The national research and innovation strategies create the basis for research and technology development. The most recent outline and general guidance for research was adopted by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science in December 2017 in the document Denmark – Ready to seize future opportunities.
Two other initiatives for research and technology development in Denmark are RESEARCH2020 and RESEARCH2025 published by the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science. These publications form the basis for strategic investments in research, ensuring investments are based on solid knowledge about the research needs of society and the new opportunities that research creates.
RESEARCH2025 identifies 19 prominent research topics within four main areas:
- New technological opportunities
- Green growth
- Better health
- People and communities
The Government established a long-term vision for transport development in A Green Transport Policy dated January 2009. The document sets out overall principles and concrete initiatives as part of a global green transport policy. Recently, a further step was taken with a new strategy on achieving independence from fossil fuels by 2050 (Energy Strategy 2050 - from coal, oil and gas to green energy) and with the objective to decrease CO2 emissions with 70 % by 2030. Another policy initiative which defines the national transport priority and research is the traffic initiative presented by the Government in 2008, entitled Sustainable Transport - Better Infrastructure.
Denmark’s Recovery and Resilience Plan outlines plans and allocations for reforms and investments in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Danish Roadmap for Research Infrastructure 2020 is Denmark’s national strategy for the research infrastructure area. It contains a series of strategic objectives and specific milestones that point towards the direction for the upcoming years’ development in the area. The roadmap also includes concrete proposals for which new national research infrastructures Denmark should invest over the upcoming years.
To set out a strategy for a direction for the Danish green research and innovation effort to accelerate technology and solution development for the protection of climate, nature and environment, the document - Green solutions of the future - Strategy for investments in green research, technology, and innovation was published in 2020.
Denmark has a well-developed and centralised research system, with a clear division between the advisory function for research policy and the organisation of research funding and user support.
- The main Ministry responsible for research policy is the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education. The Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs also has some influence on innovation policies.
- R&D programmes are also launched by sectoral ministries, such as the Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate and the Ministry of Environment and Food.
Below Ministry level, there is a system of research advisory and funding councils.
- The Council for Research and Innovation Policy furthers the development of Danish research, technology and innovation to the benefit of society.
- The Independent Research Fund Denmark administers the funding earmarked for independent research, and for thematically defined and politically prioritised research areas.
- The Innovation Fund Denmark administers funding for strategic research areas based on politically defined programmes with the aim to support the development of knowledge and technology, including advanced technology, in order to strengthen research and innovative solutions that may benefit growth and employment.
The Ministry of Transport and Housing is responsible for the governance of the transport sector in Denmark. The ministry is supported by executive agencies in implementing activities by the Danish Civil Aviation and Railway Authority, the Danish Road Directorate, the Danish Coastal Authority, Rail Net Denmark, and Accident Investigation Boards of Denmark. To support the Government on greening Danish transport, the Ministry of Transport established the Centre for Green Transport in 2011.
The research funding is the responsibility of the:
- Council for Independent Research - an umbrella organisation for five research councils, and supports research projects based on the initiatives of researchers, and;
- Innovation Fund Denmark - creates a framework for entrepreneurs, researchers and businesses so they can develop innovative and viable solutions to society’s challenges.
Thematic science and technology priorities are implemented by various R&D funding institutions, such as the programme committees in the Innovation Fund Denmark and the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation.
Specific funding programmes Denmark is involved in include: