Industry-initiated research and development projects

In connection with a research and development project, a business can choose to finance all of the research. They can do so e.g. by hiring a researcher through a PhD programme. In other cases, the PhD is co-financed. In both cases, the programme runs for three years.

If a business has a specific research and development project, which suits one of their employees, then an industrial researcher might be an option. State funding covers part of their wages, and the person in question will be associated with a university environment to make sure they have access to the best possible competencies.

Read more about this option on Innovation Fund Denmark’s website.

Examples of research collaboration between businesses and the National Food Institute

Seaweed cultivation in the Faroe Islands

The focus of Urd Grandorf Bak’s industrial PhD project was seaweed cultivation in the Faroe Islands. The aim of the project was to obtain groundbreaking knowledge about the biochemical composition of farmed seaweed in order to optimize seeding techniques and cultivation methods. Results from the project will strengthen the seaweed industry in the North Atlantic Ocean.

The project was a collaboration between the National Food Institute and Ocean Rainforest Sp/F with financing from Nordic Innovation.

Oxidation processes in skincare products

Birgitte R. Thomsen’s PhD project was a collaboration between the National Food Institute and the pharmaceutical company Glaxo Smith Kline. During her studies, she developed a method that makes it possible to speed up the oxidation process in skincare products, which makes it possible to examine the products’ shelf life in just a month. As such, producers no longer have to wait six months to be able to predict shelf life.

Various substances were added to the products to accelerate the chemical reaction, which would have naturally occurred over a longer period of time. Studies have yielded the same results, regardless of whether the new or the traditional method was used to test the oxidation process.

Loss of quality in cooked-at-sea, shell-on prawns

Industrial PhD student Hanne Aarslev Jensen  is helping Royal Greenland to find ways of preventing the loss of quality that can occur in sea-cooked shell-on prawns such as changes in colour and flavour.

Royal Greenland has conducted research and development projects in collaboration with the National Food Institute for several years, including several PhD projects.

Building a bridge between industry and academia

One advantage of an industrial PhD projects is that the student builds a bridge between the company's needs and the university’s goal of disseminating new knowledge to society.


Peter Ruhdal Jensen

Peter Ruhdal Jensen Professor, Head of Research Group