Leading the fight on diabetes and obesity

Novo Nordisk Alberta Diabetes Fund (NOVAD)

Novo Nordisk Canada Inc., in partnership with the University Hospital Foundation and the Government of Alberta announces the Novo Nordisk Alberta Diabetes Fund (NOVAD), a 3-year, $2.5 million fund to advance innovations long-term health outcomes, quality of life, and economic prosperity for Albertans living with diabetes and obesity.

The partnership focuses on three objectives:

Improving diabetes-obesity interventions and management in the community setting for the most vulnerable patients

Enhancing diabetes-obesity interventions and management for seniors, to support independent living

Improving acute care for patients presenting in hospital with diabetes

2023 Current Competition

2023 Novo Nordisk Alberta Diabetes Funding Competition

The University Hospital Foundation (UHF), Novo Nordisk, and the Government of Alberta created the Novo Nordisk Alberta Diabetes Fund (NOVAD) in 2018. NOVAD continues to support obesity and diabetes research and innovation with the ultimate goal of achieving measurable health, economic and social impacts.

NOVAD funding partners are inviting Letters of Intent from Alberta-based investigators, and/or Alberta-based investigators working with entrepreneurs/small and medium enterprises as a team to support research within two core areas:

1. Health care system innovation; obesity reduction in the acute and/or community care settings
2. Commercial opportunities (technologies, digital health or precision medicine and other opportunities within acute and/or community care settings including but not limited to type 2 diabetes, obesity, and other chronic diseases)

Our current competition is now closed. Thank you.


300,000 Albertans or 7.5% of the population are known to have diabetes


One in five hospital admissions in Canada will be a person living with diabetes


2.5 million invested to advance the long-term health of Albertans living with obesity and diabetes

Previous NOVAD Competition Winners

Dr. Diana Mager
Project: Development of innovative home-based strategies for frailty prevention in the community in adults with Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease.

One of the most common problems for people living with diabetes and chronic kidney disease is the high frequency of other coinciding medical conditions such as osteoporosis and frailty. Frailty can result in significant muscle weakness, which can result in increasing difficulties performing daily activities. There is evidence that early screening for failty and lifestyle interventions that focus on healthier eating and physical activity can help prevent frailty for getting worse. The study’s purpose is to develop a home-based lifestyle intervention program focused on optimizing diet and health related quality of life.

Dr. Denise Campbell-Scherer
Project: Addressing clinical and social determinants of health to advance obesity and diabetes prevention and management in vulnerable newcomer ethno-cultural communities.

Using a comprehensive approach that addresses social and clinical determinants of health, mental health and well-being, and broad stakeholder engagement, this work has the potential to help achieve UN Sustainable Development Goal 322 to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all and to reduce health inequity. The World Health Organization has highlighted non-communicable diseases, including obesity/ diabetes, as the most pressing global health need. Outcomes of this project to date include engaging 8 different ethnocultural communities (South Asian, French-speaking African, Ethiopean, Eritrean, Chinese, Filipino, Somali, and South Sudanese), two physician dashboards, the creation of 25 new jobs in Alberta, and published work in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.Β 

Dr. Padma Kaul
Project: Examining social and clinical determinants of childhood obesity at the population level

Childhood obesity is a global problem that predisposes children to current and future health issues. In Canada, more than 30% of children under the age of 11 are considered overweight or obese, making it the most chronic condition in childhood. This study is using real-world data to conduct a comprehensive examination of social, demographic, clinical, and pharmacological factors that may be associated with childhood obesity. As well as developing and testing a risk prediction tool that will identify children, as early as 2 years of age, who are most at risk. The ultimate outcome will be providing specialty care resources that include multidisciplinary assessments and lifestyle interventions offered by three Pediatric Centres for Weight and Health (PCWH).

These projects will help to identify gaps in care, an important first step to fuel future innovations that can change the trajectory of diabetes and obesity in Alberta.

Iain Graham, President of Novo Nordisk Canada Inc.

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