Danish companies invent like never before

Danish companies invent like never before
Novozymes' lab in Bagsværd. File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix
Recent years have seen unrivalled levels of productivity from Danish inventors.

An enzyme that breaks down dead cells in the stomachs of chickens so that they don’t need as much feed.

An algorithm that stabilizes the swaying of a wind turbine so that it can be built with a little less steel.

These are examples of products that two Danish companies, Novozymes and Vestas, have developed and been granted patents for.

Danish companies are now among the most active in developing new products, according to a report published on Tuesday by the European Patent Office. In the report, Denmark was listed as number 3, after Holland and Switzerland.

In 2018, Danish companies applied for 2,390 patents in Europe, a 14.4 percent increase compared to the year before, and the highest amount Danish companies have ever applied for in one year, the report stated.

The Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri, DI), a private interest organization made up of approximately 10,000 Danish companies within manufacturing, service and trade, said the report reflects an investment on developing new ideas and transforming these ideas into real solutions.

“Danish companies are highly innovative. They are willing to invest large sums of money in order to be the first ones to come up with new solutions,” DI’s head consultant Lars Holm Nielsen said.

“The largest companies invest a lot of money in research and development, but there are also many small and medium-sized companies that are ahead in their respective fields when it comes to the development of new products,” Nielsen added.

Several of Denmark’s largest companies are amongst the most active in finding and developing new ideas. Last year, Novozymes was at the top with 192 patent applications. Vestas, Novo Nordisk, and Oticon were all close behind.

Claus Crone Fuglsang, research director at Novozymes, said that patents are crucial if the company is to continue to develop new products.

“Novozymes is a company that is driven by innovation. Patents ensure that the company finds a legitimate market for the products we develop. Patents also help us to maintain earnings to cover the costs of the development process,” Fuglsang said.

“Without patents, technology makes it very easy for others to copy our products. We have to make sure that we that we are compensated for the costs of research and development,” he added.

READ ALSO: Four ways Copenhagen is leading on innovation

Member comments

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.