GTS bring technology in the hands of Danish businesses

The seven GTS institutes play an indispensable role in the Danish innovation system. Their core function is to deliver technological knowhow and expertise to private businesses and to public institutions, thereby increasing the innovation and competitive power of both business and society through the accelerated adoption of technology.

The GTS institutes cover an exceptionally wide range of sectors, including:

  • Digitisation
  • Production and robot technology
  • Food and agriculture
  • Materials technology
  • Electronics and micro-electronics
  • Ship-building and construction
  • Water and environment
  • Biomedicine
  • Security
  • Welfare technology.

The GTS institutes range in size from fewer than thirty to over one thousand employees. In 2017, the total number of employees was 3,805. The institutes also vary in the scope of their international focus, with some institutes focusing primarily on disseminating new knowledge and technology within Denmark, while others are very international in their service offering and market orientation.

Investment in form of performance contract activities

To support the maintenance and especially the renewal of the GTS infrastructure, the Ministry of Higher Education and Science invests more than € 40 million annually in the institutes’ development of technological knowledge. This investment takes the form of performance contract activities which allow the institutes to develop new technological services ahead of market demand and in areas where the market itself cannot or does not meet the need.

In the publication “Technology for Danish businesses” page 8-9 you can read more about an effect chain which illustrates the work of the GTS institutes through the entire process from input to output and the effect on Danish business life.

Three vital functions 

Seen in overview, the GTS institutes perform three vital functions within the Danish innovation system:

Building and supporting R&D competence

The GTS institutes participate in both Danish and international R&D projects with the objective of developing new technological knowledge in close collaboration with businesses, universities, and research institutions.

Developing and maintaining a technological infrastructure

The GTS institutes’ technological infrastructure comprises laboratories and test facilities run and operated by specialists. This infrastructure enables businesses to develop, test and certify products easily and promptly. To sustain this infrastructure, the institutes keep track of emerging trends and tendencies to bring technologies relevant to Danish businesses home to the Danish market and to develop new technological services targeted particularly at SMEs.

Knowledge transfer

The GTS institutes work proactively to transfer and apply the technological knowledge obtained. Their focus is on the application of technology as broadly and widely as possible to build and support levels of innovation in as many Danish businesses as possible.

Differentiating

In comparison with the other players in the Danish innovation system – the universities and the Innovation Networks Denmark programme – the GTS institutes have succeeded in differentiating themselves in three respects:

  1. through the extensive and advanced technological infrastructure that they make available for use by businesses whenever they need it
  2. through their close interaction with Danish businesses, with more than 19,000 Danish customers signed up every year, and
  3. through the specialist technological insights contributed by institute employees to address the specific challenge of each business.

Bridging the gap between research and businesses

The illustration above is a simplified representation of how the GTS institutes operate in the critical area between national basic research and commercialisation, bridging the gap between research and businesses. This bridging role works in both directions, because the knowledge needs of businesses are translated into research questions for the institutes.

Drawing on their technological insight and their knowledge of the market, the GTS institutes accelerate work with innovation, pave the way for better products and processes, and strengthen the overall competitiveness of Danish businesses.

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Photo: DFM