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Danish research output has great international impact

According to the latest Research and Innovation Indicators 2015, Danish research production continues to hold a leading international position and has great scientific impact.

Jan 18, 2016

The Minister for Higher Education and Science is pleased with the results, but would also like to see more research being utilised to create value in society.

Danish research production output is quite high compared to other countries. Only Switzerland and Iceland produce more scientific publications per capita than Denmark.

Meanwhile Danish research also has significant scientific impact, according to Research and Innovation Indicators 2015. Denmark ranks 4th internationally when measured by citation of scientific publications. And when measuring the percentage of national publications that are among the top ten most cited scientific publications, Denmark achieved a rank of 3rd.

The annual Research and Innovation Indicators was recently published and provides an overview of Danish research while placing it in an international context.

Minister for Higher Education and Science Esben Lunde Larsen has commented on the new results:

- I am proud and pleased that Danish research clearly has great quality and impact. But I am also focused on research being utilised to create value in our society, because it is research that will provide Denmark with a future income.
- Even though we are already reaping benefits of research currently being carried out in Denmark, we could improve on broadening our research results so that they are increasingly utilised by the business community. For example, Denmark only ranks in the middle when it comes to the number of new discoveries, patents, and licence-, sales- and options agreements developed from public research institutions.

In the coming days, the minister will gather 100 representatives from knowledge institutions, companies and organisations to discuss how research can best contribute to the development of new solutions and ideas, and in the long term, lead to growth, employment and increased welfare.

The new overview also shows that Denmark, second only to Israel, has the highest percentage of university research funded by external funding from abroad, the business community, and from private non-profit foundations and organisations.

- I am pleased that Danish universities are successfully attracting external funding from foundations, organisations and abroad. It shows that others want to support Danish university research because they find it relevant and of a high quality, says Esben Lunde Larsen.

The positive results should be viewed in the context of Denmark’s 2013 results, when it ranked 6th among OECD countries for research carried out in relation to the GDP.

When divided into research carried out by universities and other public institutions, Denmark ranked 1st, while Danish research carried out by companies ranked 9th.

Comparisons drawn with other countries are based on figures from 2013 as these are the latest comparative OECD figures.

About Research and Innovation Indicators 2015

Research and Innovation Indicators 2015 builds on international data on research, EU research funding and PhDs, as well as scientific publications and citations.

The overview also encompasses international comparisons of public research divided by scientific field.

This year’s report contains a new international comparison examining the prestigious grants from the European Research Council (ERC).

The report, which is published annually by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science is aimed at all those interested in the research area. Its primary aim is to create a factual overview of Danish research profiles and, with a few key indicators, place Danish research in an international context.

About the Commercialisation Statistics

The statistics for the commercialisation of research results are based on data from 14 public research institutions, which include eight universities, two sector research institutions and four hospital trusts in Denmark.


For further information please contact:

Head of division Andreas Blohm-Graversen, Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, tel: +45 72 31 84 02, e-mail: abg@fi.dk 

Press consultant: Trine Søndergaard, Ministry of Higher Education and Science, tel: +45 72 31 80 09, e-mail: tri@ufm.dk

last modified Jan 19, 2016