Science has lost a great friend

Fred Kavli, founder and chairman of The Kavli Foundation, passed away peacefully on Thursday, November 21, in his home in Santa Barbara at the age of 86.

Fred Kavli, founder and chairman of The Kavli Foundation, passed away peacefully on Thursday, November 21, in his home in Santa Barbara at the age of 86.

 

Kavli lived and breathed for research and science. He established The Kavli Foundation, which finances three major international research prizes. The Kavli prizes amount to USD one million each, and are awarded biennially in the following fields: Astrophysics, Nanoscience and Neuroscience.

 

-  We have received the message of Fred Kavli’s death with grief. Kavli has meant a great deal to research and science worldwide. He was both curious and generous. He has left behind a remarkable legacy both in Norway and internationally, says Minister of Education and Research Torbjørn Røe Isaksen.

 

It was Fred Kavli’s wish that his awards should measure up to the Nobel Prizes, and he often compared his awards with the Nobel Prizes. After having sold his company, Kavlico, in the year 2000 for NOK 2.5 billion, he established The Kavli Foundation. The Kavli Foundation’s awards were established in 2005. The awards are the result of a collaboration between The Kavli Foundation, The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and The Ministry of Education and Research. The first prize was awarded in 2008.

 

Fred Kavli was born in 1927. He was a farmer’s son and grew up on Moen farm in Eresfjord in Romsdal, Norway. He completed his education in engineering at NTNU (The Norwegian University of Science and Technology), and emigrated to the United States in 1956. Two years later he established the company Kavlico Corporation in California. His business became one of the world’s leading manufacturers of sensors for vehicles, aircrafts and spacecrafts.

 

- In spite of the fact that Kavli lived in the United States for a long time, Norway still remained in his heart. He was a warm human being, and his death is a great loss. He was a significant contributor to basic research throughout the world. For him, research was the key to advancing the world, says Røe Isaksen.

Link to pressrelease at The Kavli Foundation