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:
- General information on research collaboration
- Agreements on research collaboration
- Industrial PhD candidates
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:
- Official tasks
- Developmental work with a clear societal aim
- Communication, including the transfer of knowledge and technology deriving from own research to relevant public and private stakeholders
- Operational tasks in this connection
In connection with research-based public services, general reference may be made to:
- Website of the Ministry of Higher Education and Science
- Universities Denmark’s White Paper on Research-based Public Services (2009)
- The recommendations of Danish Universities towards future research-based public services (2015)
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.