Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation 100 Years – Jubilee Donation to Science Centers

Press release
31 January 2017

The SEK 150 million donation is intended to promote interest in science and technology, particularly among the young people of Sweden. Five Science Centers across the country will receive grants for dome theaters – where visitors learn as they experience what it's like to travel across the universe, through the human body or to other inaccessible places and situations.

"We want to inspire children and youngsters to discover how exciting science can be. The country's Science Centers serve an important purpose by presenting scientific research in a playful way that awakens curiosity. It's essential they can also do this using the latest technology, both because the technology itself is part of the science, and also to attract as many visitors as possible," says Peter Wallenberg Jr, Chairman of the Foundation.

The initiative involves Visualization Center C in Norrköping, Umevatoriet in Umeå, Science Center Malmö Museer, Swedish National Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm and Universeum in Gothenburg. SEK 100 million will be allocated for visualization technology at the five centers, and SEK 50 million for pedagogical development and production of theater dome presentations at Visualization Center C, Linköping University.

"We will be further refining the visualization technology and pedagogical methods developed at the center. The dome environment offers a fantastic opportunity to explain complex interrelationships and phenomena in a way that is also accessible to the youngsters of today," explains Anders Ynnerman, Director of Visualization Center C, and Professor in Scientific Visualization at Linköping University.

The dome technology funded by the donation will increase the number of visitors able to experience the popular science presentations from the current level of about 100,000 visitors in Norrköping to 1.5 million, spread over the country.

100 years – SEK 24 billion

The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, which is Europe's second-largest private research financer, was founded in 1917 by Knut Wallenberg and his wife Alice. The Foundation's centenary year will be celebrated in various ways, highlighting the research and researchers supported by the Foundation.

Over the past 100 years the Foundation has awarded over 6,000 grants, representing SEK 24 billion. The major part of this sum – SEK 22 billion – has been granted over the past 25 years.

"The Foundation supports scientific research and education that benefits the country as a whole – something that strengthens Sweden as a research nation, and ultimately promotes Swedish development," comments Peter Wallenberg Jr.

The Foundation's policy is to award long-term funding for independent scientific research of the highest international class, primarily in the natural sciences, technology and medicine.

During the year six scientific Jubilee Symposia will be held in university cities and towns throughout the country.

"The focus of the celebrations will be on events for the scientific community, and the researchers we are supporting. We have published a book entitled Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation – 100 years in support of excellent Swedish research and education in which we show the research the Foundation has supported over the years, and also describe how the Foundation began, and how it has evolved over time," says Göran Sandberg, Executive Director.

A jubilee film has also been produced, in which the Chairman of the Foundation, Peter Wallenberg Jr, gives a brief overview of the Foundation's operations and history.
Watch the film

Contact persons

Peter Wallenberg Jr, Chairman, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation
+46 (0)8 545 017 80,

Göran Sandberg, Executive Director, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation
+46 (0)8 545 017 80,


The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation was established in 1917. The Foundation’s aim is to benefit Sweden by supporting Swedish basic research and education, mainly in medicine, technology and the natural sciences. This is achieved through grants to excellent researchers and to projects.

During the Foundation’s 100 years SEK 24 billion has been awarded in grants, of which SEK 1.7 billion yearly in recent years, to excellent research and education, making the Foundation the largest private funder of scientific research in Sweden and one of the largest in Europe.