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April 21, 2017 11:10

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How Denmark is turning Students into Entrepreneurs

Universities are always looking to shorten the skills gap with industry. Bringing together what the universities provide with what industry needs has meant that academia has needed to adapt and change to meet industry demands.

Taking the theory taught at universities and applying it in industry is not as a straight forward as suggested. Structures, hierarchies, curriculum and modules among other factors need to change to benefit the demands. Engineering schools, departments and faculties are particularly feeling the brunt. They need to adapt to constantly changing market environments, where under the start-up culture, rapid prototyping is putting additional pressures.

Denmark has embraced these changes and the output places Denmark as one of the global leaders in this area of academic and industry synergy. An example of how Denmark is cultivating entrepreneurs at an early age is through the Danish Tech Challenge.

RS Components has joined this movement by providing participants of the challenge with capital and technical support to use at their discretion from the full RS online range. RS shows again that it is removing the barriers to innovation.

Since its inception, the challenge has created and doubled in the number of internships, jobs and entrepreneurs. The dynamics of this start-up environment has also enabled over DKK 100 million in venture capital with turnover doubling annually.

During four months young entrepreneurs need to create, develop and prototype a marketable product. This can include sensor systems, robots, and drones to cleaning technology and medical gear.

Thinking outside the box is the main premise of the challenge. The culmination of student thinking and entrepreneurial flair has resulted in innovative and sustainable products. Take a look at the examples:

Shade: whilst making it ecologically friendly and improving the design and technical functions of the lamp, entries have included the possibility to control the direction of the light, intensity and colour temperature. It also functions as a light source and luminaire. Shade has been working with well-known Nordic designers to create a lamp with not only the newest functions but also be a beautiful piece of art.

Cphnano: a 3D printer that prints and builds its own production line. Modules can be built up in 60 x 60cm cubes where production could be scaled up by adding modules.

SaniNudge: an integrated IoT hand sanitiser. The product is based on results that show that 4.1 million get infected and 37,000 people actually die from hospital infections. The product unobtrusively alerts patients and medics to use hand sanitisers. 

The examples are only a very small group of companies surging out of Denmark. It is clear that as the world embraces technology where IoT devices and big data are exponentially growing, there needs to be a greater synergy between universities-to-start up and start up-to-industry – vice versa and all ways in between. Working together, making mistakes, and promoting creative thought can only be beneficial versus traditional conventions. Here, Denmark is showing the way.

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April 21, 2017 11:10

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