15 March 2024

DKK 180 million for university-industry collaboration


The University of Copenhagen has joined the Open Discovery Innovation Network, ODIN, anchored at Aarhus University. The platform, which recently received DKK 180 million in funding from the Novo Nordisk Foundation, aims to promote open, precompetitive university-industry collaborations.

light bulb
"The ODIN project is an excellent example of the potential of university-industry collaboration," says Vice-Dean Trine Winterø. Photo: Unsplash.

Over the next five years, researchers from the University of Copenhagen and four other Danish universities will generate knowledge to accelerate drug discovery through open, independent research without the restrictive framework of patents.

The Open Discovery Innovation Network, ODIN, which has been anchored at Aarhus University since 2020, has been extended to include the University of Copenhagen, Aalborg University, the University of Southern Denmark and the Technical University of Denmark, as the Novo Nordisk Foundation has awarded DKK 180 million for a continuation of the project.

“The ODIN project is an excellent example of the potential of university-industry collaboration. We are happy to be part of the project, which has shown great results, and we look forward to developing more interesting innovation projects together with the partner group over the next five years,” says Trine Winterø, Vice-Dean for Innovation and External Relations at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen.

Over the next five years, ODIN will expand its national and global network. Aside from the four new university partners, including the University of Copenhagen, the network already hosts a series of small and large biotech and service companies. Other universities, knowledge institutions, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies from all other world are welcome to participate in ODIN projects as co-applicants.

Precompetitive platform breaks down barriers

ODIN aims to facilitate university-industry collaboration by taking lengthy IP negotiations out of the equation. Through a combination of idea development and personal matchmaking, the platform helps partners present their research needs and ideas and match industrial research challenges with university-based competences and knowledge.

“Both sectors have shown great interest in the platform, which has proven itself useful in promoting high-risk/high-gain research propelled by the needs of the pharmaceutical industry – and more so than any other collaboration model. I am happy to be able to continue the effort over the next five years,” says Head of ODIN at Aarhus University Marie Louise Conradsen.

Over the next five years, ODIN will focus on drug discovery and better diagnostics within i.a. cardiovascular, cardiometabolic and infectious diseases. In addition, focus will be on technology platforms that may prove useful in treatment of various diseases.

Data and results from ODIN projects are openly available and free for others to use, including industry competitors.


Press Officer Sascha Kael Rasmussen
+45 93 56 51 68