Bjarke Bak Christensen. Foto Mikal Schlosser

DTU Bioengineering strengthens innovation and entrepreneurship

Tuesday 26 Feb 19

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Bjarke Bak Christensen
Head of Department
DTU Bioengineering
+45 30 66 42 33
Two new professors will strengthen collaboration with businesses and contribute to more spin-outs from DTU Bioengineering.

Two new professors will strengthen innovation and the formation of spin-outs from DTU Bioengineering. One will also be employed as deputy head of department with responsibility for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Head of Department Bjarke Bak Christensen expects the appointment of the new professors to double the number of new spin-outs and that this development will lead to a much faster idea-to-market assessment of projects, proof-of-concept, and business. Spin-outs will both take the form of collaboration with businesses and companies spun out by the department itself.

“DTU Bioengineering has a unique opportunity to develop new knowledge and new businesses that can deliver sustainable solutions in biotechnology and pharmatech, food, feed, materials research, and bioenergy. DTU Bioengineering thus has an important part to play in achieving the UN’s sustainability goals. But if we really mean to make a difference, we must do so on a commercial, competitive basis. If it is to have global relevance, we need to create technologies and products that will automatically be used because they can compete with current technologies. It must make business sense,” says Bjarke Bak Christensen.

Development of new inventions

"If we really mean to make a difference, we must do so on a commercial, competitive basis. If it is to have global relevance, we need to create technologies and products that will automatically be used because they can compete with current technologies."
Bjarke Bak Christensen

In order to strengthen the development of new inventions and ensure that the projects are commercially interesting, researchers at DTU Bioengineering will in future get help from the new professors and a permanent Tech Transfer consultant from DTU.

Among other things, they will be able to get help with establishing a strategy for research funding, patent applications, and cooperation agreements. In addition, they will get help in identifying which areas of their research contain knowledge and ideas that can be turned into a viable business—and which areas they should spend less time and energy on. The aim is to create a culture at the department where basic research goes hand in hand with innovation and entrepreneurship.

The first professor and deputy head of department at DTU Bioengineering, Steffen Goletz, hails from a career in the German private sector where he has established five companies and acted as both managing director and research director in the vast majority. During his time in the industry, Steffen Goletz has filed more than 60 patents and published 50 publications. In addition to the position of deputy head of department, Steffen Goletz is in charge of a research group within innovation and glycoengineering.

Strong innovation competences

 The second professorship will develop a new strategic position of strength with a focus on research and innovation in integrated micro and nanotechnological systems within biology and biomedicine. This professorship is expected to be filled in the first half of 2019.

In addition to strengthening researchers’ innovation competences, an internal working group will ensure that entrepreneurship is embedded across research and teaching, so that it becomes an integral part of teaching where students—among other things—will generate ideas and assess where there is market potential market.

“It’s an investment in strengthening the entrepreneurial culture. But I’m convinced that it can also make teaching more fun and relevant because both associate professors and students are involved in specific technologies and products,” says Bjarke Bak Christensen.

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