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South Denmark

South Denmark

South Denmark has a clear ambition to exploit the international potential of the smart specialization focus areas through cross-regional cooperation. The Vanguard Initiative is a great way to establish focused European partnerships in order to achieve the common goal of generating sustainable growth.

Since 2009 South Denmark has had a focused and long-term economic development strategy based on a triple helix model with strong collaboration between local authorities, industry and knowledge institutions. The strategy focuses on the following three areas: Health and social innovation, Sustainable energy and the Experience economy. To support the innovation and sustainable growth agenda, the South Denmark Growth Forum employs a comprehensive approach, involving e.g. stimulating demand for new products and services, improving access to R&D and risk finance, supporting company creation, and strengthening research, development and education environments – including clusters – within the focus areas.

To further accelerate growth, South Denmark has initiated an effort to attract international elite entrepreneurs to the region, for example through structured incubator and accelerator programs, access to test and piloting infrastructure and close contact with investors.

The focus areas of South Denmark’s smart specialization strategy represent sectors with a combination of regional strengths and clear trends pointing to sustained global growth in demand. Within Health and social innovation, South Denmark has strong specialized competences in automation, assistive technology, ICT and eHealth – underpinned by substantial experience with innovation methods based on user involvement, tests, usability and design. The focus on Sustainable energy rests on very strong innovation environments within energy efficient technology and offshore energy, which are export oriented production industries with a high degree of specialized knowledge. As regards the Experience economy, South Denmark boasts a combination of internationally relevant tourist destinations and highly innovative research and knowledge environments within design, with a strong tradition of industry collaboration based on methods of design-driven innovation to push industry growth and renewal.

South Denmark has a clear ambition to exploit the international potential of the focus areas through inter-regional cooperation, and works consistently to strengthen international engagement through tools such as Horizon 2020 and INTERREG, including collaborations contributing to the internationalization of the region’s clusters. The Vanguard Initiative is a great way to establish focused European partnerships in order to achieve the common goal of generating sustainable growth.

Councillor, South Denmark Regional Council, Chairman, Regional Development Committee