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About DCA


DCA – Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture is the framework for the collaboration between the research environments within the agricultural and food areas at Aarhus University. DCA is supported by a central unit which coordinates the university’s agreement with the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark on research-based policy support.

Aarhus University is a world leader within the areas of food and agriculture. The Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark has therefore entered into an agreement with the university on the provision of research-based policy support within these areas.

To ensure cross-disciplinary cooperation between the research environments within food and agriculture, Aarhus University has established DCA – Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture. 

DCA comprises the departments at Aarhus University that carry out research activities in food and agricultural science. These departments include the Department of Agroecology, Department of Animal Science, and Department of Food Science, parts of the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, and parts of the Department of Engineering. In addition, DCA collaborates closely with the MAPP Centre at the Department of Management.

The activities in DCA are supported by a centre unit, which is in charge of tasks relating to research-based policy support, sector and industry coopera- tion, international cooperation and communication. 

Policy support

The DCA centre unit coordinates the agreement between the university and the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark regarding provision of research-based policy support within the areas of crop production, livestock production, and food quality and consumer behaviour.

Researchers from DCA-related departments provide research-based policy support ranging from short memorandums to extensive reports and knowledge syntheses.

The agreement with the Ministry respects the arm’s length principle, and DCA’s policy support is based solely on the scientific contributions provided by the researchers. The authorities are responsible for the subsequent political and administrative considerations. In addition, DCA is also obligated to regularly assess which areas may become topical for policy support. Such assessments can result in initiatives for carrying out research in areas in which there may be a need for further or new knowledge.

Read more about research-based policy support

Sector collaboration

An advisory panel contributes to organising research and development collaboration with national users and collaborative partners. Members of the advisory panel include the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark, other authorities, industry representatives and a well-developed committee network. The main task of the advisory panel is to provide advice on the centre’s overarching supervision and strategy, including the relevance of research in relation to society’s future needs for advisory services, national and international research topics, communication of knowledge to society and the framework for research-based policy support. 

The advisory panel includes representatives from the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, Danish Agricultural Agency, Seges, Danish Crown, Organic Denmark, Arla Foods, Coop Denmark, Confederation of Danish Industry, and Danish Society for Nature Conservation.


The DCA centre unit carries out communication tasks in rela-tion to policy support and other DCA assignments. A monthy English DCA newsletter communicates knowledge about policy support tasks and new research from the DCA departments.

The centre unit publishes DCA reports, primarily based on policy support tasks. In addition, the centre unit coordinates DCA events allowing researchers, authorities and the public to be informed about research efforts and exchange knowledge. At AU Foulum guided tours are available for companies, associations and relevant educational institutions. 

International cooperation

Via its centre unit, DCA is in charge of a number of tasks in relation to international research and policy support.

On behalf of the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark, DCA attends to responsibilities in the European Innovation Partnership on Agricultural Sustainability and Productivity (EIP-AGRI), the Collaborative Working Group of Sustaina-ble Animal Production, NordGen Council for Farm Animal Genetic Resources and Animal Task Force. Via its engage-ment in several ERA-nets, DCA participates in a series of European research programmes.

The centre also supports collaboration in major applications to European research programmes, primarily Horizon 2020.