We are good at creating startups in Denmark but we are behind when trying to get them to grow. The Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri) believes that we are investing too little in new technology and new equipment. Collaboration with technical researchers may be a part of the solution.

February 1st 2017, by Thomas Klem Andersen, Innovation Consultant at Scion DTU.

Denmark is among the nations that create the most startup companies per inhabitant but we are far behind other countries in regards to getting these companies to grow, according to the report “VækstDanmark 2025” made by Mandag Morgen. In an analysis from last year, Dansk Industri noted that Denmark has, for the past twenty years, been placed in the absolute lower end of OECD in regards to growth in productivity. They point out that one of the primary causes is the low increase in productivity since 1995 and the fact that we have invested too little in new technology and new equipment.


Realize your innovation projects in collaboration with DTU.

At Scion DTU, we believe that productivity can be increased by offering small and medium sized companies access to research-based knowledge from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). Many development projects with enormous value potential collects dust on the shelves because companies lack the know-how to realize these projects. This is why Scion DTU helps businesses in the Capital Region to establish collaborative development projects with DTU-researchers through the project Smart Innovation. Smart Innovation can finance up to 400 hours from researchers for an innovation project defined a company and researchers in dialogue. So far, we have established +60 such collaborative projects divided among 12 different research departments. Most of the collaborations involve electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and computing. This has resulted in +10.000 hours of consulting delivered from researchers to small and medium sized companies who have also been offered mentoring on funding strategy and business development.

Collaborations with technical researchers help companies take advantage of new technologies to develop new products or increase the business potential of existing products. An example of this, is how two professors helped the lamp producing company ABC Lys improve quality and raise delivery reliability from 60-80% to 95-100% which resulted in a significant rise in sales.

“The DTU collaboration has led to results with direct impact on our bottom line. It is especially impressive to see how Merete Nørby Møller and Peter Langaa scaled their experience with supply-chain work for companies such as Danfoss and Grundfoss down to effective suggestions for optimization of our own supply-chain.”

Bo Simon Larsen, CEO and owner of ABC Lys

Read more about other examples here or get an overview of companies that are currently collaborating with DTU.

It requires a focused effort to ensure the industry of the future and to create more “smart” companies that produce and export with Denmark as main base. We believe that university-collaborations are part of the solution to make this happen. We experience good results and the effort of creating more university-collaborations within the framework of Smart Innovation continues for the rest of 2017. Companies can apply here.


Companies participating in Smart Innovation are offered:

  • 400 hours of targeted counselling from researchers at DTU
  • Research-based know-how for the development of new or existing products
  • Access to experienced business and leadership competences
  • Specialized business counselling to ensure the commercial impact of the collaboration


Criteria for participating in Smart Innovation

The participating companies co-fund the collaboration by allocating 800 hours to related product development (615 hrs) and business development activities (185 hrs). The target group for Smart Innovation is established companies with 8-10 full-time employees, who work with either hardware and/or “smart”, “green” or “health” technologies.

  • Small and medium sized companies in Region Hovedstaden
  • Possess necessary resources
  • Ready for innovation

You can apply here. For questions regarding Smart Innovation, you are more than welcome to contact me at tka@sciondtu.dk or 25547275.


Thomas Klem Andersen

Innovation Consultant at Scion DTU
I have an entrepreneurial mindset and assist startups and SME's in business development and navigating the tech venture ecosystem. I match company specific challenges with industrial and commercial mentors, relevant DTU research, professional networks and councellors

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