Danish biotech boosted by solid DKK 128 million investment

A new, ambitious research centre will bolster Denmark's position in the biotech industry. The centre, which will have a budget of DKK 128 million, is the result of a joint initiative between Innovation Fund Denmark and Region Zealand based on the results of the Zealand-based biotech cluster BIOPRO.

The new centre will unite leading competences from universities and businesses and will be the cradle of the next generation development of biotech production. Also, eight new businesses will be established in Region Zealand over the next four years.

Right after Innovation Fund Denmark committed to invest DKK 40.1 million in the Danish biotech production of the future, Region Zealand granted a total of DKK 28.1 million and other parties contributed additionally DKK 12.6 million. While Innovation Fund Denmark acts as a bridge between universities and businesses, Region Zealand is focused on creating innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises across the region. This will be based on the BIOPRO partnership and in close collaboration with the investment and development company CAPNOVA.

In addition to the grants from Innovation Fund Denmark and Region Zealand, DKK 47.2 million will be received from the businesses and universities behind BIOPRO: Chr. Hansen, CP Kelco, DONG Energy, Novo Nordisk and Novozymes as well as the Technical University of Denmark and the University of Copenhagen. Together, these parties aim to expand Denmark's strong position within biotech production. Including the funds from businesses and universities, the total amount granted to BIOPRO is DKK 128 million.

Minister urges close collaboration
Minister for Higher Education and Science, Sofie Carsten Nielsen (the Social Liberals), emphasises the importance for Denmark's position as a welfare society of close ties between the R&D community and the business sector and that our know-how is transferred to the businesses, preferably at a faster pace.

"We know that when Danish companies come up with good and new ideas, they have typically collaborated with researchers or knowledge institutions. Hopefully, the grant will help stimulate that development further," says Sofie Carsten Nielsen.

Peter Høngaard Andersen, Managing Director of Innovation Fund Denmark, and Jens Stenbæk (the Liberals), Chairman of Region Zealand, see the grants as an acknowledgement of the results obtained so far by BIOPRO and of the perspectives of further strengthening the project.

Unique research centre within large-scale production
Managing Director of Innovation Fund Denmark, Peter Høngaard Andersen, sees the huge investment as a major step towards making Denmark the natural choice for investments in new biotech production. Moreover, it is important to focus on research.

"The centre will provide the universities with an opportunity to develop and test their research directly in the large-scale environments of the industry. This offers unique research opportunities and ensures that the industry benefits directly from the successful research of the universities. In the longer term, this will enable Denmark to expand its strong position in the world market for biotech production."

Eight new businesses
Chairman of Region Zealand, Jens Stenbæk, notes the promising aspects of the regional investment in that it involves specific goals for the establishment of eight new businesses in the region over the next four years.

"The overall effect on employment is expected to be 100-200 new jobs and, furthermore, some of the existing businesses will be strengthened. As a region we must do what we can to stimulate the creation of new jobs.

Among the leaders
CEO of BIOPRO, Jesper Bryde-Jacobsen, refers to BIOPRO's ambition of becoming a world-leading centre for the optimisation of biotech production:

"With BIOPRO we have already created unprecedented collaboration in Northern Europe, and the new grants are a pad on the back for all those who have contributed to our achievements.”

In its capacity as investor, investment and development company CAPNOVA will continue to serve on the management board of BIOPRO, and Executive Director of CAPNOVA, Kim Ove Olsen, sees BIOPRO as an exemplary project because it creates growth:

"The establishment of new businesses is essential to us. CAPNOVA was brought into the world for that purpose and, therefore, it is satisfying that a few days ago we were able to invest in Biomatics Technology, the first business emerging from the collaboration between researchers and industry under the BIOPRO project."