Villum Kann Rasmussen Annual Award in Science and Technology is the largest individual Danish research award. It is given to a Danish researcher in recognition of a particularly valuable contribution to the technical and natural sciences.

Who can receive the annual award?

The recipients are selected by the Award Committee and cannot be applied for as the committee appoints the candidates. Former recipients (VILLUM Experiment or VILLUM Investigator) will be invited to select qualified candidates via an invitation. 

Villum Kann Rasmussen, the founder of the foundations, wanted to support technical and scientific research and to provide better opportunities for creative scientific work to benefit and to inspire Danish researchers.

Through his work, Villum Kann Rasmussen demonstrated remarkable creativity and entrepreneurship.  Among other things, in the construction of the VELUX skylight window and by taking out more than 55 patents produced through inventiveness and experimental research.

A total of 38 researchers have received the annual award since it was first given in 1987. The award includes a DKK 5 million award. Applications are not accepted.

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VILLUM FONDEN’s board of directors selects the recipient of the annual award. The selection is made based on the recommendations of a panel that obtains statements about candidates from experts in the individual researcher’s field of specialisation.

Recipients of the annual award

Master of light receives the Annual Award 2019

The annual award medal

The annual award includes DKK 5 million and this medal with the silhouette of Villum Kann Rasmussen.

Previous recipients

Professor and pioneer Ivan Damgaard received the Annual Award 2018

Astronomer Jens Hjorth receives Villum Kann Rasmussen Annual Award 2017

Lone Gram – recipient of the 2016 Annual Award
Jens Stougaard – recipient of the 2016 Annual Award
Annual Award Panel 


Recipients of the Annual Award are selected by the board of directors of VILLUM FONDEN among a pool of nominees chosen by an expert panel.


Annual Award Panel
  • Anja Boisen, Professor, Department of Micro- and Nanotechnology, Technical University of Denmark, board member, VILLUM FONDEN
  • Björn Ottersten, Professor, University of Luxembourg & KTH Royal Institute of Technology
  • Marcel A. J. Somers, Professor, Section head, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark