Körber European Science Prize

Photo: Friedrun Reinhold

Awarded annually, the Körber European Science Prize honours a distinguished scientist actively conducting research in the fields of either Life Sciences or Physical Sciences in Europe. With prize money totalling €1,000,000, we strive to support outstanding scientists in their endeavours and promote innovative research with future promise.

Svante Pääbo received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2022

We congratulate Svante Pääbo on his Nobel Prize in Medicine. His work has revolutionised our understanding of the evolutionary history of modern humans; it has been significantly conducive to the realisation that Neanderthals and other extinct human groups have contributed to the ancestry of present-day humans. One of his most important scientific breakthroughs was the decoding of the Neanderthal genome. The Swedish scientist is thus considered the founder of paleogenetics. In 2018, Svante Pääbo was awarded the Körber Prize for European Science, endowed with one million euros, and is now the 8th laureate to also later receive the Nobel Prize.

The Genes of the Neanderthals

Svante Pääbo succeeded in accomplishing the scientific feat of reconstructing the complete genome of Neanderthals from bones that were many thousands of years old.

The prizewinner 2022

Condensates – Cell droplets as biochemical minilaboratories

The Körber Prize 2022 was awarded to the British cell biologist Anthony Hyman. His research on cell droplets helps us to better understand cells and the development of neurodegenerative diseases.

About the Körber Prize

Prize money in euros
Prizewinners later awarded with the Nobel Prize
Different countries research conducted in

In 1984, our founder Kurt A. Körber established the Körber European Science Prize to honor scientific excellence in Europe. Kurt Körber’s initial idea was to support scientists in the realisation of forward-looking ideas. Only projects that promised "a significant contribution to the improvement of living conditions on our planet" were to be honored. For almost forty years now, the Search Committees and the Trustee Committee have sought to live up to this claim when selecting Körber Prize winners.

„Over recent years, the Körber European Science Prize has developed into a high-ranking European science prize. In the last ten years alone, the Körber Prize winners included seven scientists who were later awarded the Nobel Prize.“

Prof. Dr. Martin Stratmann

President of the Max-Planck-Society and Chairman of the Trustee Committee for the Körber Prize.

With the Körber Prize, Kurt A. Körber also pursued a political objective. When the prize was established in the 1980s, one of its aims was to use science to make the then still existing Iron Curtain between Eastern and Western Europe more permeable. In the first few years, the prize was awarded to research groups, but since 2005 it has been awarded to outstanding individuals conducting research at a European institution.

We are convinced that investing in fundamental research in Europe is more important than ever to keep up with the global competition for the best minds and ideas.

"It was important to the founder to emphasise three ideas: Germany, Europe and the future. The prize was intended to promote research in Europe."

Reimar Lüst

First Chairman of the Körber Prize Trustee Committee between 1984 - 1996

More about the Körber Prize

Twitter: @KoerberScience


Matthias Mayer

Head of Department Science

Dr. Markus Dressel

Programme Manager
Körber European Science Prize, Global University Leaders Council Hamburg

Charlotte Worbes

Programme Manager
Körber European Science Prize, Global University Leaders Council Hamburg

Jacqui Allen

Event Manager
Hamburg Horizons, Körber European Science Prize, Global University Leaders Council Hamburg

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