University of Gothenburg

Who was Herman Krefting?

Herman Krefting (1907-1993) was born and raised in Norway, but was forced to flee across the border, together with his family, during the second world war. They ended up in Vänersborg, where Krefting later founded the nowadays big, international consortium VGB Group. He suffered from severe asthma since childhood but was a hard worker and a successful businessman. During the 1980s, he decided to introduce the company on the stock market, but before that he created three foundations and donated a major part of his shares. The bigger of the three was aimed at supporting asthma research. The foundation was named the Herman Krefting Foundation for Allergy and Asthma Research.

Associate professor in medicine and specialist in allergology and internal medicine Nalle Lindholm remembers many conversations with Herman Krefting, where Krefting was very specific about the requirements for the funds and what kind of research was supposed to be supported. For example, he wanted the research to be point-of-care, with a clinical orientation. He also emphasized that the research was to be performed in close connection to the hospital and to academics, so that all future allergologs at the University hospital could take part in some research training.

The first scholarship was handed out in 1986 and many scholarships were handed out throughout the years. It was, however, soon evident that there was a lack of resources in the asthma/allergy sector to provide teachers and professors. Without such competence, future teaching or research would not thrive as the donor wanted.

In 1994, the Foundation took the strategic decision to build a steady academic competence in clinical allergology at Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg. The foundation sponsors professors and a large number of PhD students and other employees in long-term research projects.

Successfully treated at the Sahlgrenska Hospital, Herman Krefting lived a normal life with great creativity and a proactive nature, even after 80 years of age.