Water tech research in Denmark


IRIS Group has prepared a report commissioned by Water Valley Denmark with support from The Grundfos Foundation to provide comprehensive knowledge on Danish water technology research. Delving into the mapping of Danish water tech research environments, the report explores development in funding options, research performance, and collaboration patterns, serving a dual purpose:

Firstly, it aims to guide stakeholders towards new collaborations by mapping and describing water tech research environments.

Secondly, it provides an analysis to foster dialogue on the conditions for conducting water tech research and innovation in Denmark.

The report suggests that action is needed in five key areas to keep Danish water tech research a national stronghold for the future:

  1. Long-term national strategy: Urgent need for a coherent, long-term national strategy to address fragmentation in Danish water tech research and ensure sustained commitment to national challenges.
  2. Emphasis on strategic research: Closing funding gaps for strategic research is vital for translating basic research into innovative water tech solutions.
  3. Incentives for research institutions: Improved conditions are necessary to encourage research institutions’ participation in development and demonstration projects, particularly addressing unattractive grant criteria.
  4. Regulation supporting utility innovation: Regulatory incentives are essential to overcome barriers posed by existing regulations, facilitating innovation in utility companies.
  5. Development of a strong talent base: Collaborative educational efforts are crucial to build a robust talent base for the future water sector, including a proposed joint PhD program focusing on interdisciplinary water cycle understanding.

The analysis warns that current conditions may compromise Denmark’s global leadership in water tech research, posing challenges to the national goal of doubling water technology exports. Strengthening research institutions and fostering innovation through academic-industry collaboration are identified as essential actions.

The execution of the report, including data collection, analysis, and preparation, was spearheaded by IRIS Group. The steering committee, led by Water Valley Denmark, played a pivotal role in determining the analysis scope and contributed valuable insights throughout the process.

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