The Bergen Research Foundation was founded in 2004 by means of a NOK 250 million donation from Trond Mohn. Prior to this Mr Mohn had for many years donated large sums to a variety of sporting and humanitarian causes – but this was his first major contribution to the field of research.
A common denominator for all of Mr Mohn’s donations is that they are based on the notion of a joint voluntary effort. His contribution shall be matched by an effort on the part of the recipient, thus triggering greater resources for the benefit of a particular purpose. And these purposes should preferably be of a long-term, preventative nature, as illustrated by his many major contributions to sporting activities aimed primarily at the broad mass of children and young people. Prevention can focus on health issues as much as social ones, with the expectation of engagement and effort on the part of recipients being clearly expressed.
Teamwork is another characteristic of Mr Mohn’s philosophy. Although research is a “competitive sport”, where the demand for quality is uncompromising, Mr Mohn has also emphasised the need to focus on team players. The “research leader of tomorrow” is not an individualist driving a project forward in total isolation from colleagues or others within the same field of study, but rather a person who achieves results through collaboration and the leveraging of shared resources. These are issues which are emphasised in the recruitment process the foundation today pursues when assessing candidates. Confidence in the workforce, and extensive delegation of responsibility characterise Mr Mohn’s own business activities and leadership philosophy – and which he also wishes to see in the field of research.
Trond Mohn’s donations to research in Bergen also include the establishment of the Bergen Medical Research Foundation, and must be seen in light of his considerable donations for medical equipment at Haukeland University Hospital. In a Norwegian context, Mr Mohn’s generosity is unmatched – and amounts to a unique stimulant to research at or in association with the University of Bergen. This is not least the case because the The Bergen Research Foundation was created with no formal ties binding its research efforts to any specific field or issue. The donations made by Trond Mohn and Frank Mohn AS provide Bergen’s research environments with an extraordinary advantage in their endeavours to pursue research at the highest international level.
The “research leader of tomorrow” is not an individualist driving a project forward in total isolation from colleagues or others within the same field of study, but rather a person who achieves results through collaboration and the leveraging of shared resources.