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Lists of Nobel Prizes and Laureates

Organisational Structure

Spreading Information about the Nobel Prize

The Nobel Prize is surrounded by several organisations and institutions with different tasks related to the prize. This text aims to give an overview of the organisational structure and the objectives of these entities.

Who finances the Nobel Prize?

The Nobel Prize is financed by the Nobel Foundation, a private institution established in 1900 based on the will of Alfred Nobel. The main task of the Nobel Foundation is thus to manage the assets made available through the will for the awarding of the Nobel Prizes. Furthermore, the Nobel Foundation administers informational activities and arrangements surrounding the presentation of the Nobel Prize each year.

The Nobel Foundation does not have the right or mandate to influence the nomination and selection procedures of the Nobel Laureates.

Who selects the Nobel Laureates?

The process of selecting the Nobel Laureates is exclusively handled by the Nobel Prize awarding institutions.

In his last will and testament, Alfred Nobel specifically designated the institutions responsible for the prizes he wished to be established:

  • The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for the Nobel Prize in Physics and Chemistry.
  • The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
  • The Swedish Academy for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
  • A committee of five persons to be elected by the Norwegian Parliament (Storting) for the Nobel Peace Prize.


In 1968, the Sveriges Riksbank established the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences was given the task to select the Economics Prize Laureates starting in 1969.

The institutions above each elect Nobel Committees of five members to carry out the preparatory work related to each category of the Nobel Prize.

Spreading information about the Nobel Prize

The Nobel Foundation does not only manage the financial assets derived from Alfred Nobel's fortune. Over time substantial intellectual property assets, connected to the core values and good will of the Nobel Prize, have developed. It is thus the responsibility of the Nobel Foundation to protect and carefully develop the Nobel Prize trademark. This shall be done in such a way as to safeguard and maintain the international reputation and position of the Nobel Prize trademark, which has been built up during more than a century.

Furthermore, it has become increasingly important to meet the demands of a constantly growing global audience when it comes to information of high quality, regarding the Nobel Laureates and their achievements, via a number of platforms.

Given the need for extensive and professional informational activities, it was concluded that such activities could not be carried out by the Nobel Foundation. The Nobel Foundation's scope of activities, being a Swedish foundation, is limited by the wording of Alfred Nobel's will and the statutes of the foundation dating back to 1900. Since the will can not be construed to include informational activities as defined today and adapted to the various media used by a global audience, such activities may neither be performed by, nor financed by the Nobel Foundation.

Consequently the Nobel Foundation Rights Association was established in 1999, a non-profit association, with the purpose to engage in informational, museum, research, media and related activities within the Nobel Foundation's sphere of interest.

This non-profit association has an overall function as the umbrella organisation for three units: the wholly owned limited liability companies Nobel Museum AB and Nobel Media AB in Stockholm and the Nobel Peace Center Foundation in Oslo. The foremost task of these organisations is to disseminate information and knowledge about the Nobel Prize and the achievements of the Nobel Laureates.

All the above-mentioned organisations base their work on the fundamental intellectual property assets of the Nobel Foundation, such as trademarks and copyright protected material. Their informational efforts shall thus be carried out with the aim to safeguard the long-term position of the Nobel Prize by maintaining, preserving and carefully developing the intellectual property rights of the Nobel Foundation.

These companies have no influence over or access to the nomination or selection procedures of the Nobel Prizes. Only after the public announcement of the Nobel Laureates, made by the Nobel Prize awarding institutions, can the companies further spread information and knowledge about each year's Nobel Prizes.

Financing of informational activities

The companies Nobel Museum AB, Nobel Media AB and Nobelhuset AB in Stockholm as well as the Nobel Peace Center Foundation and Nobels Fredspriskonsert AS in Oslo are all externally financed, e.g. via subsidies from state or local governments, corporate sponsors, educational organizations and philanthropic entities.

"The work of spreading information about the Nobel Prize and the achievements of the Nobel Laureates carried out by Nobel Media and Nobel Museum as well as the Nobel Peace Center, made possible by their respective sponsors, provides invaluable possibilities of reaching a global audience," says Lars Heikensten, Executive Director of the Nobel Foundation.

Nobel Media AB

The objective of Nobel Media is to manage and develop media rights connected with the Nobel Prize, in the areas of TV and web production, distribution, publishing and events to reach a global audience. Nobel Media manages and develops Nobelprize.org and is furthermore engaged in the education of young people in order to increase their interest in and understanding of science, culture and peace achievements.

Nobel Museum AB

The task of the Nobel Museum is to carry out museum, informational, research and related activities. The Nobel Museum illustrates a century of creativity, following the changes of the 20th century through the Nobel Prize and the inspiring work of the Nobel Laureates in the exhibition Cultures of Creativity. The Nobel Museum is located in the Old Town in Stockholm, Sweden.

Nobelhuset AB

The objective of the company Nobelhuset AB is to plan, build, own and manage as well as improve a building for cultural and scientific work known as the Nobel Prize Center located at Blasieholmen in Stockholm, as well as to carry out work related to this.

Nobel Peace Center Foundation

The Nobel Peace Center is an institution aimed at presenting the Nobel Peace Prize and the work of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. It also serves as a meeting place for discussions and reflections related to war, peace and conflict resolution. The Nobel Peace Center is located at Rådhusplassen in Oslo, Norway.

Nobels Fredspriskonsert AS

Nobels Fredspriskonsert AS is a Norwegian company with the aim to organize the Nobel Peace Prize Concert and run research on international relations, peace and conflict, with accompanying in-house research, international fellows programs, seminars and lectures. The company may also support other activities that involve the spreading of information about the Nobel Peace Prize.

Nobel Prize®, Nobelprize.org®, Nobel Media®, Nobel Museum®, Nobel Peace Center® and the Nobel Prize® medal design mark are registered trademarks of the Nobel Foundation.

 

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 2009
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