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Innovation district helps unravel co-creation opportunities for researchers

Researchers struggle to find industry collaborators. Now Copenhagen Science City has made it easier, by creating a web portal with an overview of the 350 start-up and scale-ups located in the innovation district.

Why researchers should collaborate with industry

Researchers might not care that businesses collaborating with academia create jobs and increase profits. However, partnerships create value for both sides. A recent research study published in Nature found that business is valuable for academic productivity too. Academic researchers with industry affiliations are more productive; they produce more follow-up papers and are quoted more often, and they are more likely to attract students. Collaboration between academia and industry is not a one-sided partnership, but a mutually beneficial one.

Unlocking EU and DKK funding with SME’s

Researchers need funding to turn their research into action. One way to secure funds, is to find a business partner to co-create with. Start-ups and scale-ups are highly motivated to find money and often have a higher need for collaborating with academia, because they usually cannot afford R&D-departments of their own. Paying attention to start-up communities should therefore be of interest to researchers looking for industry partners.

A number of programmes are designed to support collaboration between academia and industry within Denmark and EU. Many funding bodies like to see applications for intersectoral projects. Collaboration between academics and small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) is seen as an attractive method of knowledge transfer.

EU’s FET open-instrument has a budget of 700 million Euro for 2018 to 2020 dedicated to promoting collaborative, interdisciplinary research and innovation on future and emerging technologies. FET Open offers grants of typically €3 million to consortia of at least three entities.

In Denmark, the Innovation Fund Denmark offer funding for co-creation projects through their programmes Grand Solutions and InnoBooster, with the latter specifically striving to transform knowledge into value through investment in SME’s.

Applying for funding to hire researchers on projects is also possible with an Industrial PhD or an Industrial Postdoc.

On top of that, approximately 14.000 private foundations sits on more than 400 billion DKK total. Some of these foundations even have dedicated research programmes similar to public councils and foundations. The only challenge is to find the foundation that matches your project.

Explore the different grants and funding here.

Inspiring knowledge transfer

Collaboration with start-ups, especially through students, is a powerful method of knowledge transfer, and a great career booster for students. According to the recent study in Nature, businesses that work with university researchers often hire graduate students too. A large majority of science graduates are not hired in faculty jobs. Showing them research opportunities outside academia is important for attracting students to science in the first place. It is important to be aware that if universities want their students to be employed and prepare them to be business employees, working with the industry during their studies is a great benefit.

Paving the way for academic-industry co-creation

With seven start-up communities, Copenhagen Science City is home to more than 350 innovative companies, start-ups and scale-ups. There are opportunities to co-create with businesses in everything from information and communication technology, life science, biotech, media and communication to artificial intelligence, food science, healthcare and much more. Collaborating with one of these start-ups means collaborating with some of the most cutting edge and innovative businesses out there.

To help researchers and professionals find the perfect co-creation match, Copenhagen Science City has created a portal with an overview of the +350 businesses residing in the seven start-up communities.

Turn your research into a business

You may want to start a business yourself instead of collaborating with someone else’s. At Copenhagen Science City-partner, the University of Copenhagen Tech Transfer Office, researchers can get help with commercialisation to further develop and translate their research into new treatments, medications, products, services etc.

Learn more about the commercialisation of research here.

Looking for other services

If you are a student, looking to join a start-up, you can start your search here. If you already have a start-up, but you are looking for students to recruit, take a look at Copenhagen Science City’s listing of matchmaking and internship programmes. Are you on the other hand looking for a way to gain access to researchers or their instruments and equipment, have look here.