General remarks

Danish universities may sell research, analysis and consultancy to authorities, companies and organisations. This may be done as commissioned research (income-generating activity) or in the form of public services.

Commissioned research (income-generating activity)

Danish universities may conduct income-generating activities and grant-funded activities, cf. section 20 (3), no. 1 of the Universities Act. These may include specific research tasks that a private company, for example, wishes to have undertaken in return for a fee to the university.

The Danish Agency for Higher Education and Science has compiled a model agreement for commissioned research, with associated guidelines.

See also the following articles on the Researcher Portal:

Research-based public sector services

In 2007, a number of sector research institutions were merged with Danish universities. You can read more about these amalgamations here. In this connection, the universities were tasked with providing a number of services, known as research-based public services, to the public authorities. Section 2 (4) of the University Act thus states that Danish universities may perform tasks for a minister by agreement with him or her, on the basis of their research. In particular, this relates to tasks covered by section 2 of the Act on Governmental Research Institutions:

  1. Advice
  2. Official tasks
  3. Developmental work with a clear societal aim
  4. Communication, including the transfer of knowledge and technology deriving from own research to relevant public and private stakeholders
  5. Operational tasks in this connection

In connection with research-based public services, general reference may be made to:

It is assumed in the preparatory work for the Act that the provision of research-based public services does not entail changes in the freedom of research.

Universities Denmark has stated that research-based public service is subject to the same research ethics and qualitative requirements that apply to all other research, and that universities also have a duty to safeguard researchers’ freedom of expression and freedom of research in research-based public services, although the authority and the university may need to co-ordinate the timing of publication of the results of advice. Several universities have laid down detailed guidelines for research-based public services.

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