SDU awards DKK 60 million to selected research areas

Three areas have such high growth potential for the benefit of society that the University is now awarding them an additional financial boost. These areas are drones, welfare innovation and open data.

 By Bente Dalgaard,, 06-03-2017

Three research areas at the University of Southern Denmark will have new opportunities to bring their research into play together with companies and organisations outside of SDU.
These areas are drones, welfare innovation and open data.

In their own way, each of the three areas can help to solve societal challenges. Therefore, the University has decided to award them an additional financial boost of DKK 60 million over the next three years.

Coorporation with external partners

 Internally, we have strengths in all three areas. Notably, researchers from different academic environments can inspire each other to further develop the technological possibilities and apply them in completely new contexts. These are also areas in which we can cooperate with external partners to develop the expertise and solutions that society demands, says Vice-Chancellor Henrik Dam and adds:

- We have experienced that focusing our efforts on a few strong research areas produces results. 20 years ago, the University chose to develop its robotics research in close partnership with industry. Today, Funen is an internationally recognised development centre for robotics.

The ambition is for SDU to be the driving force for national innovation networks in which institutions and companies work together to develop areas so that they are operating at a high international standard. This includes the three new research areas.

- Clusters containing high-tech companies benefit from having strong links to local research communities. Therefore, we are focusing on developing solutions and knowledge together with both private and public companies. In this way, we can help to generate value and growth both in our region and in the rest of the country, says Henrik Dam.

The first 14 sub-projects

The DKK 60 million for the strategic activities is being taken from the executive board’s strategic pot and from the faculties.

SDU also anticipates that companies, governments and foundations involved in the individual projects will provide co-financing. As such, the joint financial contribution is expected to be around DKK 150 million.

Initially, 14 sub-projects have received Money, among others: 

• DRONES: A project where drones will track invasive plants before they begin to spread. Invasive plants that are not native to Denmark can cause significant damage to nature and result in substantial financial costs for agriculture, forestry, nurseries, etc.
• WELFARE INNOVATION: A project with a mobile health solution where three-dimensional video magnifications, which also show a timeline, can reveal whether diabetic patients have early signs of damage to the blood vessels in the legs.
This complication is the most common cause of hospital admissions amongst diabetic patients and can result in amputation in severe cases.
• OPEN DATA: A project to create an open data platform for biogas in which all participants can store, share and retrieve biogas data. Denmark is a global leader in the biogas field, but production is well below potential levels. The project can help to increase production of renewable energy and reduce pollution.


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