Gaming week in Silicon Valley, development of sustainable houses in Shanghai, and medico innovation in Munich – what do these things have in common? They are all projects set in motion by Danish innovation centres in order to strengthen the innovation and competitiveness of Denmark. And you are invited to join.
Danish companies and universities are increasingly looking abroad to tap into global innovation hot spots. Two Danish Ministries have joined forces to establish three innovation centres – in Silicon Valley, Shanghai and Munich – with the aim of strengthening the innovation, knowledge and competitiveness of Denmark by facilitating networks and partnerships for Danish research institutions and companies with leading foreign research and innovation environments.
The innovation centres provide research services and business knowledge about new technology and trends, matching with potential collaboration partners, and access to new market opportunities.
”Denmark is looking for new business partners and markets internationally”
The innovation centres open doors for both private and public actors seeking access to the latest knowledge and technology and looking for new international business partners and markets. These innovation centres will serve as platforms to market Danish research and innovation clusters abroad – through conferences, seminars, match-making events and demo-projects.
With Silicon Valley hosting an extraordinary number of research institutions and world class tech companies, local innovation is continuously being fuelled. And with the world’s highest concentration of venture capital and a dense network of supporting industries, the Silicon Valley innovation habitat has become very attractive to Danish companies bent on innovation.
”The fight against obesity is entering the digital age”
In 2009, the innovation centre in Silicon Valley set out to assist Danish companies in the gaming industry to stay at the forefront of the industry. The centre arranged a gaming week focusing on the newest technologies and industries: Location Based Gaming, augmented reality, virtual worlds, gaming platforms in professional training, etc. Leading companies and researchers in the field from USA and Denmark gathered to discuss how to create IT-based tools that can stimulate play and activity in order to prevent obesity, and complications connected to obesity.
During the gaming week, participants had the chance to meet a select group of researchers and business people. One of the events was a very successful UnConference held at Stanford, which has resulted in new relations and networks.
China’s astonishing development continues to impress, and to attract companies working with new technology. China now ranks among the world players in science and technology in terms of funding and human resources for research and development (R&D), but its innovation system is still developing, and there is a role for Danish actors.
Later this year, the innovation centre in Shanghai will examine how Danish know-how and technologies can be exploited in the design and construction of energy and environmentally sustainable homes for the more than 300 million people that are expected to move to the cities in the next 30 years. Companies and researchers will be invited to participate in the project under the heading Future Industrialized Sustainable Houses.
See more about Future Industrialized Sustainable Houses here.
The project includes a mapping of requirements, technologies, price points and demands for future homes in China. On this basis, a joint Danish and Chinese R&D team of companies, researchers and authorities will come together to develop a model for future industrialized homes in China.
Germany boasts a strong track record within the field of R&D and innovation rooted in world leading engineering traditions. Europe’s largest engineering conglomerate, Siemens, is based in Germany, as is the largest European software company, SAP, and many other industry giants and renowned scientific research institutions.
”Denmark Leads the Way in Digital Care”
In 2010, the Danish Innovation Centre in Munich will put a strong focus on life sciences and med tech. An area, where Denmark leads the way in digital care and has received international attention, most recently from the United States, who is studying the Danish system to see if best practices can be replicated to the US (The New York Times, 12 January 2010 (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/12/health/12denmark.html).
Accordingly, the centre will serve as the international bridgehead for a regional med tech cluster initiative, Medico Innovation. The objective will be to secure growth for small and medium sized Danish enterprises by securing access to the newest research and test equipment, contributing with technology and market driven innovation and facilitating thematic networks and workshops. The project will address and offer solutions to some of the key challenges the medico industry is facing today – including the need for increased cooperation on innovation, user driven innovation, access to state-of-the-art equipment and test facilities, development of competencies and increased network formation.
The innovation centres are a collaboration between the Trade Council in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation in the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.
Though different in content, method and scope, gaming week in Silicon Valley, development of sustainable houses in Shanghai and medico innovation in Munich are all examples of projects of interest to Danish companies and knowledge institutions committed to staying globally competitive and keeping up with the demands of the market for new products and services. They are also all examples of collaboration between Danish and international companies.
By Louise Bang Jespersen