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You are here: Home The Ministry The Minister Speeches Archive Former minister Sofie Carsten Nielsen's speeches 2014 A Science Park that provide fuel for new ideas

A Science Park that provide fuel for new ideas

Minister for Higher Education and Science Sofie Carsten Nielsen's speech at the expansion of Copenhagen Bio Science Park 25 March 2014 in Copenhagen.

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Innovation creates growth and jobs

Ladies and gentlemen

It’s a pleasure to be a part of the celebration of the expansion of Copenhagen Bio Science Park.

First of all, I would like to congratulate the team behind COBIS.

You have succeeded in establishing a fully booked Science Park. And I am happy that you now in this second stage can welcome yet another 30 life science startups.

We need startups. We need innovation.

From day one, innovation has been on the agenda of this Government. Just in this moment the third reading of the law to the proposal of The Danish National Innovation Foundation will be addressed in parliament.

The Foundation will have an annual budget of DKK 1.5 billion.  And will be responsible for implementing grants for research, technology development and innovation, which are based on societal and commercial challenges and needs.

The establishment of the Innovation Foundation is a part of the national innovation strategy.

The key message is that Denmark's economy depends on our ability to translate new knowledge into smart solutions.

This means:

  • That we must invest in research and education, in particular in areas where Danish researchers and companies are strong.
  • That we should be better at creating new partnerships between public and private organisations.
  • And that we should create an environment in which new high-tech companies can take root and grow.  

COBIS is a textbook example

COBIS is a textbook example of what we can achieve when the public and private sector go hand in hand.

On the neighbouring property, the public sector has invested hundreds of millions in the establishment of the Copenhagen Biotech Research and Innovation Centre.

The aim is clear: Copenhagen must be on the world map as a leader in biotechnology. And an international attraction for researchers and students and biotech companies.

At this location, students and researchers can move next door to business people and entrepreneurs. And ideas and inventions of researchers can be translated into new high-tech companies.

Shortly after I started as Minister, I was in the U.S. on an intensive study tour. Among other things we visited MIT.

At MIT, we had a meeting with the Dean of the School of Engineering. He had drafted a “Patentmap” of MIT visualising where the most innovative places were at campus. The Patentmap showed that physical proximity matters. And it showed that open research and innovation environments provide extra fuel for new ideas.

I'm quite sure that this is also the case with COBIS.

Plan for growth in health and care solutions

COBIS correlates superbly with the Government's innovation strategy. And with the Government's growth plan for the health and care solutions.

The focus in the growth plan is on the potential by taking advantage of Danish research and business strengths in life science.

Denmark’s health research is of high international standard. The public sector, private companies and foundations invest significant resources to research and development in the area.

In an international context, Denmark has a very strong business cluster in the field of pharmaceuticals that contribute to growth, employment and exports.

Denmark exported medicines for approx. DKK 67 billion in 2012. This corresponds to the cost of about 30 opera houses. So we are in a good position.

However, Denmark’s strong position within pharmaceuticals and medical equipment does not necessarily mean that growth will occur automatically in the coming years.

Denmark is challenged by an intensified international competition. With the plan for growth in health and care solutions the Government thus seeks to create competitive conditions, so that businesses within pharmaceuticals and medical equipment continue to have good opportunities to develop in Denmark.

If we are to maintain and develop our strong position in the health and welfare sector - we need more new successful growth companies. Therefore, there is a need to strengthen the framework both to start and create new growth businesses.

This requires among other things an early focus on commercialisation of research. And not least, access to the necessary skills to develop businesses.

The Government prioritises both.

Working hard for COBIS

At the time when the plans for COBIS were founded, the economic climate was different. It was full steam ahead for the Danish economy. Also in the biotech industry. Since then, as you know, we have had a financial crisis.

Although the arrow is now pointing upwards again - it is no secret that it is hard work to attract investors for new biotech companies.

It is thus all the more impressive that you have now reached the goal with the opening of stage 2.

You have done well. You have managed to create a good package of offers to promising companies and entrepreneurs.

I am also thinking of the Accelerace initiative and the new mentoring initiative: CELLS - that you have in the pipeline.

Good buildings and laboratories are important. But that also goes for coaching and sparring.It requires action on several fronts to facilitate initiatives for innovation and creativity.

To conclude, I would like again to congratulate COBIS and the people behind.

I hope you will be successful in getting new and promising tenants in the Science Park.

We need new startups. We need innovation and jobs. And we need your efforts.

Thank you.

last modified Dec 02, 2015