New initiative brings companies and students together

University students and recent graduates from the University of Southern Denmark are teaming up with SMEs in the region to cooperate on innovation and enhance communication between the educational sphere and the private sector

- Small and medium-sized companies often overlook the opportunities that lie in collaborating with students on innovation. They miss out on the students’ abilities to think innovatively, says Torben Bager from the Idea Entrepreneurship Centre at the University of Southern Denmark.

The project will run for the next few years. The Industrial Fund has contributed DKK 4.5 million to the initiative and the University of Southern Denmark has added DKK 1.4 million from their own finances.

Head of the Project, Henrik Brændstrup, who is also employed by the Idea Entrepreneurship Centre, aims to establish contact with roughly 300 companies to begin with.

CEO of the Industrial Fund, Mads Lebech, is confident about the potential of the project.

- By supporting SMEs in their work with innovation, growth and knowledge-sharing while enabling students to establish ties with private enterprises, the project will contribute significantly to the strengthening of competitiveness. That is the goal of our mission, explains Mads Lebech.

After the initial phase of starting up the programme in the south, the initiative will be rolled out to the other regions of Denmark as well.