Foto: Vibeke Hempler

DTU sets up new health technology department

Wednesday 20 Jun 18
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by Tom Nervil

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Rasmus Larsen
Provost
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+45 45 25 10 10

Society demands technological solutions to many of the major health challenges we are facing now and in the future. DTU has the research and technological expertise to play a crucial role in this area, and it is therefore only natural that the University shares in the responsibility to deliver health technology solutions for the benefit of society and the individual.

“DTU is already a major player in this area. Our research within health technology involves a wide range of intelligent solutions for the collection and processing of health data, research in medical signal processing and modelling, medical sensors, biomaterials, innovative hearing technology, drug delivery, telemedicine, and much more. Our engineers will thus play an increasingly important role in the development of the technologies required by the health sector to diagnose and treat patients,” says Rasmus Larsen, Executive Vice President and Provost at DTU.

 

DTU Health Technology
Research groups with a focus on health technology are today spread across many departments at DTU. This creates barriers for new partnerships and for establishing a sufficiently strong position.

 

“As of 1 January 2019, we are therefore setting up a new department, DTU Health Technology, where we will bring together up to around 300 researchers who will be part of a new environment that offers optimal conditions and facilities for health technology research. With a strong, joint department, we can attract the best researchers and students—both nationally and internationally—create new networks, new study programmes, new start-ups, and a framework for collaboration between DTU’s researchers, clinicians, and the industry. DTU Health Technology will become an international-class research platform capable of fostering new technology and new solutions that can improve the quality of patient care and public health and well-being in light of the fact that we all live longer and longer,” explains Rasmus Larsen.

 

Collaboration

The new department will act as a single point of access to health technology at DTU and be a strong platform for DTU's regional, national, and international collaboration. It will also serve as a host for new research infrastructure such as bioimaging.

 

“Thanks its central location here in ‘Medicon Valley’, DTU has for many years worked with the life science industry on the development of new products and solutions for the health sector. We expect that DTU Health Technology will forge even closer ties with the industry, the Department of Health and Medical Sciences at the University 

of Copenhagen, the hospitals in the Capital Region of Denmark and Region Zealand, and generally businesses and knowledge institutions in Denmark and abroad,” says Rasmus Larsen.

 

Education

The Danish and international life science sectors are important growth engines, and the companies depend on being able to recruit qualified employees. DTU offers a number of study programmes with health-related content. DTU Health Technology will play a key role in the continued development of these programmes in order to meet the future needs of the industry and the healthcare sector.

Results in restructuring at DTU
DTU Health Technology will consist of research groups from DTU Electrical Engineering, DTU Nanotech, DTU Bioinformatics, DTU Compute, and DTU Bioengineering.

As a result of the establishment of DTU Health Technology, DTU Nanotech and DTU Bioinformatics will cease to be independent departments. A large part of the researchers from both DTU Nanotech and DTU Bioinformatics will move to the new department, while the research groups that do not focus on health technology will transfer to departments where new strong environments will be established with related academic environments. This means, for example, that physicists from DTU Nanotech will move to DTU Physics and will thus help to drive the strategic development of DTU Physics.

Rasmus Larsen stresses that the restructuring is not a cost-cutting exercise, but a question of preparing the University for the future.

 

“DTU Health Technology is a boost to the University—a department that brings together the core of DTU’s health technology research and creates a research platform for the innovation and knowledge that the industry, society, and the students will demand in the future. As an international elite university, it is crucial that we take the steps that best enable us to support the needs of society and at the same time attract the best researchers, students, and the necessary funding. DTU Health Technology will contribute to ensuring that DTU will continue to rank among the five leading technical universities in Europe.”

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