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Private companies depend on access to researchers and research infrastructure in the public sector

A new study of 137 Danish companies with research activities suggests that a strong public research sector helps companies succeed in Denmark.

Many university researchers carry out research at a high international level, and the universities are repositories of valuable knowledge and hypermodern research facilities that companies do not have. A Novo Nordisk Foundation study reveales that two thirds of the companies replied that they depend on collaboration with researchers in the public sector.

Thirty-seven percent replied that they are dependent or very dependent on collaboration with researchers in the public sector, and 28% replied that they depend to some extent on being able to collaborate with the public sector.

“Companies indicate that collaboration with researchers in the public sector strengthens the competencies of their employees and provides access to new knowledge and research facilities. In addition, companies that publish scientific articles together with researchers in the public sector can more easily attract international investors and collaboration partners,” says Thomas Alslev Christensen, Head of Operations, Novo Nordisk Foundation.

“The study suggests that a strong public research sector underpins the development and competitiveness of private companies,” adds Thomas Alslev Christensen.

Companies also contribute high-level research. Collaborating with private companies therefore also benefits public sector researchers, who obtain knowledge about new technologies and research from companies.

The study is one of several included in the Foundation’s recently published annual report on the impact on society of research in the public sector. The Foundation measures the societal impact of the Foundation’s grants for public research, innovation and education.

The report also contains a new study of the role of public research on improving the treatment offered by general practitioners and a study that shows that research in hospitals strengthens clinicians’ ability to provide better diagnosis and treatment.

The societal impact of Novo Nordisk Foundation Grants 2017 is available here.

Further information

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