We need to make it easier for smaller companies to take part in innovation

28. February 2023
Et billede, der indeholder person, personer/mennesker, folkemængde/publikum Automatisk genereret beskrivelse

There is growth, jobs, and development to be gained when small and medium-sized enterprises work with innovation. Therefore, we must make it easier for the backbone of the Danish business community to participate in value-creating innovation projects.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are often called the backbone of Danish business – with good reason. SMEs account for half of the annual profit of Danish companies; for 40 per cent of Danish companies’ net investments and is the workplace for almost 40 per cent of all full-time Danes.

SMEs contribute significantly to the Danish economy, not least to growth. Analyses from DI have previously shown that 94 percent of Denmark’s high-growth companies are in the SME segment.

But even though SMEs generate a lot of growth, there is a significant untapped potential: SMEs are not innovative enough. According to the Business Promotion Board’s business panel, only one in six SMEs work with innovation today.

That’s too few

Studies from Cluster Excellence Denmark have shown that SMEs working with innovation have greater added value than comparable companies. At the same time, when we know that the value added of SMEs matches that of larger companies, then more innovative SMEs will, all other things being equal, lead to growth with growth on it.

Denmark’s 13 nationwide cluster organizations are a great place to become more innovative and hit growth. The clusters are created to lift the technological strengths we already have. In the energy cluster, it is us in Energy Cluster Denmark who have the task of expanding technology development within green energy and sector coupling, and we do this by supporting innovation collaborations.

We know it works

For example, in 2014, the company Remoni from Skanderborg participated in the environmental project Powerclamp, which with DKK 1 million in EUDP support was to make monitoring of technical installations cheaper and better. Today, the company has grown to 43 employees, and in the past two years, external investors have invested DKK 60 million in the company with the goal of expanding Remoni’s solutions internationally.

Similarly, a project on pyrolysis of sewage sludge has created international growth for AquaGreen in Roskilde, which has grown from 5 to 31 employees, and today sells wastewater solutions on four continents.

We must become even better at helping good ideas and innovative thoughts to become concrete solutions and workplaces. Part of this plan is to establish a new advisory board for SMEs in the energy cluster.

We want to make green technology development easier for Danish SMEs to take part in, and we believe that a closer connection and strengthened cooperation between SMEs and the Danish energy cluster is a good step on the way.

With the new advisory board, SMEs will have direct access to influencing and shaping the energy cluster’s offer of innovation, events, communication and much more, and it is my expectation that we can thereby make it even better for SMEs to be part of Denmark’s energy cluster.

On 24 May, we will organise a panel discussion with SMEs, which will explain both the good and the hard part of innovating together. It happens at Energy Cluster Denmark’s annual meeting in Fredericia – come and listen!