Brussels, 23 May 2005
Following a competitive proposal procedure the Danish Council for Strategic Research (DCSR) has selected ten proposals for 'Innovation accelerating research platforms'.
With the launch of the initiative, the DCSR's plan was to pinpoint areas where players from public sector research and the business community agree that there is clear growth potential.
The Danish scientific community's response to the call for proposals - the submission of 212 bids - illustrates the wealth of innovative ideas within Denmark, according to DCSR board chairman, Peter Elkvekjær: 'Danish research - and the Danish business community - is bubbling over with good ideas. Many of the proposals contain new and interesting ideas and untraditional cooperative partners across public sector institutions, the business community and organisations.'
The ten proposals receiving the DCSR's recommendation for funding are:
- water - the strategic resource of the future;
- health care investment based on biological defence mechanisms;
- user-driven innovation and business development in the knowledge economy;
- biological manufacturing - useful products from renewable resources;
- global design-oriented manufacturing platforms;
- systematised sustainable energy;
- from nanoscience to nano-based products;
- healthy and safe foods;
- high technology instrument development - a Danish spearhead;
- the individual perspective in the health care services of the future.
Mr Elvekjær's description of the health research platform illustrates the similarities between the Danish concept and that of the European Commission's Networks of Excellence model: 'If we combine research in combating infections, allergies, food hygiene, disinfection methods, vaccine technology and other technology related to immune-based diagnostics and treatment, we have a strategic research area with an enormous potential within technological development. And with a clear global orientation,' says the DCSR chairman.
The selection of ten proposals by the DCSR does not, however guarantee them funding. As the council's budget has already been earmarked for other programmes, it is relying on other sources to step in and finance the platforms.
'Naturally we hope that the Minister for Science, Helge Sander, can provide us with funding for at least some of our platforms. But we are also counting on other key players, such as the High Technology Foundation, The Danish Council for Technology and Innovation and the relevant government ministries seeing the potential in the new platforms,' says Mr Elvekjær. 'The Minister for Science is not the only one who has research funding at his disposal,' he adds.