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Annual Report 2012/2013


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Foreword Hallmarks and priorities 2013 Vision Focusing on societal challenges Computer detects lung disease Better logistics to reduce lorry traffic in European cities Technological literacy on the school timetable High-tech materials transform waste heat into electricity Smarter hospital food to save millions — and aid recovery The potato is our new super resource Towards electricity-based transportation New tests to detect aggressive cancers

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The quality concept of the Danish Council for Strategic Research Organisation and board Key figures


Funding recipients 2012



Foreword Investments in strategic research create value The Danish Council for Strategic Research is committed to strengthening international collaboration because it has the potential to make Danish research even stronger. International collaboration is now a component in the vast majority of the Council’s grants. Public-sector investments in strategic research are long-term investments that play a significant role in building a foundation for future growth and prosperity. In this annual report, we draw on a series of cases to provide examples of how strategic research creates value in Danish society through the special characteristics of the grants awarded by the Danish Council for Strategic Research. The primary objective of the Danish Council for Strategic Research is to advance research distinguished by its quality, relevance and potential impact. In other words, the research must be of excellent standard and address areas pertinent to challenges in society – and it must embody the potential to produce solutions in the short or long term.

The Danish Council for Strategic Research is committed to strengthening public-private partnerships because they extend the applicability of the research results. Private-sector enterprise is currently party to the majority of the Council’s grants. The Danish Council for Strategic Research is committed to strengthening capacity building at Danish universities because it increases the relevance of the research and improves the content of the educational programmes. Two in three grants have resulted in a change in the academic content of degree programmes and teaching. The Danish Council for Strategic Research is committed to strengthening research training because it is conducive to knowledge building at a high level. More than half of the funds awarded by the Council go towards research training.

In addition, the Danish Council for Strategic Research is characterised by its focus on a number of key principles for the research it funds. The Danish Council for Strategic Research is committed to strengthening interdisciplinary research because it is well-suited to solving complex societal challenges. Two out of three grants involve more than one main research discipline. The Danish Council for Strategic Research is committed to strengthening collaboration between research environments in order to maximise their synergies. Eight in ten researchers state that their grant from the Danish Council for Strategic Research resulted in increased collaboration between Danish research environments.


The Danish Council for Strategic Research

I hope that you find the cases presented in the following both interesting and inspiring. Enjoy the report. March 2013

Peter Olesen Chair of the Board, The Danish Council for Strategic Research

Strategic research — hallmarks and priorities 2013 What does problem-oriented research entail?

The Danish Council for Strategic Research Interview with Peter Olesen, Chair, and Mette Thunø, Vice-Chair, the Board of the Danish Council for Strategic Research

has been in existence since 2004. What significance has the Council had for Danish research?

Peter Olesen: “Above all, the Council has been significant for Danish society in its particular approach to funding research.

Mette Thunø: “The key aspect consists of the specific problems which the research is to contribute to solving, and the fact that it is down to the researchers, in association with a number of different partners, including business enterprises and users, to define the specific problems and hence the projects. One of the distinct strengths of strategic research is that the partners join forces to define the specific problems and projects. This is what enables the research to generate the expertise that is aimed at specific needs in society.”

The Council today has prominent standing as an exponent for research that is geared towards helping to solve key societal challenges across a broad front where society, as represented by Parliament, decides to allocate funding. Funding applications are assessed on the basis of the special strategic quality concept, where relevance and potential impact are distinct criteria signalling that the research must be of benefit to society. The immense interest in strategic research gives applicants a particular incentive for bringing the best forces into play through collaboration between Danish universities and between Danish and international researchers.”

Mette Thunø: “Although not altogether straightforward, the Council’s focus on research that is expected to contribute to solving societal challenges and hence be problem-oriented in its approach, has resulted in more interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research. The Danish Council for Strategic Research is the only research council from which researchers stand to receive major and long-term grants specifically for interdisciplinary research. As a result, one aspect of the research projects is that the research training takes place in an interdisciplinary environment. We believe that this carries many advantages, making graduates attractive employees in both the public and private sectors.”


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What is the rationale for your emphasis on collaboration between universities?

Peter Olesen: “Although Danish research enjoys high standing internationally, the competition is so tough that we have to get the best Danish researchers to pool their resources in order to generate even better results. This is not collaboration just for the sake of it, but collaboration designed specifically to achieve even better results. We are certainly pleased to note that researchers in the strategic projects have become proficient at finding partner entities across the universities – even to the extent that we could well claim to be the main driving force for inter-university research partnerships.” What are the main priorities of the Danish Council for Strategic Research in 2013?

Peter Olesen: “The Council will naturally be maintaining its ongoing efforts to develop the hallmarks of Danish strategic research. In addition, in 2013, the Council will be giving special priority to: 1. Research management and up-and-coming researchers 2. International collaboration 3. User involvement.”

Why do you wish to give special priority to research management and up-and-coming researchers?

Mette Thunø: “Over the course of 2012, an independent evaluation was conducted of the grants awarded by the Council for interdisciplinary nano, bio, and ICT research in the period 2005-2011, totaling DKK 300m. We are pleased that the panel’s overall conclusion was a very firm recommendation for continued priority to be given to strategic research within this area. One aspect which the panel stresses as being wholly unique to Danish strategic research is the interdisciplinary research training that gives both PhDs and postdocs a set of special competencies, which are so highly prized in private-sector business and industry as well as in the public sector. The panel also commends the Danish Council for Strategic Research for prioritising interdisciplinary research partnerships, recognising that these are extremely challenging in terms of their management. The panel recommends that efforts to strengthen this be continued through, for example, increased focus on research management and more support for future research managers. To that end, the Council has decided to host a special seminar for the managers of the Council’s most recent major grants. In order to provide further support for interdisciplinary collaboration among grant-holders, and the development of future research managers, managers of the individual work packages will also be attending.” What does the priority given to international cooperation involve more specifically?

Peter Olesen: “Firstly, the Council will continue to give priority to international cooperation in the individual grants as a means of generally strengthening Danish research. The dedicated efforts to that end have now resulted in the fact that active international cooperation is a component in the majority of the Council’s grants. In the beginning this was true of less than a fifth of the grants. Secondly, we know from studies that grants from the Danish Council for Strategic Research provide special preconditions for subsequent applications to participate in European research projects. This is why the Council, within the constraints of the annual appropriations under the National Budget, intends to participate in joint European calls, e.g. in the fields of health, foods and climate.


The Danish Council for Strategic Research

Thirdly, since 2009, the Council has worked intensively to strengthen cooperation with growth countries. In 2012, we had bilateral agreements on joint calls with China, India and Brazil. In 2013 we will be extending this cooperation to comprise joint calls with South Korea in the area of energy research.” What do you mean by user-involvement?

Mette Thunø: “In the Danish Council for Strategic Research, we attach great importance to the applicability of the research for the benefit of society at large. For this reason, we naturally seek to involve the future users in business and industry, public user institutions and consumers. The research must be of sufficiently high quality for it to create a basis for innovation in the public and private sectors. In order to increase both the relevance and the intended impact of the research we fund, we place great emphasis on the involvement of private as well as public sector stakeholders. We believe that this increases both the relevance in respect of applicability and constitutes an important relevancy aspect for the PhD students who typically carry out a large proportion of the research. The Council is also focused on ongoing knowledge exchange with users, including with business enterprises, through participation in research activities, and the subsequent application of the results in developing new technologies or products.”

Vision The Danish Council for Strategic Research seeks to strengthen problem-oriented research which — has high international impact — focuses on significant societal challenges — has the potential to contribute to national economic growth and welfare improvements

Strategic research contributes to solving significant societal challenges On the following pages, we present a small selection of the many research projects granted funding by the Danish Council for Strategic Research.

p. 18 Hospital food Reducing food waste and improving patient health

p. 12 Traffic Reduced lorry traffic in cities

p. 10 Diagnostics New techniques for COPD detection

p. 16 Energy efficiency Waste heat converted into new energy

p. 14

p. 22

Use of technology

Electric cars

schools and hospitals

Technological literacy at

Tomorrow’s electric cars are conveniently charged via wireless charging stations

p. 20 p. 24 Prevention New screening techniques to detect aggressive cancers

Smart crops Optimising the potato

Computer detects lung diseases

analysis. This has enhanced COPD diagnostics significantly, in three areas in particular. Firstly, the computer algorithm permits the state of the disease to be quantified. The algorithm checks several factors which determine whether the patient has COPD and, if so, the severity of the condition. Secondly, the computer is capable of detecting disease progression that is not visible to the naked eye. By comparing CT scans taken at different sequential stages, it is possible to identify even slight, localised changes in the disease. Thirdly, it is now also possible to perform analyses of the smaller-calibre airways with a diameter of as little as 1-2 mm. These small airways play a crucial role in lung diseases such as COPD. The more sophisticated techniques are valuable aids to doctors in diagnosing COPD. “The diagnosis is more reliable and quicker to establish. The disease can be detected at an earlier stage, and it is possible to obtain a prognosis of how it will progress,” says Asger Dirksen.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), typically caused by smoking, is a frequent cause of death and disablement worldwide. WHO rates it as the fourth most common cause of death – and its prevalence is rising. There is no curative treatment for COPD, as, among other things, the underlying mechanisms of the disease are unknown. However, by using computer technology, the strategic research project entitled Computer-

oping drugs to treat it. Among other things, the techniques make it possible to demonstrate different varieties of the disease, which is important in drug development and tailoring treatment to the individual patient.

aided assessment of COPD from CT-images has taken an important step towards a better understanding of the disease.

The result of interdisciplinary partnership Development of the techniques is the result of a close partnership between researchers from widely differing disciplines and from both the pub-

“A unique partnership between computer science and health science has brought about the development of new, innovative methods of analysing lung CT scans,” explains project manager Marleen de Bruijne from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Copenhagen (DIKU). This has enabled enhanced diagnostics and understanding of lung diseases such as COPD.

lic sector and a private enterprise. They were created in a partnership between researchers from DIKU, who have the expertise in the technological capabilities, and researchers from Gentofte Hospital, including pulmonologists and radiologists, who have the requisite expertise in the disease.

“The techniques are currently in use at several hospitals in Denmark – and have the potential for diffusion to the international hospital sector,” asserts Professor Asger Dirksen of Gentofte Hospital, who participated in the project. Enhanced diagnostics The new techniques supplement the doctor’s visual assessment using a computer algorithm which enables more reliable and fine-meshed


At the same time, these techniques have also produced better understanding of the disease, which may be an important step towards devel-

The Danish Council for Strategic Research

Researchers from the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca also participated in the project. The company develops novel drugs for respiratory diseases such as COPD. AstraZeneca’s involvement was instrumental in ensuring that the results are applied in the ongoing efforts to find a treatment for COPD. The partnership was so successful that it has continued after the expiration of the grant period. The researchers are currently working to improve the techniques that have been developed and also to extend the applicability of the existing techniques.

New algorithms give PhD students Laura Thomsen and Mathilde Wille a better tool for diagnosing lung disease.

Better logistics to reduce lorry traffic in European cities

reloading means introducing a price-raising intermediary. From the start, the CONCOORD model was intended to be financially sustainable, e.g. by consolidating the freight further back down the supply chain.” Solutions to Europe’s urban problems Allan Larsen received his grant after applying for funds from the first joint call within JPI Urban Europe, an interdisciplinary research initiative with participation from a number of European countries. The Urban Europe initiative focuses on the urban challenges faced by Europe in the coming years: Migration from rural to urban areas is continuing, making it a challenge to create attractive, sustainable and financially viable urban areas in which

What is a JPI? JPI stands for Joint Programming Initiative and denotes a form of collaboration in which research councils in several European countries seek to coordinate research, e.g. through joint calls. This boosts knowledge sharing and collaboration across Europe. The JPIs are all interdisciplinary because they are structured around societal challenges that call for collaboration between different research disciplines in order to identify best solutions.

To enable European metropolitan areas to function effectively, there is a need for continual inter- and intra-urban delivery and distribution of freight. Meanwhile, heavy goods traffic is causing increased congestion and particle and noise pollution in urban areas. A new research project aims to change the way we organise urban freight. Associate Professor Allan Larsen from DTU Transport, Technical University of Denmark, has

European citizens, communities and their environs can thrive. In Urban Europe, the researchers will be involving users, decision-makers and business and industry in research that will provide a new and better basis for drawing up strategies for European urban development. The multinational research calls in the JPIs pave the way for some of Europe’s most talented researchers to collaborate and learn from each other. The internationally composed research teams also offer better opportunities for doing

just been awarded a grant of DKK 1.8m for Danish participation in the CONCOORD – Consolidation and Coordination in Urban Areas project, an alliance of researchers in Denmark, the Nether-

research in societal challenges that extend beyond national borders.

lands, Turkey and Austria. The project aims to contribute to resolving urban problems of congestion through enhanced logistical systems.

“When we collaborate with other European researchers, we gain a better perspective on the national challenges in relation to the European ones, and on how to integrate them in such a way that we can produce solutions that can be applied Europe-wide. Naturally, that makes it a

“The project allies business economics perspecThe Danish Council for Strategic Research participates in JPIs within the following areas:

tives with softer values such as liveability, that is, how good cities are for their citizens to inhabit and traverse,” says Allan Larsen.

— JPI Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change — JPI Antimicrobial Resistance — JPI Climate — JPI Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans — JPI Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life — JPI More Years, Better Lives — JPI Neurodegenerative Diseases — JPI Urban Europe — JPI Water

The main concept in the project is to stop treating each individual heavy goods vehicle and consignment as an isolated unit, and rather to consider them as subcomponents in a comprehensive logistics system that can be optimised to prevent half-empty vehicles from congesting city streets.

Read more about JPIs at

“In the past, a great many cities in the West have attempted to develop city logistics concepts based on consolidation centres on the outskirts of major cities as a way of achieving a higher utilisation rate for the lorries entering the city centre,” Allan Larsen explains. “The problem is that this model has a hard time surviving once the government subsidies run out, because the


The Danish Council for Strategic Research

Logistics at European level

bigger challenge, but it also makes us more attractive as partners for international companies and others,” says Allan Larsen. A key focus of the CONCOORD project is just that: collaborating with a range of companies who are willing to trial new concepts. The project involves participants both from actual logistics companies such as DHL and from major multinationals, such as Procter & Gamble and Heineken. “For our concept to work, we need to get companies to team up on supply capacity during the freight process, and this is where it makes all the difference to have companies involved, even early on in the project,” says Allan Larsen. “Ultimately, they are the ones who are going to be using our system.”

Technological literacy on the school timetable

understanding and critical appreciation of a text. By this analogy, the concept of technological literacy covers multiple levels of technological appreciation. With the aid of anthropological and other methods, the researchers on the project are studying how teachers and nurses are currently using the technologies available to them. The project demonstrates a big difference in how teachers use equipment, such as electronic boards: some teachers use them exclusively as a more efficient variant of the traditional blackboard, while others are more informed about making the most of the interactive potentials offered by this kind of board. In order for future teachers and nurses to achieve

Electronic boards and iPads have been procured by many schools, and health services are investing in welfare technology. But these state-of-the-art technologies risk defeating their own purpose if teachers and nurses do not understand how to use them accordingly to support their day-to-day work. This is what the Technucation project will change in a close collaboration between universities and vocational colleges. The results will benefit future teachers and nurses, and give university re-

nurse training. This will be done in the project’s Innovation Lab, where researchers, tutors, students and practitioners are jointly working to develop a learning game that will be designed to extend the trainees’ technological literacy. PhD students as bridge-builders One crucial component in the Technucation

searchers insights into professional practices.

project is the close collaboration between the vocational colleges and the universities. Every

“Use of state-of-the-art technologies is not

fortnight, all the project participants – employees from UCC, Metropol, Aarhus University, Roskilde University and the Danish Technological Institute – meet for ongoing analyses and discussion. The project’s two PhD students split their time evenly

merely an option for teachers today. It is actually a condition,” says Ann-Thérèse Arstorp, a PhD student in the Technucation project who is affiliated with the UCC vocational college, and whose studies concern the use of interactive boards, iPads, Facebook and other online resources in teacher training programmes and in secondary schools. “This is why an understanding of the capabilities and functions of the technologies is so important. New technology is fascinating, and just the act of using interactive boards may seem advanced and innovative in itself. But it is essential that teachers are critical regarding the technologies, so they can opt to use them or not in a way that supports the teaching.” Technological literacy at multiple levels The Technucation project is headed by Professor Cathrine Hasse of Aarhus University, with participation from two vocational colleges in Copenhagen, UCC and Metropol, among others. The project concerns teachers’ and nurses’ technological literacy, a concept deriving from literacy research, where it denotes proficiency in reading,


greater technological literacy, the project is developing new teaching resources as a means of including technological literacy in the teacher/

The Danish Council for Strategic Research

between the vocational colleges and the university, and in that they contribute to boosting the research capacity at the vocational colleges. Some of the insights from the research project have already been translated into know-how within the nurse training programme in the shape of teaching modules focusing on technology. When Ulla Gars Jensen, Associate Professor at Metropol, teaches in research methodology, she can also draw on her findings from the interviews conducted as part of the project. But it is not only the vocational colleges that gain new insights from the project. “As teachers, we are able to provide information about the students in the vocational degree programmes, who differ from university students. In doing so, we add validity to the research, because we understand the students’ environment, culture and vocational skills. We have to take care not to be too academic,” says Ulla Gars Jensen.

Associate Professor Ulla Gars Jensen can apply research results from the Technucation project in teaching tomorrow’s nurses.

High-tech materials transform waste heat into electricity

interdisciplinary research and deploy the results in practical industrial applications. We have succeeded in several areas. And this has given us ideas for further promising research and partnerships with business and industry, which can put the research results to use in practical applications. FLSmidth, for instance, has a keen interest in thermoelectric materials because cement production is such a major source of waste heat.” Reduced energy consumption in heavy industrial manufacturing An everyday example of an unexploited temperature difference is the one that arises in cars, where there are several natural temperature differences, e.g. surrounding the exhaust. And cars and heavy traffic is an area for which there is a constant demand for new solutions to optimise fuel con-

With pioneering energy materials and thermoelectric technology, a new Danish company intends to convert temperature differences into electricity. Research and new expertise at the Centre for Energy Materials has resulted in the establishment of the entrepreneurial firm TEGnology A/S. New energy materials with names such as zinc antimonide and magnesium silicide are in focus when the results of the strategic research centre CEM (Centre for Energy Materials) come up for assessment. These compounds make it possible to transform temperature differences into electricity. In 2007, CEM was awarded a grant of DKK 32m by the Danish Council for Strategic Research. The establishment of CEM saw the alliance of two of Denmark’s leading research environments – iNANO at Aarhus University and the Department of Energy Technology at Aalborg University. Danish industrial firms the likes of SCF Technologies, PANCO, Alpcon, FLSmidth and Steeper Energy contributed both financing and research, helping to make CEM what it is today: the setting for a public-private research partnership, which, allied with international expertise in the shape of Swedish Chalmers and German Aerospace Center, is dedicated to research and development at the highest international level. The Centre is led by Professor Bo Brummerstedt of Aarhus University, who outlines CEM’s activities: “Core to the very latest energy technology is the development of novel materials with novel properties. As such, basic research in energy materials is a crucial first link in the food chain towards the development of new technologies for renewable energy. Our ambition is to conduct pioneering


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sumption. The ability of the new energy materials to remain reactive in environments with very high temperatures makes the technology a crucial development area in many segments of society. Heavy industrial production and distribution such as in cement production, shipping and combined heat and power generation account for substantial emissions of greenhouse gases. Reduction of energy consumption by recovering the energy in temperature differences in these industrial settings will serve to enhance energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. One of the successful outcomes of the CEM centre was the formation of the entrepreneurial firm TEGnology A/S. The firm’s patented technology has great potential in, for example, the automotive, shipping, biofuel and CHP industries. First to market with thermoelectric module “What makes our technology new and cutting edge is the efficient energy materials we have developed. One of the distinctive properties of these materials is that they remain reactive at very high temperatures – up to 400 degrees,” says CEO Helge Holm-Larsen of TEGnology, who, in addition to contributing his fundamental IPR (intellectual property rights) from Aarhus University, has also signed a licensing agreement with the German Aerospace Center on use of their patents for thermoelectric materials and modules. “We are very active in the development of a commercial manufacturing process for modules of this type that are capable of generating electricity from waste heat. And we are set on being the first to market globally with a highly energyefficient thermoelectric module,” says Helge Holm-Larsen.

In 2012, TEGnology joined the Lysholtparken business park in Vejle, where the integrative design of the infrastructure and architecture creates a setting conducive to business development, job creation and growth.

Temperature difference turned into electricity

“Lysholtparken is an ambitious cluster initiative for an array of greentech activities,” says Helge Holm-Larsen. “With our new base, TEGnology

The new energy materials make it possible to

has gained the setting it needs to develop the business – and secure its growth. We are keenly

convert waste heat into electricity. A thermoelectric system allows the difference in temperature be-

anticipating becoming part of a major business cluster in the area.”

tween a car’s engine and exhaust to be harnessed for generating electrical power.

cold side = Fuel economy

hot side

Appealing and individualised hospital meals to improve in-patient health.

Smarter hospital food to save millions — and aid recovery

“We will be setting up intelligent monitoring of hospital food flow. We want to know which patients eat which foods, and in what quantities, and use this information as a basis for even better nutritional support, with a view to reducing food waste,” says Bent Egberg Mikkelsen. The system will link information on the patients’ nutritional status, their medical treatment and food preferences to data on the nutritional content of meals. These data can in turn be linked to data on the manufacturing process, including consumption of energy and water. The overall intervention is to result in more appealing, targeted meals, less waste and improved kitchen logistics. Hothousing ideas

FoodServInSPIRe is a small part of the extensive SPIR project InSPIRe, a new strategic publicprivate platform for research and innovation, which aims to enhance productivity and global competitiveness in the Danish food sector.

About the project FoodServInSPIRe (Integrated Modelling of Large-Scale Hospital Food Service Production Chains) is a subproject of the InSPIRe project, which in 2010 received a SPIR grant worth DKK 60m. Calls for SPIR (Strategic Platform for Innovation and Research) funding are made jointly between the Danish Council for Strategic Research and the Danish Council for Technology and Innovation. This initiative is designed to make it more attractive for business and industry to participate in research and development activities in partnership with universities, Authorised Technological Service Institutes – the so-called GTS institutes – and other organisations and innovation players with a view to translating research into innovation. For updates, see FoodServInSPIRe at


Each year, Danish hospitals bin millions of kroner worth of discarded meals. This is not only a waste of the ingredients, the volume of water and the energy required to produce the huge amount of meals, it is also paradoxical, since one in three patients at the same hospitals have problems with malnutrition. By developing a special concept, the researchers behind the FoodServInSPIRe project intend to reduce food waste, make hospital food more appealing and produce individualised meals for patients with malnutrition. The huge food wastage at Danish hospitals is partly down to ineffective logistics and differing individual patient preferences. These are just two of the issues addressed by a research and innovation partnership within the FoodServInSPIRe intervention, which aims to better utilise food and energy resources, reduce the carbon footprint and contribute to an enhanced cost-effectiveness and therapeutic efficacy. Targeted food Within the food service sector, there is no tradition for employing evidence and research-based methods. “There are long-standing research traditions in targeted industrial food production, but only limited research in hospital food,” says sub-project manager for FoodServInSPIRe, Professor Bent Egberg Mikkelsen, Aalborg University. He and his colleagues will be establishing a model supply chain integrating patient data and food data, along with the associated data processing.

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FoodServInSPIRe’s research team collaborates with both hospital staff and a range of equipment suppliers such as Bent Brandt A/S and Mettler Toledo. This allows them to better target the research and come up with the methods and products that are actually needed. “We are aiming to develop the concept to have it ready for when Denmark’s super hospitals become a reality. We are collaborating with Aalborg Hospital, which already has an outstanding innovation climate when it comes to food, making it an excellent hothouse for new concepts,” says Bent Egberg Mikkelsen. Anticipating high impact A number of suppliers of local foods – including Himmerlandskød (meat), Aabybro Mejeri (dairy) and Nordjysk Fødevarenetværk (food traceability) – are also partners in the project, assisting in supplying food with innovative narratives, while AgroTech, a technological institute, is helping to ensure the commercial value of the product. “There has been no tradition for addressing hospital meals, in spite of the fact that they directly influence treatment efficacy,” says Bent Egberg Mikkelsen, who anticipates significant health improvements in at-risk patients. In addition, there are the cost savings in food manufacture. “We hope our solutions will be capable of reducing hospital food waste to half the current level.”

The potato is our new super resource

need to be made more efficient in order for them to yield maximum starch per hectare. Rising to this challenge, a team of researchers led by Kåre Lehmann Nielsen are on a mission to develop a multipotato in the research project entitled Developing potato into a high-efficient,

low-maintenance and multipurpose crop. “There is already a range of potato varieties with highly differing properties, and it is unusual in a crop for there to be so many varietal differences. But we haven’t even come close to making the most of the potato’s incredible adaptation potential,” says Kåre Lehmann Nielsen. “Even the best

Creative thinking and Danish potatoes may

starch-rich potato still has a lot in common with the waxy boiling potato, which is why it will take

come to play a key role in the development of sufficient volumes of starchy, sustainable

a great deal of refinement to make the potato varieties more end-use specific, and thereby

biomass, which is set to be an essential ingredient in future production of foods, animal feed and ingredients. With the Danish government’s plans for farming efficiency and more sustainable production, there is incentive enough to make the potato plant smarter –

engineer them to use energy more efficiently.”

and a research team headed by researchers from Aalborg University is making no small progress in this field. The potato of the future has many applications. It does well in a drought. It requires no pesticides, only a small amount of fertiliser, and it produces huge amounts of starch. Moreover, it can be adapted to make it ideal for a variety of end-uses, from foods and animal feed to chemical elements. This is the vision held by Associate Professor Kåre Lehmann Nielsen, Aalborg University. The farming industry faces massive challenges. It will have to produce more foods and more feed in response to rising population growth. The products must be high quality, but also be produced according to eco- and climate-friendly criteria, and with minimal waste production. Meanwhile, the extent of agricultural land is challenged by industrialisation, and also nature and environmental protection requirements. For farmers to be able to produce sufficient volumes of starchy biomass by sustainable means without more farmland, while at the same time reducing the volume of pesticides and fertiliser, calls for creative thinking. Humble potato with starchy promise There is consequently a need for high-efficiency crops that use energy for producing exactly what is to be used, which is why crops such as potatoes


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New synthesis pathway discovered In association with two potato starch manufacturers, Kartoffelmelcentralen and Andelskartoffelmelfabrikken Vendsyssel, Kåre Lehmann Nielsen and colleagues have conducted a raft of experiments and devised a new, effective analytical methodology. Along the way, they discovered an unknown potato protein, which appears to be the missing link that until then had eluded potato refiners. The protein explains why refinement attempts which focused on the known pathway for starch formation, were never quite successful: this is because there are two pathways of starch synthesis and two associated proteins, as opposed to just a single pathway and a single protein which was the previous wisdom on which manipulation attempts were based. And as Kåre Lehmann Nielsen puts it: If there are two holes in a bathtub, you either have to plug or unplug both of them simultaneously to get a significant effect. Kåre Lehmann Nielsen’s research team is still looking for the gene that encodes the starch synthesis protein. There is still potential for doubling the starch volume in potatoes. “If we can optimise the pathway of starch synthesis we have now identified, then we will be able to increase the starch volume,” says Kåre Lehmann Nielsen. Once the genes and markers have been identified and are understood, traditional breeding will then permit cultivation of potatoes with far higher starch volumes than are known at present. Moreover, in terms of disease and drought resistance, a great deal of hope is being pinned on enhanced potato varieties. And that will benefit the starch industry, the growers, the environment – and consumers.

The potato of the future

The starch is used in industry for producing e.g. potato starch flour.

More efficient energy distribution The potato plant produces more tubers instead of expending the equivalent energy on increasing its foliage.

Reduced water consumption The potatoes become more drought-resistant so they continue growing in dry conditions.

More starchy potatoes Starch-rich potatoes save energy by producing less storage protein and instead using the same energy to double their starch volume.

Reduced pesticide use The plant gains resistance to the fatal potato blight disease, which otherwise requires constant crop spraying.

Towards electricity-based transportation

The project has an overall budget of EUR 5.2m, and is financed by a total of EUR 2.3m by the ERA-net Electromobility+, which in addition to contributions from the 13 participating countries, including Denmark, has received subsidies from the EU in support of research and innovation in electrically-based transport in Europe. Danish researchers have generally done really well in this call. Grants were awarded to six projects with Danish co-participation. 11 Danish partners received funding worth a total of approx. DKK 17m, of which DKK 7.5m is from the Danish Council for Strategic Research, and DKK 9.5m

“The real challenge is to design a charging system that is just as generally and universally usable as a petrol pump at a service station.” Associate Professor Søren K. Kjærgaard Department of Public Health, Aarhus University.

One of the obstacles to the uptake of electric

from the EU.

vehicles is the current lack of a sufficiently universal and functional charging system. In a

Interest from car manufacturers

new European research project investigating wireless inductive charging, Danish research-

Within the WIC2IT project, it is the Danes’ particular expertise in health aspects and electro-

ers contribute with expertise on magnetic systems and the health aspects of electromagnetic fields.

magnetic fields together with power electronics that makes them attractive partners. Research-

There is a huge potential in electrifying the global car fleet: reduced carbon emissions, reduced noise and enhanced driving comfort. And yet, electric cars are still not as common as could be hoped. This is due to the drawbacks still associated with electric cars; for example, that they require frequent charging. The international

WIC2IT research project – Wireless Inductive Charging to Interoperation Testing – aims to promote uptake of electric cars by offering easier charging. The aim is also to support the standardisation process so that wireless charging for different makes of electric vehicles can become a reality in Europe. Inconvenient charging At present, electric cars are charged using cables at special charging stands. This is inconvenient, especially in winter, where it means handling large, heavy, dirty cables. In addition, there is the safety hazard of having cables attached to the cars, plus the risk of the cables being vandalised. This is why WIC2IT is working to develop a wireless charging system for electric cars. A wireless charging system means that an electric vehicle can have more frequent contact with the power grid by being parked at special wireless charging stations. “The problem is not designing a charging system that works, because that’s easily done. The real challenge is to design a charging system that is just as generally and universally usable as a petrol pump at a service station,” explains project participant Associate Professor Søren K. Kjærgaard from the Department of Public Health at Aarhus University.


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ers from the universities in Aalborg and Aarhus are collaborating with the car manufacturers Renault and Daimler. “We have attracted the interest of the major car manufacturers because Denmark generally has good capability in power electronics, which is the branch of electronics used in converting and controlling energy flow in different kinds of devices such as mobile phone chargers,” explains another of the project participants, Associate Professor Erik Schaltz of Aalborg University. “We have also attracted the interest of the automotive industry because of the Danish tax exemption on electric cars. Meanwhile, Denmark draws a large proportion of its energy from wind turbines, and there are sound prospects for storing that energy in the batteries of electric vehicles.” Erik Schaltz is supervising a PhD student who will be modelling the magnetic resonance coupling system that will be transferring energy from the charging station to the vehicle. “We will be carrying out software modelling of the magnetic coupling that will simulate reality as closely as possible so that we can calculate the power flow from the grid to the battery. Having done that, we can start optimising the energy transfer.” While Erik Schaltz is researching the energy transfer, Søren K. Kjærgaard’s role in the project is to assess the health-related aspects of the system. “The studies carried out to date have not demonstrated any particular health hazard from this type of electromagnetic radiation,” says Søren K. Kjærgaard. “But it is still a good idea to carry out health studies early on while the system is under construction.”

The future will see far more electric vehicles on the roads.

Screening of prostate cancer

Current situation

The future Risk assessment based on DNA and family history

Number of people Elective blood test for elevated PSA

Individuals treated

Individuals treated whose life was saved as a result of the test

Individuals needlessly treated

1410 49

Screening of high-risk individuals

Treatment only of patients at increased risk



Fewer individuals needlessly treated. Fewer cases in which the disease was not detected in time.

Individuals who go on to contract cancer, but whose condition is not detected by the blood test


New tests to detect aggressive cancers

Researchers in the project found a number of major changes in the mechanisms that regulate genomic function in men with aggressive prostate cancer. Aarhus University Hospital has already taken out a patent on the first markers found in the project, and is negotiating with a biotech company on developing them for clinical use. Costly and ineffectual test Denmark does not operate any kind of screening programme for prostate cancer, simply because there is no marker reliable enough to detect the disease. But it could be claimed that within the past few years, Danish men have introduced their own screening programme. They see their doctor and ask to have their blood PSA (prostate-

Systematic screening of the population is

“This study has put Denmark on the world map in HPV diagnostics for the prevention of cervical cancer.” MD, Senior Consultant Carsten Rygaard Hvidovre Hospital’s Pathology Department

important in preventing high cancer mortality rates. But when screening entire population groups, the reliability of the screening test itself is crucial – otherwise there is the risk of identifying people who are not actually sick, or of not reaching those who really are. In a strategic research project, the researchers have made good progress in identifying how aggressive cases of prostate cancer can be detected without unnecessarily pathologising thousands who would never have developed the disease. In another project, the researchers are working to develop a new screening programme for cervical cancer, the incidence of which is needlessly high in Denmark.

specific antigen) tested, this being a test method that is currently in use. The problem is that in a great many of those who have the disease, the PSA value is normal. Conversely, men may also have an elevated blood PSA value, without the doctors ever finding an explanation for it. The situation is compounded by the fact that many of those men, who on the basis of an elevated PSA value are diagnosed with prostate cancer, will never develop symptoms, but have to live with the knowledge that they are sick, or even elect to have their prostate gland surgically removed, as a result of which they may suffer potentially major adverse effects. Currently, for every 1,410 men who have their

Prostate cancer is the most commonly treated type of cancer in Denmark. However, approximately 90 per cent of men treated for the disease have no benefit from the treatment, as the cancer progresses so slowly that it would in all probability not be life-threatening. Against that, many sufferers have to endure unnecessary side-effects, such as impotence or urinary retention. Equally, the many treatments are a great financial burden on the health system. The reason for this is that there is currently no marker to determine whether or not a case of prostate cancer is aggressive. This means that far too many men receive unnecessary treatment, the result of which is physical and mental suffering. “Prostate cancer, unlike other cancers, is a puzzling disease. We are working to find new aggressiveness mechanisms in patient tissue, mice and cells, based on state-of-the-art technologies,” explains Professor Torben Ørntoft of Aarhus University Hospital, who is heading the strategic research project entitled Molecular Prediction of Prostate Cancer Risk and Aggressiveness (MPRAS).


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PSA tested, 48 men will be treated for prostate cancer, but ‘only’ one life will be saved. It is both mentally distressing for the men concerned and costly for society, since e.g. a set of prostate gland biopsies costs approx. DKK 27,000, while a procedure to remove the prostate costs approx. DKK 120,000. This is the reason that the project is also working to identify a more reliable screening technique for prostate cancer. “We have already made good progress in identifying men who are at increased risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer, and many general practitioners have agreed to recruit patients, so we are expecting results within the year,” says Torben Ørntoft. New test for cervical cancer In another strategic research project, CONTROL (Optimizing Control of Cervical Cancer), researchers are well ahead in the process of trialling a range of tests as a new screening method for cervical cancer, which will nearly eliminate the need for the so-called smear test. The project is led by Professor Elsebeth Lynge of the Depart-

ment of Public Health at the University of Copenhagen, and is an alliance with the country’s leading research group in diagnostic HPV technology at the Pathology Department, Hvidovre Hospital.

world, and which is based on Danish results and findings.” The project, which is now around the midway mark, is also unique in the sense that unlike the

The smear test, which permits cell changes to be detected by means of a sweep of cells around the cervix, has been in use in Denmark since the

majority of other international studies, it is based on how the new HPV tests function within an already established screening programme. This

1960s. Yet the incidence of cervical cancer in Denmark remains high, as compared with that in e.g.

gives the study’s results a clear picture of what

the other Nordic countries. This is due to a number of factors, among other things, the high rate of

lecular HPV testing will mean for the implementa-

challenge a transition from smear tests to motion of the health service’s screening programme.

HR HPV-virus infection in the population. HR HPV (high-risk human papilloma-virus) infection is a sexually transmitted disease that predisposes women to cervical cancer. Unique business partnership The CONTROL project is unique in that it represents the first-ever alliance of researchers at different public institutions and four of the world’s leading biotech firms in molecular HPV diagnostics. The four companies have agreed to allow their new HPV analyses and latest equipment for high throughput of tests, to be tested against each other in ordinary screening assays at an independent hospital laboratory. This aim is to determine which test is the most reliable at identifying treatment-requiring prestages of cervical cancer, and hence how these tests may be used most effectively and economically in the Danish screening programme and also internationally. The project holds the right to publish the evaluation of the different HPV tests and the companies’ technologies. “All of the participating companies’ HPV technologies are currently marketed for screening purposes, but when the study got underway, they were still in the final development phase. It has been a privilege to have access to the latest technologies so early on in the process, which has meant that our results are now being cited internationally,” says MD, Senior Consultant Carsten Rygaard of Hvidovre Hospital’s Pathology Department. “It also meant that we were working with companies on an ongoing basis to resolve a number of technical problems with the analysis, which is one of the reasons why our technical expertise in HPV testing is now leading edge. This study has put Denmark on the world map in HPV diagnostics for the prevention of cervical cancer. Combined with vaccination for HPV, Danish women will be offered a screening programme, which in terms of technique and quality ranks among the best in the


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About the two projects Molecular Prediction of Prostate Cancer Risk and Aggressiveness (MPRAS) Grant holder: Professor Torben Ørntoft, Aarhus University Hospital Grant: DKK 14.4m Participants: Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus University, USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center (USA), Shenzhen HuaDa (China), University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany), CLC bio A/S

CONTROL – Optimizing Control of Cervical Cancer Grant holder: Professor Elsebeth Lynge, University of Copenhagen Grant: DKK 10.7m Participants: University of Copenhagen, Hvidovre Hospital, Erasmus University Medical Centre, Roche Diagnostics, Qiagen Ltd., Hologic Inc., Genomica SAU

it y al

of the rese a h rc


The quality concept of the Danish Council for Strategic Research






l im

R ele

Strategic quality




Strategic research is subject to special quality criteria. The Council assesses the quality on the basis of three equivalent criteria: the relevance,

The relevance of the research is assessed with respect to the extent to which it addresses the societal challenges that form the basis for the

the potential impact and the quality of the research.

research theme in question.

The three-fold quality concept is applied both in the evaluation of applications submitted to the Danish Council for Strategic Research and in its subsequent follow-up on the funded research activities.

Evaluation of the potential impact of the research concerns its anticipated positive impacts on public and private-sector stakeholders, including its potential to promote economic growth and the development of the welfare society from a global perspective. The quality of the research is evaluated on the basis of the originality of the application and projected achievements on an international scale.


The Danish Council for Strategic Research

The Organisation The Danish Council for Strategic Research is comprised of a Board and a variable number of programme commissions. In 2013, the Council is composed of a board and the programme commissions presented on the organisation chart.

Programme Commission on Sustainable Energy and Environment


Programme Commission on Individuals, Disease and Society

Programme Commission on Health, Food and Welfare

Programme Commission on Strategic Growth Technologies

Programme Commission on Transport and Infrastructure

Programme Commission on for Peace and Conflict

The Board

Chair Professor Peter Olesen, Director, ActiFoods ApS

Vice-chair Mette Thunø, Dean, Faculty of Arts, Aarhus Universitet

Svend Erik Sørensen, Vice President, Danish Crown

Professor Per Michael Johansen, Dean, Faculty of Engineering, University of Southern Denmark

Helle Westphal, Head of Department, DHI Group

Professor Birthe Høgh, MD, Vice-Dean for Research, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen

Professor Ole Lehrman Madsen, Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University and Director, Alexandra Institute Ltd

Professor Børge Obel, Head of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Organizational Architecture, Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University

Professor Frede Blaabjerg, Institute of Energy Technology, Aalborg University


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Key figures — grants*

*Excluding international grants. See separate figures for international grants.

Total grants*

Research training

The figures for grants allocated by the Danish Coun-

The Danish Council for Strategic Research cofunds a large number of PhD grants. The number

cil for Strategic Research Council do not correspond exactly with the annual allocations under the National Budget, as some applications are considered in the year preceding the year in which the allocations are made under the National Budget. In 2012, the Council awarded grants to 33 strategic research centres, alliances and projects totalling DKK 580m.


of PhDs is the total number of PhD students participating in the funded research activity.

Number of PhDs














0 12 20

11 20

10 20


09 20

0 20

07 20

06 20

05 20

04 20

12 20

11 20

10 20


09 20

0 20

07 20

06 20

05 20

04 20

Success rate

Average grant size

The success rate, that is, the percentage of the total funding amount applied for that was granted by the Council, varied between 13 and 28 per cent.

The average grant size in 2012 was DKK 17.6m.

Per cent




25 15 20 15


10 5 5 0

0 12 20

11 20

10 20


09 20

0 20

07 20

06 20

05 20

04 20

12 20

11 20

The Danish Council for Strategic Research

10 20


09 20

0 20

07 20

06 20

05 20

04 20


of the 33 grants awarded by the Council in 2012 had binding partnerships with international partners.

Key figures — international grants Bilateral grants In 2012, the Danish Council for Strategic Research

Totally, approx. DKK 40m has been awarded to

awarded bilateral grants in collaboration with China, India and Brazil.

Danish participants in bilateral projects.

DKK m 40

Brasilien Indien





0 12 20

11 20

10 20

09 20

Joint European Grants The Danish Council for Strategic Research participates in a number of joint European research collaborations – ERA-net and Joint Programming

Initiatives. In 2012, the Council awarded approx. DKK 33m to Danish participants in joint European projects.

DKK m 8


ERA-net: Industrial Biotechnology 2 (ERA-IB2) ERA-net: Coordination of ICT and Robotics in Agriculture and Related Environmental Issues (ICT-AGRI) ERA-net: ELECTROMOBILITY+


Joint Programming Initiative for Neurodegenerative Diseases (JPND) Joint Programming Initiative — Urban Europe




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Joint-Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE-JPI)

Funding recipients 2012 The Danish Council for Strategic Research funds research within those areas in which the Danish Parliament makes annual allocations. In 2012, the Council awarded funding worth a total of DKK 650m.

Programme Commission on

Sustainable Energy and Environment In 2012, the Programme Commission on Sustainable Energy and Environment awarded approx. DKK 220m for strategic research under the themes of “Energy and Environment — Energy Systems of the Future” and “Environmental technology”. Significant societal challenges

Energy and Environment — Energy Systems of the Future Bio Chain – Optimisation of value chains for biogas production in Denmark Professor Sven Gjedde Sommer,

in this research area Denmark is to be future-proofed by creating a sustainable growth economy and switching to

University of Southern Denmark Grant: DKK 19.6m (total budget: DKK 24.7m)

energy and transport systems wholly based on renewable energy by 2050, in which the reliability of energy supply, climate and environmental considerations and cost-efficiency are the main pillars. The challenge consists of developing

UserTEC – User practices, technologies and residential energy compsumption

energy-efficient, intelligent and climate-friendly technologies capable of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other forms of pollution, and of reducing dependence on fossil fuels, and, in so doing, also improving reliability of supply. The research shall promote improvements in which economic growth does not result in increasing negative environmental impacts, and where the focus is on a renewable, intelligent and environmentally sustainable energy system. Research efforts must also support the capacity for business and industry to capitalise on the major future market potentials in the field of climate, energy and environment.

Senior researcher Kirsten Gram-Hanssen, Danish Building Research Institute, Aalborg University Grant: DKK 17.2m (total budget: DKK 26.4m) ENOVHEAT – Efficient novel magnetocaloric heat pumps Senior researcher Christian Bahl, Technical University of Denmark Grant: DKK 18.9m (total budget: DKK 22.1m) 4M Centre – Mechanisms, materials, manufacturing and management – interdisciplinary fundamental research to promote commercialization of HT-PEMFC Associate professor Qingfeng Li, Technical University of Denmark Grant: DKK 31.0m (total budget DKK 43.6m) ALPBES – Advanced lifetime predictions of battery energy storage Professor Søren Knudsen Kær, Aalborg University Grant: DKK 16.5m (total budget: DKK 25.3m)


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NACORR – New alloy catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction in proton exchange membrane fuel cells Professor Ib Chorkendorff, Technical University of Denmark Grant: DKK 14.8m (total budget: DKK 22.0m) 5s – Future electricity markets Associate professor Pierre Pinson, Technical University of Denmark Grant: DKK 11.0m (total budget: 15.3m) CHALSOL Chalcogenide solar cells of CZTS – Copper zinc tin sulfide – a new, highefficiency material for low-tech solar cells of earth-abundant and environmentally friendly elements Senior researcher Jørgen Ingolf Schou, Technical University of Denmark Grant: DKK 16.4m (total budget: DKK 18.5m) SYMBIO – Integration of biomass and wind power for biogas enhancement and upgrading via hydrogen assisted anaerobic digestion Professor Irini Angelidaki, Technical University of Denmark Grant: DKK 12.9m (total budget: DKK 16.9m)

Environmental Technology CAT-C – Clean-air-technologies by development of new catalysts Professor Flemming Besenbacher, Aarhus University Grant: DKK 15.0m (total budget: DKK 33.1m) LaGas – Diagnostics, monitoring and mitigation of N 2O (laughing gas) emissions from wastewater treatment operations: towards climate compatible wastewater technology Professor Barth F. Smets, Technical University of Denmark Grant: DKK 12.3m (total budget: DKK 20.7m) NOVAGRASS – Innovative eelgrass restoration techniques Associate professor Erik Kristensen, University of Southern Denmark Grant: DKK 14.1m (total budget: 26.9m)

ASHBACK – Ash from biofuel from energy plants back to the area where grown; ecotoxicological censequences Professor Søren Christensen, University of Copenhagen Grant: DKK 20.6m (total budget: DKK 28.2m)


The Danish Council for Strategic Research

Programme Commission on

Health, Food and Welfare In 2012, the Programme Commission on Health, Food and Welfare awarded approx. DKK 168m for strategic research under the themes of “Connection between Food, Health and Lifestyle”, “Bioresources, Food and other Biological Products” and “Food”. Significant societal challenges

NEOMUNE – Early milk and microbiota to stimulate later immunity Professor Per Torp Sangild,

in this research area Global changes in the natural environment and the climate, but also in societal and economic

University of Copenhagen Grant: DKK 35.6m (total budget: DKK 74.0m)

dimensions, are posing a mounting challenge in securing adequate supplies of food, feed, energy, materials and water for the growing world population. There is consequently a need to develop more efficient and competitive biological

ProbiComp – The effect of probiotics in reducing infections and allergic manifestations in young children during the complementary feeding period

production that promotes health, the production of appetising quality foods, consumer protection, animal welfare and a clean environment and which in combination serve to realise the goals defined within sustainable production. Realisation of this vision holds considerable societal and commercial potential, not least in the international arena, and will thereby be a significant driver for growth and development.


Connection between Food, Health and Lifestyle

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Professor Kim Fleischer Michaelsen, University of Copenhagen Grant: DKK 11.5m (total budget: DKK 18.9m) ELIN – The effect of enterolignans in chronic disease Senior researcher Anja Viendahl Olsen, The Danish Cancer Society Grant: DKK 13.8m (total budget: DKK 16.8m) TRIM – Transcobalamin in milk and optimal vitamin B12 uptake Senior researcher Christian Würtz Heegaard, Aarhus University Grant: DKK 14.3m (total budget: DKK 18.4m)

Bioresources, Food and other Biological Products


ProAqua – Reducing antibiotic use in marine larviculture by a novel combinatory probiotic strategy

EvoPPM – Evolution-proof pest management Associate Professor Michael Hassing Kristensen, Aarhus University

Professor Lone Gram, Technical University of Denmark Grant: DKK 14.6m (total budget: DKK 19.9m)

Grant: DKK 15.1m (total budget: DKK 19.0m)

REMRUM – Reduction of methane emissions from dairy cows and concurrent improvement of feed efficiency obtained through host genetics and next generation sequencing of rumen microbiome

DNMARK – Danish nitrogen mitigation assessment: research and know-how for a sustainable, low-nitrogen food production Senior researcher Tommy Dalgaard, Aarhus University Grant: DKK 20.0m (total budget: DKK 31.3m)

Senior researcher Peter Løvendahl, Aarhus University Grant: DKK 12.2m (total budget: DKK 15.5m) GenSAP – Centre for genomic selection in animals and plants Senior researcher Mogens Sandø Lund, Aarhus University Grant: DKK 30.6m (total budget: DKK 68.7m)


The Danish Council for Strategic Research

Programme Commission on

Individuals, Disease and Society In 2012, the Programme Commission on Individuals, Disease and Society awarded a total of approx. DKK 55m for strategic research under the theme “Clinical Research”.

Clinical Research

Significant societal challenges in this research area Denmark faces a number of challenges in the health area. Disease causes great distress for

LOOP – Atrial fibrillation detected by continuous ECG monitoring using implantable loop recorder to prevent stroke in high-risk individuals.

the individual, and health service spending is of great economic significance. Patients must be assured of a high standard of treatment, and the organisation of the health service must guaran-

Professor Jesper Hastrup Svendsen, Rigshospitalet Grant: DKK 15.6m (total budget: DKK 36.7m)

tee patients maximum efficacy of treatment.

CLEAR – Finding a cure for HIV infection: eradication of the latent reservoir

The challenge consists both of preventing

Professor Lars Jørgen Østergaard, Aarhus University Hospital Grant: DKK 12.0m (total budget: DKK 23.1m)

disease and of individualising the treatment of patients. Only through individualised treatment is it possible to progress to the next stage of development and avoid the consequences of overmedication and mismedication: injury and damage, side effects and high costs for both the individual and society.

PAUSE – Phenotypes in alcohol use disorders. A multidisciplinary approach to improve diagnosis, understanding and treatment of patients with alcohol use disorders (AUD) Chief physician Ulrik Becker, University of Southern Denmark (National Institute of Public Health) and Gastroenheden, Hvidovre Hospital. Grant: DKK 16.6m (total budget: DKK 19.4m) Non-sedation versus a daily wake-up trial in critically ill patients Professor Palle Toft, Odense University Hospital Grant: DKK 10.8m (total budget: DKK 13.9m)


The Danish Council for Strategic Research

Programme Commission on

Strategic Growth Technologies In 2012, the Programme Commission on Strategic Growth Technologies awarded a total of approx. DKK 83m for strategic research under the theme “Nanotechnology, Biotechnology and Information and Communication Technology”. Significant societal challenges in this research area The development and application of new technologies such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, synthesis biology, materials technology and information and communication technology are

Nanotechnology, Biotechnology and Information and Communication Technology DA-GATE – Danish alliance of graphene application technology and engineering Associate Professor Peter Bøggild, Technical University of Denmark Grant: DKK 20.0m (total budget: DKK 40.5m) Plant Power – Light-driven synthesis of

key drivers of productivity improvements and economic growth generally. The challenge lies in developing and applying the technologies for the development of new, innovative and competitive products and processes, while instilling public

complex terpenoids using cytochrome P450s Professor Poul Erik Jensen, University of Copenhagen

confidence in the use of new technologies. At the same time, the technologies may potentially pave the way for new solutions to key challenges facing society in areas such as energy, food, environment, health and education, while they may also form the basis for commercial development. Moreover, combining technologies holds great

APCGlyVac – Production of APC targeted

potential in relation to e.g. the development of the bio-based economy.

Grant: DKK 20.7m (total budget: DKK 29.7m)

allergy vaccines Associate Professor Hans H. Wandall, University of Copenhagen Grant: DKK 13.1m (total budget: DKK 21.4m) CARMEN – Center for advanced robotic manufacturing engineering Professor Henrik Gordon Petersen, University of Southern Denmark Grant: DKK 18.3m (total budget: DKK 26.2m) e-space – Enhanced spatial light control in advanced optical fibres Professor Toshio Morioka, Technical University of Denmark Grant: DKK 11.2m (total budget: DKK 14.7m)


The Danish Council for Strategic Research

Programme Commission on

Peace and Conflict In 2012, the Programme Commission on Peace and Conflict awarded DKK 15m for strategic research under the theme “Peace and Conflict Research”.

Peace and Conflict Research

Significant societal challenges in this research area

CRIC – Centre for resolution of international conflicts

The research within the area is to strengthen the basis for Denmark to contribute with non-military

Professor Ole Wæver, University of Copenhagen

solutions to current international conflicts. The research can address e.g. conflict prevention, conflict management and resolution as well as preven-

Grant: DKK 15.5m (total budget: DKK 26.5m)

tive efforts to forestall the escalation of conflicts.

SPIR In 2012, the Danish Council for Strategic Research and the Danish Council for Technology and Innovation awarded a grant of DKK 79.5m for a SPIR under the theme “The Bio-based Economy”. SPIR (Strategic Platforms for Innovation and Research) is an initiative to make it more attractive for business and industry to participate in research and development activities with the Danish universities, approved technological service institutes and other enterprises and innovation stakeholders.


The Danish Council for Strategic Research

The Bio-based Economy

BIO-VALUE – Value-added products from bio-mass University of Copenhagen (contact: Professor Jan K. Schjørring) Grant: DKK 79.5m Thereof: The Danish Council for Strategic Research: DKK 39.5m and The Danish Council for Technology and Innovation: DKK 40.0m (Expected total budget: DKK 150.0m)

Bilateral funding In 2012, the Danish Council for Strategic Research granted approx. DKK 40m for bilateral cooperation with the BRIC countries Brazil, India and China. The funding was awarded by the programme commissions within the respective areas.

Cooperation with China within Sustainable Energy and Environment OffWindChina – Research and development of optimal wind turbine rotors under offshore wind conditions in China

Cooperation with Brazil within Health, Food and Welfare

Associate professor Wen Zhong Shen, Technical University of Denmark Grant: DKK 6.0m (total Danish budget: DKK 8.2m)

Improving food safety by eliminating pathogens in mixed biofilms Professor Lone Kirsten Gram, Technical University of Denmark

DANCNGAS – Development and application of circulating fluidized bed gasification of biomass Professor Kim Dam-Johansen, Technical University of Denmark

Grant: DKK 3.4m (total Danish budget: DKK 4.0m)

Grant: DKK 6.5m (total Danish budget: DKK 7.6m)

Meat-Cross-Con – Meat safety: An innovative modelling approach to evaluate microbial pathogen transfer and cross contamination from farm to fork Senior researcher Søren Aabo, Technical University of Denmark Grant: DKK 4.9m (total Danish budget: DKK 6.8m) GIFT: Genomic Improvement of fertilization traits in Danish and Brazilian cattle Professor Haja Kadarmideen, University of Copenhagen Grant: DKK 6.1m (total Danish budget: DKK 10.5m)

Cooperation with India within Individuals, Disease and Society idMALVAC – Establishing immunological correlates of protection against malaria vaccine candidates using functional bioassays and proteomic deciphering of host-parasite interactions Dr. med. Michael Scheel Theisen, Statens Serum Institut Grant: DKK 6.9m (total Danish budget: DKK 11.3m) MicrobDiab – Studies of interactions between the gut microbiome and the human host biology to elucidate novel aspects of the pathophysiology and pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes Professor Oluf Borbye Pedersen, University of Copenhagen Grant: DKK 6.1m (total Danish budget: DKK 13.9m)


The Danish Council for Strategic Research

Joint European Grants The Danish Council for Strategic Research participates in a number of joint European research collaborations – ERA-net and Joint Programming Initiatives. In 2012, the Council awarded approx. DKK 33m to Danish participants in joint European projects.

ERA-net: Coordination of ICT and Robotics in Agriculture and Related Environmental Issues (ICT-AGRI)

Joint-Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE-JPI) A detailed climate change risk assessment for European agriculture and food security Professor Jørgen E. Olesen, Aarhus University Professor John Roy Porter, University of Copenhagen Grant: DKK 7.5m (total Danish budget: DKK 9.1m)

USER-PA – Usability of environmentally sound and reliable techniques in precision agriculture Associate professor Søren Marcus Pedersen, University of Copenhagen Grant: DKK 1.1m. (total Danish budget: DKK 1.1m) ITApic – Application of information technologies in precision apiculture Associate professor Peter Ahrendt, Aarhus University Grant: DKK 1.5m (total Danish budget: DKK 2.0m)

Joint Programming Initiative – Urban Europe CONCOORD – Consolidation and coordination in urban areas Associate professor Allan Larsen, Technical University of Denmark Grant: DKK 1.9m (total Danish budget: DKK 1.9m) APRILab – Action oriented planning, regulation and investment dilemmas for innovative urban development in living lab experiences Research Director Hans Thor Andersen, Aalborg University Grant: DKK 2.3m (total Danish budget: DKK 2.5m)


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Joint Programming Initiative for Neurodegenerative Diseases (JPND)

COMPETT – Competitive electric town transport

BIOMARKAPD – Biomarkers for Alzheimer’s

Senior researcher Hans Christian Bendtsen, The Danish Road Directorate

disease and Parkinson’s disease Professor Gunhild Waldemar,

Grant: DKK 1.8m (total Danish budget: DKK 1.8m)


EV-STEP – Sustainable technical and

Grant: DKK 3.4m (total Danish budget: 3.4m)

economic pathways for electrified mobility

Head of Division Niels Henrik Helweg Heegaard, Statens Serum Institut

systems in EU27 by 2030 Senior researcher Poul Erik Grohnheit, Technical University of Denmark Grant: DKK 1.2m (total Danish budget: DKK 1.4m) FCCP-APU – Fuel cell operating on conventional fuels as auxiliary power unit for electrical vehicles Chief Technology Officer Mads Bang, SERENERGY A/S Chief Technology Officer Thomas Steenberg, Danish Power Systems ApS Grant: DKK 3.2m (total Danish budget: DKK 6.0m)

ERA-net: Industrial Biotechnology 2 (ERA-IB2) SCILS – Systematic considerations of inhomogeneity at the large scale: towards a stringent development of industrial bioprocesses Assistant Manager Kjeld Raunkjær Kjeldsen, Vitalys I/S Grant: DKK 1.0m (total Danish budget: DKK 2.1m)

WIC2IT – Wireless inductive charging to interoperation testing Associate professor Søren Kjærgaard, Aarhus University Associate professor Erik Schaltz, Aalborg University Grant: DKK 6.4m (total Danish budget: DKK 9.1m) NEMO – Novel e-mobility grid model Head of Energy Systems Anders Nielsen Andersen, EMD International A/S Manager Jesper Skovhus Andersen, Ringkøbing Fjernvarmeværk amba. Manager Jacob Møller, Ringkøbing Amts Højspændings-forsyning amba. Grant: DKK 1.3m (total Danish budget: DKK 2.3m) SELECT – Suitability of electromobility Project manager Anders Vedsted Nørrelund, Technical University of Denmark Head of Development Ole Martin Alm, CLEVER A/S Grant: DKK 3.2m (total Danish budget: DKK 4.0m)

CONTIbugs – Overcoming metabolic stochasticity and population dynamics in microbial cell factories Professor Søren Molin, Technical University of Denmark Grant: DKK 2.6m (total Danish budget: DKK 3.3m) CESBIC – Critical enzymes for sustainable biofuels from cellulose Associate professor Leila Lo Leggio, University of Copenhagen Science Manager Katja S. Johansen, Novozymes A/S Grant: DKK 3.8m (total Danish budget: 5.7m) MICROTOOLS – Microscale downstream processing toolbox for screening and process development Partner Bent Svanholm, Grant: DKK 0.3m (total Danish budget: DKK 0.5m)

Grants to Electromobility+ include DKK 9.7m EU funding.


The Danish Council for Strategic Research

Secretariat The Danish Council for Strategic Research is served by a secretariat within the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation. The secretariat will be pleased to provide further information concerning the individual programmes and Danish strategic research in general. The website provides contact details for the individual members of staff, by research area.

Publisher: The Danish Council for Strategic Research Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation March 2013 Design: e-Types/India Photos: Tuala Hjarnø Printed by: Dystan Circulation: 2.000 ISSN: 1903-0061 ISSN (internet): 1903-007X This publication is available on the website of the Danish Council for Strategic Research: The print version of this publication is supplied free of charge, while stocks last, on application to: Rosendahls-Schultz Grafisk Herstedvang 10 DK-2620 Albertslund Telephone: +45 4363 2300

Contact Secretariat of the Danish Council for Strategic Research Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation Bredgade 40 DK-1260 Copenhagen K Telephone +45 3544 6200 Fax +45 3544 6201

The Danish Council for Strategic Research, Annual Report 2012/2013