Prize amount cut by 20% to protect capital funds

The Nobel Foundation announced yesterday that the cash amount of each Nobel prize was being cut from SEK10 million to SEK8 million (£720,000) in order to protect the capital used to finance the prize. Recently, returns on the capital of the foundation have fallen short of the amount needed to support the prizes and associated operating expenses. The foundation is also said to be looking at cutting other expenses to protect the fund.

The Nobel prizes are funded by the bequest of Alfred Nobel’s fortune, the income of which was to be ‘distributed annually in the form of prizes to those who during the preceding year have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind,’ according to his will. The next round of prizes, with their reduced cash awards, will be announced in October.