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The Danish Industry Foundation Sponsoring Building of Danish-Chinese University Centre in China

September 18, 2009
A strategic collaboration between the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and the Danish Industry Foundation will now ensure that the plans for a Danish University Centre in Beijing can be realised.

A building for the Danish University Centre in Beijing – the Industry Foundation House – is intended to ensure an optimal framework for collaboration on research and university education between Denmark and China. The University Centre is also intended to serve as a showcase for Danish business and industry in China.

The Science Ministry and the Danish Industry Foundation are announcing today that the plans for a Danish University Centre in China are about to be realised. The Danish Industry Foundation, whose CEO is Mads Lebech, has decided to sponsor a framework up to the sum of DKK 80 million, which is the Ministry's estimated cost of realising the construction of a building for a new Danish University Centre near China's capital, Beijing.

Danish technological solutions can be used in connection with the construction of the new University Centre. At the same time, Danish business and industry will have an even stronger Chinese research network with good potential for benefiting from China's dramatic growth within research and innovation, which will raise Denmark's competitiveness.

– We will undertake the role as leading sponsor of the building process, but we look forward to ensuring a good framework for the desired research and education in cooperation with other foundations and private enterprises. At the same time, we imagine that the building may become a showcase for Danish technology, and we also hope that the University Centre can be a good anchor for Danish companies in contacting the Chinese research community, says Mads Lebech, CEO of the Danish Industry Foundation.

The initiative is part of the strategy for knowledge collaboration between Denmark and China launched last year by Science Minister Helge Sander. The University Centre will be established at the Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences at an entirely new university campus north of Beijing. It is expected to accommodate 300 master's degree students. To this should be added 75 PhD students and 100 researchers, with about one-half from each of the two countries. Operation of the new university will cost about DKK 100 million a year, to be financed jointly by the Chinese University, the Danish universities and the Danish State.

Now that financing of the building process is in place via the Danish Industry Foundation's sponsorship, it is expected that the University Centre can start its activities next year and move to its own building by 2012-2013. With the new University Centre, Danish industry and business will have a stronger Chinese research network with good potential for benefiting from China's dramatic growth within research and innovation. This will strengthen the competitiveness of Danish industry.

– It is of great significance that Denmark – thanks to its close public-private cooperation – is now among the first countries to establish an actual university centre in China. This gives Danish students, researchers and business people access to one of the world's fastest growing development centres in the area of research. It will be a good platform for close knowledge collaboration, which can strengthen our competitiveness, says Science Minister Helge Sander.

The Danish Industry Foundation's grant is provided under an agreement between the Danish universities and the Chinese University, expected to be signed before the end of the year. The universities are expected to commit themselves for a five-year period, but the Science Ministry and the Danish Industry Foundation anticipate that the operation can be supported for a significantly longer period. The Danish Industry Foundation guarantees the framework of DKK 80 million, but would like wider circles of the business sector and other foundations to contribute to the financing. Enterprises and foundations may have their names associated with dining halls, lecture rooms etc. The building project will also enable Danish technological solutions to be used in practice, thus resulting in an energy-efficient and environmentally friendly project.

– I expect the Danish business community to commit itself to the matter, seeing that it will give each individual enterprise especially close relations to the university environment and access to new knowledge and technology. In this way, it may safeguard the interests of the enterprise in the Chinese market, says Mads Lebech from the Danish Industry Foundation.

For further information:

Mads Lebech, CEO, Danish Industry Foundation: phone +45 2094 9046, e-mail ml@industriensfond.dk.

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

Facts about the Danish Industry Foundation:

The Danish Industry Foundation is an innovative foundation for Danish business and industry. The purpose of the Foundation is to develop and support innovative, inspirational and sustainable projects and initiatives that can strengthen the competitiveness of Danish business and industry.


Mads Lebech

Board of Directors:

Ole Trolle (chairman)
Hans Skov Christensen (deputy chairman)
Lars Kolte
Michael Møller
Sten Scheibye
Torben Svanholm

Equity of the Foundation:

About DKK 4 billion

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