New project aims to create more research-based companies and aid technology transfer in Danish universities

Spin-outs Denmark aims to encourage research environments in Denmark’s eight universities to start up more businesses. VILLUM FONDEN has donated DKK 75 million to this ambitious project. 

The project will:

  • Enhance the universities’ capacity and competences in the area of technology transfer.
  • Help more researchers become entrepreneurs.
  • Build up a strong and well-functioning entrepreneurial community.

Denmark has a great deal of untapped potential when it comes to creating businesses based on research. A new collaborative project between Danish universities is intended to help realise this potential. The Spin-outs Denmark project aims to increase the number and quality of research- and technology-based companies and support the development of a national ecosystem of academic entrepreneurs.

The University of Southern Denmark (SDU) will manage the project in close cooperation with the other seven universities in Denmark:

“We’ve worked for a long time to make this collaboration across all the Danish universities a reality. It’s an important and promising project for Denmark, Danish researchers and universities. So we’re very grateful for the generous grant that makes it possible. I’m convinced that this will not only enhance cooperation between universities, but will also benefit the whole of society when it comes to entrepreneurship, job creation, innovation and commercialisation of Danish research and knowledge,” says Søren E. Frandsen, head of SDU’s Research and Innovation Organisation (SDU RIO).

In order to ensure the quality and progress of the project, an advisory board will be appointed consisting of experienced international experts, representatives from Vækstfonden, Innovation Fund Denmark, Danish companies and investors. 

From basic research to solutions

VILLUM FONDEN has awarded a five-year grant totalling DKK 75 million for the project:

“Our grant to Spin-outs Denmark will boost the ecosystem that makes it possible to apply basic research in practice. We’re pleased to have the opportunity to support the universities’ aims, and hope that the collaboration between the technology transfer offices at the Danish universities will help them create innovative solutions, for example to climate challenges,” says Thomas Bjørnholm, Executive Chief Scientific Officer, who will be on the project’s advisory board as an observer and representative of VILLUM FONDEN.  


Anna Høxbro Bak
Communications Adviser, THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS
+45 22 64 03 55
Thomas Bjørnholm
Executive Chief Scientific Officer, professor, VILLUM FONDEN
+45 28 75 18 35


Professor Thomas Bjørnholm is responsible for the foundation’s research programmes in technical and natural sciences.
Previously Thomas Bjørnholm was Prorector for Research and Innovation and Deputy Rector at the University of Copenhagen with overall responsibility for research and innovation across all disciplines at the university.

He is a professor of Materials Chemistry and the founding director of the Nano-Science Center at the University of Copenhagen.

Thomas Bjørnholm is a member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences and he has served on numerous boards and committees.

As a scientist, he has published more than 200 articles in scientific journals and books including contributions to the highly-recognized journals Nature and Science. He has given more than 150 invited talks at conferences and research institutes around the world and received research awards, including the Ole Rømer Foundation Award, the Ellen & Niels Bjerrum Award and gold medal, and the Director Ib Henriksen Award.

See more extensive CV