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Ubbo Emmius Fund of the University of Groningen receives large donation from alumnus

Extra source of funds for academic research
14 December 2020

A former student has donated a large sum via the Ubbo Emmius Fund to their alma mater, the University of Groningen (UG). At the end of October, as part of this donation, the Ubbo Emmius Fund received a sum of €35 million. It is expected that further sums will be received as part of this donation in the near future. The final donation amount is currently unknown because this depends on the return on the investments from which the donation was made. The donor has asked to remain anonymous; the UG and Ubbo Emmius Fund are respecting this wish.

According to the conditions attached to the donation, the funds must be used for scientific research at the UG. President of the Board of the University, Prof. Jouke de Vries: ‘We are happy and thankful for this enormous donation to the Ubbo Emmius Fund. Never in our history has such a great sum been left to the University by an alumnus for the benefit of scientific research. It offers us the opportunity to substantially invest in fundamental and applied research. In addition, we will be able to give ambitious early-career academics the chance to further shape their scientific careers.’

€30 million for CogniGron

The donor selected the first recipient for part of the donation: the Groningen Cognitive Systems and Materials Center (CogniGron), which will receive a sum of €30 million. Under this project at the Faculty of Science and Engineering, researchers have been working on developing materials for the next generation of computers since 2018.

Prof Beatriz Noheda (right)
Prof Beatriz Noheda (right)

‘It is important research because the demand made of computers to process and interpret enormous amounts of data will increase explosively over the coming years. At the UG, we can explore solutions to this challenge with a strong, multidisciplinary project comprising scientists from various disciplines. To show our thanks for this donation, we wanted to name CogniGron after the donor. But, of course, we are respecting their wish for anonymity’, states Prof Beatriz Noheda, Director of CogniGron.


The donation is being managed by the Ubbo Emmius Fund. The Fund supervises the careful and correct allocation of donations in accordance with any conditions stipulated by donors. The intent is to deposit this donation into a so-called endowment fund, in which annual returns are paid out every year. In this way, the UG is ensured of a long-term, substantial extra source of income to benefit scientific research and PhD positions.

Last modified:14 December 2020 11.24 a.m.
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