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Analysis: Danish research greatly benefits patients and the healthcare system

Analysis by the Novo Nordisk Foundation shows that research at universities and hospitals in Denmark is of high international quality and contributes to improving treatment for patients and to the development of new technologies.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation is publishing a series of reports in which the Foundation has analysed and measured the impact of research projects at universities, hospitals and other public knowledge institutions that the Foundation has supported with grants.

The reports show that researchers supported by the Foundation are achieving great results in the research community. This is reflected by the fact that 23% of the research articles by the recipients of Foundation grants are among the 10% most frequently cited worldwide. The reports also reveal that the results produced by researchers supported by the Foundation are used in 53% of 100 clinical guidelines and treatment guidelines for diabetes and in 18% of 276 clinical guidelines for cardiovascular diseases in Denmark and abroad. Treatment guidelines help to ensure that people receive better and more uniform treatment.

“The grants the Novo Nordisk Foundation awards for research in the public sector give researchers the opportunity to make new discoveries and influence society. The reports show that these researchers are good at creating results and new knowledge,” says Thomas Alslev Christensen, Head of Impact, Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Basis for innovation
The reports also show that research at public knowledge institutions plays a vital part in innovation and technology and results in patent activities. A total of 1060 scientific articles based on research supported by the Foundation have been cited in more than 2200 patents and patent applications globally in the past 25 years.

“The reports emphasize the importance of investing in research at universities and hospitals. Our analysis covers projects supported by the Foundation but is so broad in scope that we can draw general conclusions about how a strong public research sector contributes to creating new knowledge, innovation and new products to benefit people and society,” says Thomas Alslev Christensen.

“We believe that we as a foundation are responsible for elucidating the societal impact of our research grants. Our reports provide insight into many but not all the effects research has on society. We will work further on this in the coming years,” adds Thomas Alslev Christensen.

Selected figures from the reports

  • Grants from the Foundation currently support about 3000 researchers fully or partly – 40% of whom are young researchers receiving PhD scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships.
  • The recipients of Foundation grants authored 2800 publications in 2018, nearly 7% of Danish research publications, and the Foundation funded DKK 1.7 billion in research in the same year, an estimated 7% of all public research in Denmark.
  • Many of the scientific articles by the recipients of Foundation grants are published in recognized international journals and are frequently cited: 23% of the articles are among the 10% most frequently cited globally, and nearly 5% are among the 1% most frequently cited globally.
  • Successful research requires great international collaboration. Of the Foundation’s grant recipients, 53% published articles with researchers located outside Denmark in 2018, and they collaborated with 196 companies – of which 20% were Danish.
  • From 2007 to 2018, the Foundation awarded 187 innovation grants that resulted in 63 spin-out companies.

Further information

Christian Mostrup Scheel, Senior Press Officer, phone: +45 3067 4805, [email protected]