DTU is Part of a New National Centre for Digital Technologies

DTU Compute and the DTU ecosystem for entrepreneurship is going to play a significant role in a new, digital research, education and innovation centre. The centre aims to accelerate Danish advances within research, education and innovation in the field of IT.

DIREC (Digital Research Centre Denmark) is a unique collaboration across DTU, the University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen Business School, IT University of Copenhagen, University of Southern Denmark, Aarhus University, Aalborg University and the Alexandra Institute. The purpose of DIREC is to turn new research and technology in IT into innovative products and services for Danish companies and consumers.

Strengthening development, commercial viability and green transition
The centre is supported by Innovation Fund Denmark with DKK 100 million over the course of the next five years. Within this period, the centre aims to significantly expand Danish capacity within research and education in digital technologies at Danish universities. This is going to result in new knowledge within the field, as well as contributions to a rising demand for highly educated IT specialists in the Danish business community.

“New digital technologies, for instance artificial intelligence, Big Data and the Internet of Things, are important technological drivers for growth and welfare in society, as well as indispensable parts of the green transition. DIREC will therefore contribute to solving some of the biggest and most important challenges, not just within IT, but also in (global) society as a whole. As one of the largest IT research environments in Denmark, with a corresponding, internationally renowned research output, DTU Compute expects to deliver a significant contribution to the centre’s overall research effort. Thus, we will also be contributing to the commercial viability and growth in the field of IT, as well as society in general,” explains Jan Madsen, Deputy Director and Professor at DTU Compute.

DTU contributes with a unique ecosystem for innovation and start-ups
In addition to the aforementioned things, DIREC will develop products and solutions based on the newest research in digital technologies, in collaboration with corporations. The goal is to strengthen the development and commercial viability of the Danish business community through research.

“Innovation and business collaboration is a part of DTU’s DNA. It is integrated in all of DTU’s engineering educations, as well as in research. Our strong ecosystem within start-up and innovation is going to work as a bridge between research, corporations, concrete products and consumers. With centres and initiatives, such as DTU Skylab, DTU Tech Transfer and DTU Entrepreneurship, we will contribute with both competencies and facilities, as well as an innovation-oriented mindset. In that way, DTU will participate in ensuring that DIREC develops technology in collaboration with corporations, for people and for the future,” says Jan Madsen.

DIREC’s board has employed Thomas Riisgaard Hansen, who has a background from UC Berkeley and Aarhus University, as director, effective from January 1st 2021. With him in charge and with contributions from top researchers from all of Denmark’s universities. The goal is to develop DIREC into an internationally renowned centre that can match the most respected equivalent centres in Europe and the US.