Innovation

DTU Skylab  Innovationshus for studerende og ansatte, med prototypeværksteder, labs og events.

Innovation

Innovation is in DTU’s DNA. We help students and employees translate inventions and discoveries into enterprising businesses, and we engage in innovative collaborations with society as a whole. Innovation is standard in the curriculum of all our engineering programmes. All because we are driven by a will to develop new, sustainable ideas that can help solve the challenges the world currently faces.

Innovation for the benefit of society

DTU has one of the most well-developed ecosystems for innovation and entrepreneurship among technical universities in Europe. This ecosystems helps bringing new ideas and inventions from the classrooms and research laboratories at DTU into the real world, where they can create new jobs and help solve tasks and challenges in society.

Innovation at DTU comprises four pillars, each with its own specific focus:

Student innovation

A large part of the new start-ups are created by students. But student innovation at DTU is much more than start-ups:

Through projects, events, internships, and student jobs, students gain experience and contacts within the business community, which ensures that students develop the necessary competences and that, in turn, companies benefit from innovative inputs from the students.

Business collaboration

DTU is the business community’s university and thus takes part in a wide range of collaborations with companies regarding strategic research collaborations, continuing education, student projects, conferences, etc.

The interaction between the University and the business community ensures that theory is put into practice and that research is based on real-world issues.  

 

Start-ups

The growth of start-ups at DTU shows that both students and employees increasingly manage to translate ideas into solutions that benefit society.

This growth is supported by DTU’s establishment of prototype workshops, scientific advice, funding opportunities, and research environments—together providing a unique environment centred on entrepreneurship.

Commercialization

Research at DTU often leads to inventions considered to have commercial value.

In this context, DTU enters into sales, license and option agreements with established companies and start-ups that can develop products based on technology from DTU.

Intellectual property rights (IPR) are a central part of the University’s business and underlines the relevance of the research community. 

Innovation

A solid innovation infrastructure has been created at DTU. Below, we have gathered some highlights that show how innovation, entrepreneurship, and research are part of a larger whole at DTU—for the benefit of society.

  • DTU Skylab: an innovation hub for students and employees with prototype workshops, laboratories, events and teaching.

  • DTU Entrepreneurship: a centre of research and programmes centred on entrepreneurship, which aims to strengthen the innovation ecosystem.

  • DTU Tech Transfer: DTU’s technology transfer unit, which helps commercialize ideas, inventions, and technology from DTU through the sale and licensing of rights. 

  • DTU Science Park: one of Denmark’s leading development environments for deep tech companies. Organizer of the Danish Tech Challenge, a growth programme for hardware companies.

  • Future Box: an incubation environment for deep tech and hardware companies. Future Box is part of DTU Science Park.
  • DTU Link: innovation hub facilitating innovation programmes for small and medium-sized enterprises and an incubator for tech start-ups. DTU Link is located on Risø Campus and include desk/office-renting facilities and access to prototyping facilities and workshops.
  • Open Entrepreneurship: a research project acting as a bridge between industry and academia.

  • EnergyLab Nordhavn: a living lab where students, researchers, public authorities, and companies have the opportunity to develop and test the energy system of the future.

  • PreSeed Ventures: a DTU subsidiary specializing in funding entrepreneurs. 

  • Dianova A/S: DTU subsidiary incubating early technology from universities and hospitals to a start-up or sale.

 

Be part of the ecosystem


There are many opportunities to collaborate with DTU on innovation projects. Get access to new knowledge and technology, become part of a start-up, or collaborate with innovative students.

As part of the ecosystem, you can participate in events, pitches, and hackathons. You will be updated on the latest trends, get access to the latest research results within the technical sciences, and perhaps spot new talent.

Read more under ‘Collaboration’.

Prototypeværksted på DTU Skylab

A look inside DTU’s innovation hub

In 2018, DTU’s innovation hub, DTU Skylab, had 96,739 visitors. More than 157 pre-start-up projects were generated and more than 500 prototypes were constructed.

Join DTU’s technology summit

Every year, DTU hosts the High Tech Summit, where researchers, companies, and decision-makers meet to share knowledge and opinions on the latest trends in technological development. The High Tech Summit is the largest university-run technology summit in Scandinavia.

Knowledge exchange with the industry

The essence of an engineer’s work is to find the right technical solutions to the challenges humans and society are facing.

DTU contributes not only by providing skilled manpower but also by collaborating with companies, organisations, and public authorities—exactly where the challenges can be seen and felt and where the solutions will eventually be implemented.

There can be many different forms and levels of collaboration. From major strategic research projects with a high level of innovation to participating in stand-alone courses and events at DTU.

Through these collaborations, DTU gains insight into current problems and challenges and is given the opportunity to create technological solutions that can contribute to the sustainable development of society. 

DTU encourages both small and large companies to consider a collaboration. Join in, when technological summits are held, find a relevant course, and consider whether an engineer-related issue could be solved by a DTU student. Once the dialogue is established, experience shows that there is much more to gain. 

Among Danish universities, DTU has the highest number of collaboration agreements with industry.

Personlig medicin til kræftramte børn. Illustration: Benny Box

Personalized medicine for children with cancer

In a joint project involving Rigshospitalet and DTU, parents of all Danish children with cancer will be given the offer to have the genetic characteristics of their children mapped. This will ensure a better treatment effect and fewer serious side effects for the children.

Read more about the collaboration

Technology transfer with commercial value

Foto: Mikal Schlosser

DTU and Roche A/S strengthen health technology research

"We have great expectations that DTU - together with Roche - can bring new products and services to the market for the benefit of society, business, and patients.” Rasmus Larsen, Executive Vice President, Provost, DTU

Read more about the Roche agreement

DTU is committed to ensuring that the technologies developed at the University will benefit society. Among other things, this is done through commercialization agreements with companies who can utilize the results of the research commercially.

DTU is currently engaged in approximately 150 commercialization projects. The projects cover many different technology areas targeted at commercialization processes for both start-ups with spin-off technologies and commercialization agreements with established companies, based on long-term strategic research collaborations.

There are several ways to engage in a collaboration with a view to commercialization. DTU’s tech transfer unit has the full overview of existing inventions and technologies in DTU’s portfolio that are possible candidates for commercialization. In addition, it is also possible to engage in a strategic collaboration within a research area, with a view to developing new technologies that can be utilized commercially.

DTU is always ready to enter into a dialogue regarding the possibilities for collaborating on commercial activities and makes every effort to ensure an easy start. Contact the business developers at DTU Tech Transfer to learn more about how DTU can help create value for your business.

Start-ups and entrepreneurship

Compared to others, DTU entrepreneurs have a very high survival rate. Companies based on inventions from DTU are performing almost twice as well as other spin-outs and start-ups in Denmark.

94 per cent of the companies based on IP rights from DTU are still going strong five years on. These findings are concluded in a central business register report for the period 2000-2017.

In order to support the formation of start-ups, the university has - in collaboration with Accelerace - established the ‘DTU Start-up Training Programme’ as well as a number of other programmes in the DTU Skylab innovation hub. DTU furthermore has a mentoring programme where experienced business people are paired with DTU’s entrepreneurs to achieve faster development.

The University has also strengthened the funding for the commercial maturation of ideas and inventions from students and employees through the ‘DTU Skylab Funding Programme’ and the ‘DTU Enable Programme’. 

The numbers on the right are from 2018

Paragit ved OiX 2018

2019 Student Start-up of the Year

Paragit Solutions wins this year’s Student Start-up award for their sensor, which can foreshadow nerve diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, ALS and Alzheimer’s.

Read more about Paragit Solutions

Start-up to challenge big guns with artificial cannabis substances

The biotech start-up Octarine Bio is eyeing the growing market for pain relieving drugs with its tailored cannabis substances.

Read more about Octarine Bio
DTU Ecosystem for innovation

The President on innovation

Watch as President Anders Bjarklev talks about innovation from DTU Skylab.

Funding of collaborations

DTU Link

DTU Link: an incubator that funds collaborations between companies and researchers at DTU.
Contact DTU Link.

Student innovation - part of studying at DTU

Sustainable ice from seaweed

Two students created an ice cream flavour made from seaweed, berries, and fruit from Scandinavia and won a competition for innovative and sustainable foods.

Read more about the sustainable ‘coast’ ice

As a DTU student, you obtain a world-class engineering degree. But DTU is not just lectures, exercises, laboratories, and project work. The students at DTU are part of an innovative campus environment where ideas are materialised and theory is translated into reality.

When the lectures are over, they still have access to workshops, libraries, and laboratories. At DTU, there are plenty of like-minded innovators and advanced facilities that provide an optimal framework for getting something extra out of their studies and the opportunity to help define the technology of the future.

The innovation activities are an integral part of all teaching, and both theoretical and practical courses—where companies contribute with specific issues and projects—are taught. DTU Entrepreneurship plays a key role in developing courses, training, and study programmes aimed at innovation and entrepreneurship.

Interested in working with a DTU student?