Industrial collaboration

DTU has a long tradition of research collaborations with small and large businesses

DTU consider collaboration with external partners as an important and strategic mission. Collaboration ensures that DTU’s research-based knowledge and technologies are being disseminated to the society. Industrial collaboration is a key access for DTU researchers to the research and innovation agenda in the business community.

Research collaboration, knowledge and innovation

The mission of DTU is to develop and utilize the natural and technical sciences to benefit society. Accordingly, collaboration with external parties is a very important task in order to ensure the transfer of technology and knowledge to society. DTU has a long tradition of research collaborations with small and large businesses, Approved Technological Service Institutes, other research institutions, and universities in Denmark and abroad.

Inventions and patents

Every year more than 150 inventions are reported by DTU staff and students covering a wide range of disciplines within science and engineering. DTU business developers commercialize the inventions and patents through collaboration with Danish and international industrial partners on licensing and sale of intellectual property rights.

Student training service and projectsPrivate and public companies can utilize the student’s knowledge and research by providing traineeship and joint research project for the students at DTU.

Businesses and the PhD Programme at DTU

DTU works together with a large number of businesses in the education of PhD students. The following models of collaboration are available:

  • Co-financing a PhD student
  • Industrial PhD

Two models for research collaboration

DTU may enter into research collaboration in two different ways, as research collaboration may be carried out as either ”co-financed research” or ”commissioned research”.

The basic structures of the two models are determined by law.

The two models differ in a number of areas and set out different terms for exploita-tion of the project results, keeping results confidential, and fixing the price of the work in the budget. This way, the two models offer the parties various opportunities of pursuing their interests in the agreement.

It may therefore prove beneficial to know a bit about the two models if you are to enter into negotiations about a collaboration agreement with DTU.

Co-financed research

Co-financed research is research that serves to expand the knowledge base of the university as well as the company.

Generally, co-financed research is financed by means of the company’s and DTU’s contribution of resources to the project. The project may also be co-financed with the help of external funds, for example funds provided by Innovation Fund Denmark. The contribution of government funds means that the final results of the project must benefit society as a whole.

In the budget of a co-financed research project, funds are allocated to cover DTU’s overhead costs.

Commissioned research – commercial activities

Commissioned research is research conducted on commercial terms. Research of this kind must derive naturally from DTU’s normal activities and may, depending on the circumstances, be of research-related interest or merely consist of a commercial utilisation of DTU’s expertise or equipment. This may, for example, include sale of consultancy services, analyses, measurements, and testing.

Commissioned research must be financed in full by the company ordering the research.

Financing provided by the company must cover DTU’s total direct and overhead costs. According to DTU’s internal guidelines, the overhead budget for the project must, as a rule, be fixed at 180% of payroll costs.

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Technical University of Denmark deploys the natural and the technical sciences to accelerate sustainable growth in society

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Dorthe Skovgaard Lund

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