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New survey shows Danish research into environmentally-friendly resources is of high international quality

The public sector is investing significantly and successfully in research into the production of environmentally friendly food and energy, according to a new survey from the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.

Jan 06, 2017

Minister Søren Pind says it is an important investment for Danish businesses competitiveness and is a Danish position of strength.

A new survey from the Ministry of Higher Education and Science shows that the public sector invested DKK 1.3 billion in 2014 in university research into the use of biological resources – which includes more environmentally-friendly production of food and feed, energy and technology. Meanwhile the private sector invested DKK 3.7 billion into research in the same year.

The survey also shows that research into biological resources is one of Denmark's positions of strength in research compared to the OECD average. The greatest share of research is within the food area, which accounted for 56 per cent of all research publications about the use of biological resources in Denmark during the period 2005-2014. When measuring the number of patents comparatively, Denmark is ranked second in the OECD (per capita) within the use of biological resources.

Minister for Higher Education and Science Søren Pind is pleased with the position of strength held by Danish research in the area:

- The Earth's population continues to grow and it is therefore more important than ever that we utilise resources in the best possible way. I find it positive that the survey shows that Denmark is at the forefront of development in this area. We must solidify our strong position even more so that the business community has the best opportunities to develop new products and optimise their production. It benefits us all, says Minister for Higher Education and Science Søren Pind.

Pressure on global resources increases in line with a growing population and increased use of resources. There is therefore great interest in how businesses can effectively reuse natural resources in production. For example, waste that normally is sent to the dump, could be transformed for heating, or fuel for vehicles. By-products that normally end up in the trash can be reused to manufacture new products.

A large part of the Danish private sector base their business on biological resources, creating jobs and increasing export opportunities. It is important that businesses have access to the newest research and development within biological resources e.g. in the food area.

Survey results

The new survey carried out by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science provides a report of the total Danish research effort within the use of biological resources. It has not been translated into English but the main results have and they are:

  • In 2014, universities carried out DKK 1.3 billion worth of research within the use of biological resources, while the private sector carried out DKK 3.7 billion worth of research. This corresponds to a total of 9 per cent of overall public research investments.
  • The greatest share of public research investment in biological resources was in the food area, which saw DKK 700 million worth of investment in 2014.
  • Private sector research investment is mainly within ingredients and biotechnology. In 2014, the private sector invested DKK 1.9 billion in research in ingredients and biotechnology, and DKK 1.5 billion in research in the use of biological resources in the food area.
  • The survey shows that research into biological resources is one of Denmark's research positions of strength when compared with the OECD average.
  • The greatest share of research publications is in the food area, accounting for 56 per cent of all research publications about the use of biological resources in Denmark during the period 2005-2014.
  • The last decade has seen a development where research in energy based on biological resources has particularly seen a growth in the number of publications. It is also the area with the greatest research specialisation in Denmark compared with the OECD average.
  • When measuring the number of patents comparatively, Denmark's is ranked second in the OECD (per capita) within the use of biological resources.

The survey further contributes to the Ministry of Higher Education and Science's work on creating the best framework for research and development in Denmark.

last modified Jan 06, 2017