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Danish Climate Research – Great Say in a Small Way

March 30, 2009
Danish climate researchers are among the most productive and quoted in the world. All the same, climate research is a very small field of research – both in Denmark and the rest of the world. The Science Minister believes that this is an area with great development potential.

The first overall analysis of Danish climate research both in the public and private sectors shows a more detailed picture of this research area. For example, it appears that Denmark ranks as number five on the list of countries in the world that issue most scientific publications in the climate area measured per inhabitant. It also shows that Danish researchers are quoted widely and often in international researcher circles – especially Danish ice core researchers are prominent.

All the same, the analysis shows a picture of a comparatively small area of research. Three per cent of the business sector's research investments in Denmark is targeted at the climate area, for instance in case new solutions are to be developed for reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. Climate research in the public sector represents one and a half per cent of the total full-year equivalents of researchers. Altogether, more than 900 public researchers are engaged in climate research to a larger or smaller extent.

Greater focus on climate research

– Denmark should be among the best in the world to create solutions to the great climatic challenges. So of course it is a positive thing that Danish climate research is doing well in an international perspective, including businesses focusing on the area, says Science Minister Helge Sander.
– However, the analysis also emphasises the relatively small extent of this area of research. With the challenges we are facing in the climate area and the potential for further development offered by future growth, there is a need for strengthening climate research. So I am glad to be able, already this year, to present an overall green research strategy, says Science Minister Helge Sander.

Among other things, the analysis of climate research in Denmark will be used in connection with the implementation of the Government's climate adaptation strategy.

– With the Government's climate adaptation strategy, we have created a unique collaboration between researchers and the authorities to be in charge of the initiatives. The universities will of course play an important role too in connection with climate adaptation research, but also DMI (Danish Meteorological Institute) and GEUS (Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland) have much to offer here. With the new climate research centre, the Government has set the stage for a further enhanced research effort in the area, says Connie Hedegaard, Minister for Climate and Energy.
– The great potential for research and new knowledge in Denmark in the climate area should definitely be utilised – not least in the area of climate adaptation, says Leo Larsen, chairman of the Coordination Unit for Research in Climate Change Adaptation, which provides advice to the Government in relation to climate change.

In addition, the analysis shows that the greater part of climate research in the business sector is conducted by large-scale enterprises in the Greater Copenhagen area. The analysis also shows that the Danish universities are the most frequent cooperation partners of the enterprises in developing new climate solutions.

The analysis is a result of a collaborative project between the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, the Coordination Unit for Research in Climate Change Adaptation, and the Ministry of Climate and Energy.

Science Minister Helge Sander can be contacted via Communications Manager Niels Hovmand on mobile +45 40 82 89 58 or e-mail nho@vtu.dk.

For questions on the analysis, please contact Anette Dørge Jessen, Head of Division, Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, phone: +45 35 44 63 82 or e-mail: andj@fi.dk.

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