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Evaluation: Danish innovation must be driven by global challenges

The evaluation states that the Danish research and innovation system is among the best in the world. Investments in research and innovation can have even more impact on growth and job creation and the effort can also be improved in a number of areas.

Sep 27, 2012

A new international evaluation of the Danish research and innovation system shows that it is a well-functioning system, but there are a number of things that could be improved. Overall, it is seen as a solid foundation for further development.

The Government had asked for an evaluation as part of its work with the innovation strategy. It has been carried out by the European Research Area Committee (ERAC) and contains 22 recommendations for an even better research and innovation system.

The Government is expected to deliver its vision for an innovation strategy by the end of the year. The strategy is a significant part of the Government’s plan to create growth and more employment.

Higher Education Minister Morten Østergaard has made clear that innovation must contribute even more to growth and jobs. There is therefore a need to examine the collective Danish innovation effort.

– I am pleased with the ERAC’s recommendations, which will be considered in the future work of the innovation strategy. I agree with the recommendation to simplify the current complex structure of councils, foundations, etc. that support innovation. We must simplify the structure and reorganise the number of instruments, so that there is better opportunity for much greater and targeted ventures. We must think of solutions rather than boxes.
– Part of Denmark’s growth will come from reforms we have made of the labour market, which see more people working more, and more people joining the labour market. Another part of the growth will result from educating more people and better educating them, up-skilling the workforce and strengthening and making better use of the innovation potential of Danish companies, says Morten Østergaard.

A number of the recommendations match the minister’s views on how to improve innovation in Denmark.

– Innovation must be driven strategically to a greater extent by solving great societal challenges. No longer should we just allocate money to many individual projects. Through a close joint effort between companies, universities and the public sector, we must find new solutions to the urgent problems and challenges we face. For example, within welfare, the environment, energy and health. This must of course take place within areas where Danish companies have strong competences in development and production.
– Innovation should also be a feature of educational institutions and be closely integrated in daily teaching. They should not only be ready to work at a job, but also be able to create jobs and this must be supported by the institutions, says Morten Østergaard.

About ERAC

  • The international evaluation of the Danish research and innovation system is an ERAC peer review. ERAC is an advisory body for the European Commission.
  • The evaluation has been carried out by an international expert panel including two external consultants and four senior policy makers appointed by fellow EU member states. There were representatives from Austria, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
  • The lead consultant of the report is Professor Paul Cunningham, Senior Research Fellow and Director, Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, University of Manchester.

The report will be presented during the International Evaluation of the Danish Research and Innovation System conference. The conference takes place at Eigtveds Pakhus, Asiatisk Plads 18, 1402 Copenhagen K. on 27 September, 13:30. Media are welcome.

For further information please contact:

Head of Division Mikkel Leihardt, tel.+45 7231 8015
Press Officer Ingeborg Nielsen, tel.+45 2211 0200

last modified Feb 10, 2013

Contact information and EAN numbers:

Ministry of Higher Education and Science

Danish Agency for Higher Education

Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation

IT Department of the Ministry of Higher Education and Science