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Definition of research, development and innovation within selected cross-disciplinary topics

The Ministry of Higher Education and Science (UFM) has established definitions of research, development and innovation within a number of selected cross-disciplinary topics that cannot be deduced directly from the traditional subject area classifications.

Statistics Denmark and the public research foundations, Independent Research Fund Denmark, Danish National Research Foundation and Innovation Fund Denmark, collect data on the selected cross-disciplinary topics.

The selected cross-disciplinary topics are:

Green research and development
1. Sustainable energy technologies and production etc.
2. Energy efficiency

3. Sustainable food production, agriculture and forests

4. Climate friendly transportation
6. Environmental protection, circular economy and environmental technology
6. Nature conservation, biodiversity and climate change
7. Sustainable behaviour and societal consequences

Digitalisation
1. Cybersecurity and information security
2. Robot and drone technology
3. Artificial intelligence and Big Data
4. Quantum research
5. Other digitalisation research

Cancer
Democracy research
Gender and identity research
Psychiatry
Food safety
Polar research
Pandemic preparedness and response

UFM has defined the selected cross-disciplinary topics as it follows:

Digitalisation
The topic includes researchresearch[i], development[ii] and innovation[iii] that directly or indirectly[iv] which contributes to the digitalisation of society - specific solutions and technologies as well as basic knowledge. It applies to research, development and innovation of digital technologies and solutions, application of digital solutions, societal consequences – both positive and negative, cybersecurity and information security, robot and drone technology, artificial intelligence, big data and quantum research. Research, development and innovation in digitalisation is categorised in five sub topics:

1. Cybersecurity and information security
The topic includes research, development and innovation in the field of technologies for protection of confidential data sources and for defence against cyber-attacks on data or systems.

2. Robot and drone technology
The topic includes research, development and innovation in the field of robots and drones – e.g. design, construction, operation and use of robots. It includes both mechanical units and software for these. Research, development and innovation of robots consisting strictly of software (such as virtual assistants and chatbots) is not included.

3. Artificial intelligence and Big Data
The topic includes includes research, development and innovation in the field of artificial intelligence/machine learning, where systems based on algorithms analyse patterns i.a. with regard to control, prediction and supervision. Additionally, the topic includes includes research, development and innovation in the field of Big Data such as data management, data processing, data analysis and data quality control, interoperability, verification etc.

4. Quantum research
The topic includes e.g. natural sciences and technical sciences researc, development and innovation in fields such as quantum computing, quantum programming, quantum simulation, quantum communication, quantum encryption, quantum sensing/quantum sensors, quantum photonics, quantum meteorology, quantum technology, quantum physics, quantum chemistry, quantum materials and quantum systems.

5. Other digitalisation research
The topic includes research, development and innovation in the field of digital research/digital technology that is not included in the above four topics, e.g. network technologies and architectures, cloud computing, micro-/nanoelectronics, augmented/virtual/mixed reality, digital twins, interactions between people and digital technology, societal implications of digitalisation etc.

Cancer
The topic includes research, development and innovation in the fields of the understanding of cancer, cancer prevention, the early detection of cancer, cancer diagnosis and treatment as well as the quality of life of cancer patients and cancer survivors.

Democracy research
The topic includes research, development and innovation regarding the democratic form of government. It can e.g. include research, development or innovation that studies the institutions and processes of democracy, such as the relationship between the institutions of democracy, the role of political parties, the democratic decision-making process, the role of the administration, the relationship between the different political levels locally, nationally and internationally as well as the relationship between economic and political power. It can also include research, development or innovation that study the importance of the development of technology and the media for the democratic processes, and research that study the democratic community, civil society and the relationship between the population and those in power. Additionally, it can include research, development or innovation that study the development of and transition to democracy and rule of law in non-democratic countries.

Gender and identity research
The topic includes research, development and innovation within the understanding of gender and identity as well as the understanding of the meaning of gender and identity in and for society – including the technological development. It can e.g. include research, development or innovation that studies gender and identity in relation to discrimination, equality, democracy, education, the labor market, health, criminal law etc. It can also include research, development or innovation that studies gender-related biological factors in relation to drug development and diagnoses or that study the importance of gender and identity for e.g. development and use of digital solutions, transportation patterns etc.

Psychiatry
The topic includes research, development and innovation in the field of mental illness and health including medical treatment, other forms of treatments such as psychological and psychotherapeutic treatment, risk factors, prevention, rehabilitation and effects of psychiatric initiatives. It also includes basic scientific research relevant to the field of psychiatry, e.g. within brain research and molecular and cell biology.

Food safety
The topic includes research, development and innovation with the purpose of avoiding pathogenic bacteria and undesired residuals in food including food related microbiology, biochemistry, risk control, quality of raw food materials, health, production processes, taste, smell, preservation of food, biotechnology, hygiene, antibiotic resistance, novel foods, ingredients, additives, polluting substances, pesticide remnants, herbicide remnants, GMO, foodborne diseases, feed, packaging and traceability.

Polar research
The topic includes research, development and innovation performed on the basis of material and data from the polar regions (the Arctic and Antarctica) that treats topics and issues related to the polar regions or has the aim to be applied directly in the polar areas.

Pandemic preparedness and response
The topic includes research, development and innovation in the fields of pandemic preparedness and response (including in a One Health approach) – e.g. surveillance and monitoring, development of countermeasures, production technologies, risk assessment and evidence for public health initiatives. The topic also includes the social and socio-economic aspects of pandemic preparedness and response that can inform policy development.

The selected cross-disciplinary topics and subtopics are not mutually exclusive due to the interdisciplinary nature of research. Therefore, some research, development and innovation projects will fit into various topics/subtopics.

[i]
The definition of research follows the Frascati Manual 2015, ”Research and experimental development (R&D) comprise creative and systematic work undertaken in order to in-crease the stock of knowledge – including knowledge of humankind, culture and society – and to devise new applications of available knowledge.” The Frascati Manual 2015 also states, “A set of common features identifies R&D activities, even if these are carried out by different performers. R&D activities may be aimed at achieving either specific or general objectives.” and “For an activity to be an R&D activity, it must satisfy five core criteria. The activity must be novel, creative, uncertain, systematic, transferable and/or reproducible.” Three types of activities are included: basic research, applied research and experimental development.

[ii]
The definition of development follows the Frascati Manual 2015, ”Research and experimental development (R&D) comprise creative and systematic work undertaken in order to increase the stock of knowledge – including knowledge of humankind, culture and society – and to devise new applications of available knowledge.” Experimental development is systematic work, drawing on knowledge gained from research and practical experience and producing additional knowledge, which is directed to producing new products or processes or to improve existing products or processes. Experimental development is new knowledge/new products/new processes in general.

[iii]
The definition of innovation follows the Olso Manual 2018,”An innovation is a new or improved product or process (or combination thereof) that differs significantly from the unit’s previous products or processes and that has been made available to potential users (product) or brought into use by the unit (process).” Innovation is new knowledge/new products/new processes for the unit.

[iv]
Indirect research, development and innovation on digitalisation is research, development and innovation that does not have a direct digitalisation purpose or application, but has a digitalisation application potential. On the contrary, basic research is not considered indirect digitalisation research if it does not have an acknowledged digitalisation application potential. This can change should a digitalisation application arise in the future.

Contact

Mette Venås Overballe-Petersen
Tlf.: +45 72 31 82 18
Email: mvo@ufm.dk

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Danish Agency for Higher Education and Science
last modified June 23, 2024