Unique opportunity for Danish materials research

Friday 19 Feb 16


Henning Friis Poulsen
DTU Physics
+45 45 25 31 19


Carsten Gundlach
Senior Research Officer
DTU Physics
+45 22 38 42 41

In a few years, the world’s most powerful microscopes will be operational in Lund—specifically dedicated to materials research. A new Danish project will help companies to utilize the advanced equipment and provide Danish products a competitive edge in the international competition.

“Now is the time for reaping the benefits.”


This epitomizes the purpose of the new university and business collaboration, LINX, according to Professor Henning Friis Poulsen from DTU Physics, who is heading the project.


“In a very short period of time, the new MAXIV X-ray synchrotron will be ready in Lund, and in 2020 we expect that MAXIV’s neighbouring ESS neutron microscope will also be fully operational. Together, they will become the world’s most powerful neutron and X-ray microscopes, and will be located right on the other side of the Øresund! This world-class resource will—not least thanks to its location—provide Danish businesses with a unique opportunity to create top-class products. And we should, of course, seize this opportunity!”


Headed by Henning Friis Poulsen, researchers from Aarhus University, the University of Copenhagen, and Technical University of Denmark have joined forces to help Danish businesses exploit the new unique facilities in Lund. A DKK 50 million (6,67 million) grant from Innovation Fund Denmark and a total budget of almost DKK 80 million have made it possible to launch the LINX (Linking Industry to Neutrons and X-rays) project. In addition to the three universities, 15 business partners and the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) also participate in the project.


“We are looking forward to LINX being able to help Danish businesses find crucial answers to some of their materials challenges. It is highly positive to see that research groups from the three large universities have joined forces, and that Innovation Fund Denmark is supporting this promising project, says Director Charlotte Rønhof from DI.


“Companies sometimes find it difficult to see the possibilities offered by such advanced research facilities. Especially small businesses lack both the knowledge and the necessary staff to use neutron and X-ray microscopes and subsequently be able to interpret the research results. As university researchers with expertise in materials research, we can help those companies,” explains Henning Friis Poulsen.


Almost all major social changes—within both transport, communication, and the invention of computers and the Internet—started with the exploration of materials physics and chemistry. The purpose of LINX is to understand the structure of the materials and biotechnological products with which the involved companies are working, right down to atomic level, in three dimensions, and over time. This means, for example, that you can find out how a fracture in a wind turbine blade occurs under load, or how insulin spreads in the body following an injection. As the two examples show, a large number of companies from many different sectors will be able to benefit from ESS and MAXIV. So far, 15 Danish companies have decided to invest in the project, both financially and by allocating manpower—both producers of concrete, juice, milk cartons, laboratory equipment, and wind turbines—to name but a few. The goal is to continuously attract new partners and projects to LINX.



Investment by Innovation Fund Denmark: DKK 50 million (€6,67 million)

Total project budget: DKK 77.9 million (€10,4 million)

Duration of the project: 5 years



DTU, Aarhus University, University of Copenhagen

DI, Capital Region of Denmark, Central Denmark Region

Biomodics, CO-RO A/S, CPH Inventures A/S, Exruptive A/S, Frichs Ecotech A/S, Grundfos, LM Wind Power, Novo Nordisk A/S, Novozymes A/S, ROCKWOOL A/S, TEGnology ApS, Tetra Pak Packaging Solutions AB, VELUX A/S, Xnovo Technology ApS, Aalborg Portland A/S


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