- The cuts are being made to protect the foundation's long-term capital
- New prize amounts will be $1.1 million for each award, down from $1.4 million
- The prize program began in 1901
Nobel prize amounts will be cut by 20% in 2012, the foundation that runs the program announced Monday.
The move was made to protect the foundation's long-term capital after years of falling short of covering its operating expenses.
"One of the most important tasks of the Nobel Foundation is to safeguard the economic base of the Nobel Prize," the foundation said in a press release. "The capital left behind by Alfred Nobel must therefore be managed in such a way that it will be possible to award the Nobel Prize in perpetuity."
The new amount for each prize will be 8 million Swedish Krona, or $1.1 million. The previous prize amount was 10 million Swedish Krona, or $1.4 million.
"The Nobel Foundation is responsible for ensuring that the prize sum can be maintained at a high level in the long term. We have made the assessment that it is important to implement necessary measures in good time," Lars Heikensten, executive director of the Nobel Foundation, said in a statement.
The prestigious prize program, named for Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel, began in 1901. This year's awards will be announced in October.