor ($1.1 million).

“The work done in recent years to strengthen the Nobel Foundation's financial standing has made it possible to increase the prize sum,” the Nobel Foundation said in a statement.

This year's prizes in the fields of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature, peace and economics will be announced during the week of October 5th.

The prize sum was reduced from ten to eight million Swedish kronor in 2011, when the foundation launched a programme to improve its finances.

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Since the beginning of 2012, its investment capital has risen from just under three billion kronor to 4.6 billion, while the return has been close to nine percent per year thanks to a generally good market performance and good results from the foundation's own asset management, it said.

Prize creator Alfred Nobel, an inventor and scholar who made a vast fortune from his invention of dynamite in 1866, decreed in his 1895 will that the bulk of his estate – about 31.5 million Swedish kronor, equivalent today to about 2.2 billion kronor ($222 million, 203 million euros) – be invested to fund the prizes.

The Nobel Foundation has previously announced that the traditional award ceremony and banquet in Stockholm have been cancelled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, replaced by a televised event with laureates receiving their prizes in their home countries.

The Peace Prize ceremony, which takes place in Oslo, will go ahead albeit in a scaled-back version – with the traditional banquet cancelled.


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