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Green research elevated to a new level by DKK 2.7 billion

The agreement about the Research Reserve of DKK 3.1 billion for 2021 is in place.

Oct 30, 2020

The parliamentary parties have agreed to lift green research to new heights with a targeted commitment to four green missions. A sub-agreement, excluding LA, NB and DF, greatly increases funding to the Inge Lehmann programme, which aims to promote gender equality in research environments.  

On October 30, The Government, the Liberal Party, the Danish People's Party, the Danish Social Liberal Party, the Socialist People's Party, the Red-Green Alliance, the Conservative People's Party, the Alternative, the New Right, the Liberal Alliance and the Independent Greens signed an agreement on the allocation of  the research reserve in 2021.  

Research is the key to achieving the goal of a 70% CO2 reduction by 2030, and climate neutrality by 2050. For this reason, green research is being given priority funding, totalling DKK 2.7 billion in 2021, of which approximately DKK 2.1 billion will be allocated from the agreement just entered into. A portion of the funds are earmarked for four research areas, so-called 'missions', namely: capturing CO2, green fuels (Power-to-x, etc.), agriculture and the circular economy, for the benefit of climate change mitigation as well as jobs throughout the country and the bottom lines of Danish company accounts.  

What is new here is that a united parliament has decided to send the signal that green research is here to stay, by deciding to prioritise a high level of funding earmarked for green research from 2020 and four years ahead.  

- I am very pleased that the Government and all the other parties in the Danish Folketing have come to an agreement about an historic commitment to green research. We actually achieved a high level of funding for green research last year, and now intend to build on that. If we are to achieve the goal of mitigating climate change, we must use the funds correctly, and therefore we have prioritised political funding for those areas which we know have the greatest effect - both now and in the future. And as something completely new, we are sending a clear message that green research is here to stay, to ensure that the high level of green investment is continued into the future, says the Minister for Higher Education and Science, Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen.

Other main points in the agreement  

The agreement also allocates funds to co-finance a new ocean-going Arctic research vessel, which will strengthen Denmark's position in Arctic research. The agreement also includes funds for technological development and innovation that can maintain production and employment in Denmark, for example, research in robotics, artificial intelligence and digitization. Such research aims to provide a growth environment in which Danish companies can develop products and new technological solutions, while increasing their growth and productivity for the benefit of the whole country.

Life sciences, health and welfare technology given high priority to the tune of DKK 390 million.   Moreover, DKK 50 million have been earmarked every year for the next few years to strengthen research in the whole field of childhood studies. Research must help provide all children with the best possible conditions for succeeding later in life, making sure, for example, that children in day care thrive, learn, develop and begin a broad education.  

Agreement on free research, research on climate change and talent development  

In addition, the Government has entered into an agreement with the Liberal Party, the Danish Social Liberal Party, the Socialist People's Party, the Red-Green Alliance, the Conservative People's Party, the Alternative and the Independent Greens concerning freedom of research, research into climate change and the promotion of talent. The agreement includes a fivefold increase in the funding of the Inge Lehmann programme amounting to DKK 110 million next year. The programme, named after one of the first pioneering women in Danish research, aims to promote more equality in the gender composition of research communities in Denmark.  

- We are still far from having gender equality in our research institutions. The Inge Lehmann programme is an important tool to mobilize talented researchers. We have to bring all talented researchers into play, otherwise we shall miss out on talent and much ground-breaking research, says Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen.

Quotes from party spokespersons

Stinus Lindgreen, Danish Social Liberal Party: 
- We are in the middle of a climate crisis, so it is wise to put a big green label on the research reserve funding, but with enough breathing space for researchers to come up with the answers - not the politicians. The Danish Social Liberal Party has insisted on securing free funding, so that we can cultivate new ideas and the best researchers - not least through the Inge Lehmann and Sapere Aude programmes. Finally, funds have been set aside for independent clinical research, and dissemination through videnskab.dk will be maintained.  

Astrid Carøe, Socialist People's Party: 
- I am proud of these agreements that ensure an historically unparalleled ramping up of green research, covering both free green research and strategic research, both of which will help us on the way to a 70% CO2 reduction. In addition, we have secured a programme to promote more female researchers and 50 million kroner for research concerning the youngest children which will benefit our day care institutions, future social educators and, of course, the children themselves.  

Ulla Tørnæs, Liberal Party:
- This year, once more, the Liberal Party put a solid green stamp on this agreement, and I personally have fought for the role of agriculture in tackling climate change. We have also insisted on a significant boost to the Life Sciences, Area in which Denmark has a strong position. And I am particularly pleased that Denmark will be getting a new marine research vessel that can do research in the Arctic - which was one of the liberal party's policy demands leading up to the negotiations.

Jens Henrik Thulesen Dahl, Danish People's Party: 
- In the Danish People's Party we are pleased to be able to ensure the continuation of the Centre for Grundtvig Research, thus securing a crucial part of our Danish cultural heritage for posterity. In general, we are satisfied with a balanced agreement that ensures broad investments in research throughout the value chain. The agreement opens up broad opportunities to utilise Denmark's position in the area of robot and drone technology. This is important for Denmark, but particularly for Funen, which is a leading region within robot and drone technology.  

Eva Flyvholm, Red-Green Alliance:
- There are a lot of gems in this agreement. We've got an exciting major programme to promote female researchers, lots of green projects, for example, a climate research centre, a major investment in educational research concerning young children, a greater focus on Arctic research and the start-up of a new centre in Greenland. All vital projects for me and the Red-Green Alliance. We have also argued forcefully for more free research; we did not get as much as we wanted, but we have come a good deal along the way.  

Katarina Ammitzbøll, Conservative People's Party: 
- I'm really happy that the research agreement contains a number of conservative imprints. For example, I am especially proud that we managed to change the government's 'plastic mission' to 'circular economy', adding smart energy systems and sector coupling. We have gained a greater focus on digital and artificial intelligence, including drones and robots. Arctic research and a new research ship have also been very important to us. For the Conservative People's Party, a vital aspect is that we become better equipped for the future. This agreement does just that.  

Peter Seier Christensen, New Right:
 - For the New Right, it is important that free research be given the opportunity to spread its wings. It is absolutely crucial that researchers can test and develop completely new ideas. It has therefore been a main priority for the New Right that a significant portion of the funds should go to free research. In addition, it is important that research in the field of agriculture be given priority. The aims have been met with in the  agreement, which the New Right is therefore happy to be a part of.  

Uffe Elbæk, Independent Greens: 
- Once again a very nice green outcome of negotiations. We in the Independent Greens are particularly pleased that the agreement focuses on the societal potential of civil society, and of democratic and employee-owned companies. And not least that study courses in the arts have also been prioritised this year.

Bjørn Brandenborg, Social Democrats: 
- Politically, we have a responsibility to ensure that public research contributes as much as possible to solving our societal challenges, while at the same time helping to support our companies and workplaces. We have ensured this with a massive green, targeted investment and a focus on new technologies, including robots.  

Facts about the distribution of the research reserve, etc.:

The Government, the Liberal Party, the Danish People's Party, the Danish Social Liberal Party, the Socialist People's Party, the Red-Green Alliance, the Conservative People's Party, the Alternative, the New Right, the Liberal Alliance and the Independent Greens I have allocated DKK 2,857.3 million to research and innovation in 2021.  

Ambitious and lasting green research initiatives

  • DKK 2,102.8 million will be put into ambitious, green research initiatives in 2021.
  • Under Innovation Fund Denmark, a total of DKK 1.169 million has been set aside for green research and innovation projects - including DKK 700 million for green research and innovation partnerships and DKK 469 million for green research, technology development and innovation.
  • Under the Independent Research Fund Denmark, DKK 312.9 million has been earmarked to allow the fund, based on proposals chosen by a competitive process, to distribute funds for green, free, curiosity-driven research in Denmark.
  • A total of DKK 511 million has been set aside for the three development and demonstration programmes, and DKK 39.3 million for improving green research in the field of agriculture.
  • DKK 50 million in 2021 and 60 million in 2022 and 2023 have been earmarked for part-financing of a new research vessel, the DANA, what is all the facilities necessary to solve tackle tasks in the Arctic.
  • DKK 10.6 million have been set aside for green international research collaboration and the improved monitoring of green research.
  • DKK 2 million have been allotted to the research dissemination portal, Videnskab.dk, and DKK 6 million to research and development projects in the area of sustainable design and architecture that can support the mitigation of climate change.
  • DKK 2.0 million has been assigned to Arctic research on climate and geopolitics.  

Life science, health and welfare technology

  • A total of DKK 390 million has been set aside for research, technology development and innovation within the life sciences, health and welfare technology, etc., of which DKK 340 million will go to Innovation Fund Denmark and DKK 50 million to research activities at the International Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance Solutions (ICARS).   Technology and Innovation to maintain production and jobs in Denmark
  • Under Innovation Fund Denmark, DKK 190 million has been allocated to support challenge-driven research, technological opportunities and innovation that can contribute to maintaining production and providing even better, employee-friendly workplaces in Denmark.
  • DKK 30 million to the match financing scheme administered by the 'Vækstfonden'.  

A strong foundation for research and innovation

  • DKK 50 million has been allocated annually in 2021-2024 to build and strengthen Danish Educational research aimed at the youngest children 0-6 years old.
  • DKK 27.6 million to strengthen the research infrastructure that constitutes the vital basis for Danish research to continue to be world-class.
  • A total of DKK 17.8 million will be devoted to strengthening Danish participation in international research collaboration and how Denmark can draw on EU funds.
  • In 2021,  DKK 3.1 million is being set aside to support Arctic research, including activities related to the Arctic and Antarctic, and DKK 3.1 million to the Arctic University.
  • In addition, DKK 10 million is being set aside to support the continued work of the Grundtvig Centre.  

The agreement relating to free research, talent development and research into climate change (distribution of the cross-sectoral reserve in 2021)

The Government, the Liberal Party, the Danish Social Liberal Party, the Socialist People's Party, the Red-Green Alliance, the Conservative People's Party, the Alternative and the Independent Greens have agreed to set aside DKK 231.4 million in 2021 for free research, talent development and research into climate change.  

  • Under Independent Research Fund Denmark, DKK 181.7 million has been allocated to improve talent development in Danish research and to support a more equal gender balance in research environments, of which DKK 110 million has been allocated to the Inge Lehmann programme, and DKK 71.7 million to the research talent programme, Sapere Aude Research Leaders, of which up to DKK 10 million can go to the national ERC support programme.
  • DKK 10.3 million set aside for the EliteForsk initiative, which at an annual event honours and rewards young research talents with research prizes.
  • DKK 39.4 million set aside to strengthen and ensure the continuation of the National Centre for Climate Research (NCFK), including monitoring of the Greenland ice cap.

For further information please contact:

Press Secretary Nynne Jespersen Lee, tel. +45 7231 8107, email: nljl@ufm.dk
Director Nils Agerhus, tel.: 2075 7817, email: nag@ufm.dk 

last modified Oct 30, 2020