Danish Innovation Policy: More strategic focus needed

The awaited peer review of the Danish Research and Innovation (R&I) system has been recently concluded. A group of top-level experts spent almost one year looking at the Danish innovation system. Their conclusions are clear: Denmark has a very strong innovation system but its innovation policy needs more strategic focus.

The report starts praising the high innovation performance of Denmark, which has a sophisticated and competitive business sector, a strong international orientation, and a solid scientific knowledge and education basis. It has some world class innovative business sectors like life sciences, wind energy or robotics.

However, the report states, in order to keep up with it innovative dynamism in an increasingly competitive international context, Denmark innovation policy must be more coordinated and more strategic.

The report suggests some specific action points like more innovation-oriented universities, or fostering accelerators. Yet, more importantly, the crucial recommendations are about enhancing coordination across the  system, and overall, to define a clearer and more strategic ambition for Denmark’s R&I policy.

These recommendations are very much aligned with the holistic view of innovation policy that Charles Edquist and I put forward in a recent book, one that understands that policy must identify and address deficiencies and opportunities in the entire innovation system, and on that basis, set up clearer and strategic directions.

The peer-review report has been well-taken by Danish stakeholders. We are seeing already some initial first steps aiming to introduce more ambitious and strategic approaches (like the recent focus on climate change and green growth of the Danish Innovation Fund).

I look forward the next years’ debates and developments!

Read the report here: “Peer Review of the Danish R&I System – Ten steps, and a leap forward: taking Danish innovation to the next level”


Photo credit: Lindsay Henwood


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