Danish IP Fair 2019 – opening doors between universities and industry

Thursday 16 May 19


Claus P. Voigt Andersen
Team Manager, Innovation and infrastructur
Office for Innovation and Sector Services
+45 31 15 28 40



The Confederation of Danish Industry hosted the third annual Danish IP Fair on May 8 2019. The event aimed to make patentable science and technology from university easily accessible to industry and create the ideal environment for matchmaking and networking.

“Unless we invest our time, money and heart in nurturing innovation, collaboration and creation of new start-ups, we will hardly see any unicorns in ten years. We are already on the right track.”


Thus opened Anders Bjarklev, Chairman for Rector’s College, Danish IP Fair 2019 on May 8 at Confederation of Danish Industry. The event brought together over 400 industry professionals, investors, entrepreneurs and researchers to present the next big thing from Danish universities.


Danish IP Fair showcased both early start-ups and IP based technology to not only attract investors but also to create more transparency between universities and industry. According to Vaekstfonden, this visibility opens up to a much greater collaboration.


Universities can seem a bit closed off and researchers are often working in their own space for a long time before approaching us. Events like these give us insight into what is going on and lets us know what we should be paying attention to and what we should be supporting”, says Network Consultant Anette Nørgaard from Vaekstfonden.


An ideal matchmaking set-up

"Events like these give us insight into what is going on and lets us know what we should be paying attention to and what we should be supporting"
Anette Nørgaard, Vaekstfonden

Danish IP Fair’s main event was one-on-one matchmaking sessions in a speed-dating set-up. The sessions featured pre-scheduled partnering meetings and gave both investors and entrepreneurs an opportunity to seek out those they specifically wish to network with. This targeted networking led to over 200 meetings.


“We can push researchers a bit at these events so they can see what their research can actually amount to and give them a realistic insight into what it takes to make a start-up. They can even get an idea of the competition they have”, says Executive Vice President Hanne Harmsen from Innovation Fund Denmark when asked about the value of matchmaking sessions at Danish IP Fair. “Ideally, they can meet their investor here, but no matter what they will leave with more knowledge of the game”, she adds.


The 80 cases that were presented at Danish IP Fair covered the areas of Medtech & Analytics, Robotics & Drones, Advanced materials and Biotech & Pharma. Among the many exciting projects was ROPCA, a promising case that measures ultrasound.


“We are optimizing ultrasound scans of patients with arthritis. With our scans we can evaluate the disease activities in the patients and over time we can actually see how the treatment is affecting the patient”, says Nikolaj Iversen who is presenting the project ROPCA from SDU.

Danish IP Fair gave the project great exposure and, none the least, experience with talking to investors.


Open doors

The Danish IP Fair was first held in 2017 when the Danish universities saw an opportunity to create a new platform for connecting with industry. It is not only up to the researchers at the universities to reach out to industry but also the other way around. As with everything else, a great outcome is achieved through mutual trust and collaboration.


Throughout the day, funding was a topic that recurred in both the keynote debate and throughout the 4 fireside interviews with Henrik Vissing from Retipharma, Jan Rosenbom from Keystones, Simon Skjøde Jensen from Monta Biosciences, and Thiusius Savarimuthu and Søren Just from SDU Robotics, moderated by Morten Jastrup.

It is important for investors to network with the new technologies, but equally important that the cases understand the investors and the funding landscape they need to navigate to become successful. Consequently, funding is a topic we can never talk enough about.


Mikkel Skovborg, Senior Program Manager from Novo Nordisk Foundation, was spokesperson from BioInnovation Institute at the event. “We know the universities have spent a long time choosing cases and getting them ready to meet people like myself. We think it is worth supporting and we will continue to do so. Creating great projects out of the universities extensive research and knowledge is something that we could do even more of”, he says.


As Danish IP Fair 2019 closed its doors at 4 PM, we hope to have left other doors open for the cases and investors who showed up. We will be back in a year with even more technology for the future.

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