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RIO Country Report: Denmark

The R&I Observatory country report 2017 provides a brief analysis of the R&I system covering the economic context, main actors, funding trends & human resources, policies to address R&I challenges, and R&I in national and regional smart specialisation strategies. Data is from Eurostat, unless otherwise referenced and is correct as at January 2018. Data used from other international sources is also correct to that date. The report provides a state-of-play and analysis of the national level R&I system and its challenges, to support the European Semester.



Challenges for R&I policy-making in Denmark

  • Improve the innovativeness of firms and the commercialisation of research. Despite the good performance of the R&I system in terms of research quality and volume and good overall innovation performance, there is still a potential for improving the innovation performance of SMEs. One of the measures to accomplish this is strengthening the interactions between actors in the system.
  • Increase the quality and availability of human resources. As growth has picked up after the economic and financial crisis, shortages of skilled labour have emerged in several industries as well as outside the larger cities.
  • Support innovation to boost productivity growth. There is scope for further support to improve innovation management and implementation capabilities in the business sector, in particular amongst SMEs.

Smart specialisation

Denmark does not have a single combined strategy for smart specialisation, but rather a collection of strategies, which together form the Danish Smart specialisation strategies. These include the Government's growth plans and the regional growth and development strategies. Smart specialisation priority areas for Denmark are: manufacturing and industry, energy production and distribution, sustainable innovation, health and social work activities, agriculture, forestry and fishing. In the 2014-2020 period, the INNO+ initiative supports smart specialisation investments in: transport, environment and urban development, food production and bio economy, health solutions, innovative production and innovative digital solutions. Danish research and innovation policies are in tune with the smart specialisation approach, but further coordination and alignment of strategies between the national and regional levels is recommended.

Geo coverage
Report year
Official publication date
Tuesday, 10 April, 2018
National expert name
Mette Præst Knudsen, Jesper Lindgaard Christensen
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