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Questions and answers (FAQ)

On this page we present a number of questions and answers that will help explain how your company can get started on collaborationg with us and what you can expect from the collaboration.

  1. Why should I consider collaborating with your researchers?
  2. How can I initiate a collaboration?
  3. How can I learn more about the possibilities of collaborating with DCA and AU?
  4. Is collaboration relevant if our company is not involved with the primary sector?
  5. What is the cost of collaborating with our researchers?
  6. What happens at the first meeting?
  7. What is the procedure for contracts and legal issues?
  8. What course does collaboration follow?
  9. What use can my company make of a student?
  10. Can I further my education at DCA?

1. Why should I consider collaborating with your researchers?

Because we have the leading scientific expertise in the agriculture and food fields – including plant and livestock production and biosystem engineering. We are the only research institution in Denmark that carries out research through the whole food production chain from field to fork, and therefore have a broad internal knowledge network on which it can draw. Being a part of Aarhus University, we are also able to draw upon a broad range of cross-disciplinary expertise. Taken together with our researchers’ broad international networks, we are therefore able to provide the best combination of partners to meet your requirements.

Our researchers have a strong tradition for taking an applied and practical approach to their work due to DCA’s former status as a sector research institution. Consequently they have a good understanding of practical situations, which is of great benefit when collaborating with enterprises. Collaboration with us will provide your company with:

  • Access to the latest knowledge in the agriculture, food and biosystem engineering fields
  • Access to our special research facilities
  • Opportunities for developing knowledge and innovative solutions together with our leading researchers.

This knowledge can be applied in the development, production, marketing or sale of your products, thereby enhancing your competitiveness and value added. See here for more information about our Scientific expertise.

2. How can I initiate a collaboration?

If you do not presently have any personal relation to our researchers you can get in contact with them by several other means. Please contact us.

You are always welcome to attend one of our specific seminars or other conferences/workshops where our researchers make presentations, and thereby get into contact with them. It is also possible to participate in a number of “match-making” arrangements, which our researchers regularly attend. At these, researchers and enterprises meet to discuss potential possibilities for collaboration.

For more information about match-making initiatives see:

3. How can I learn more about the possibilities of collaborating with DCA and AU?

Our researchers strive to work in a network-orientated manner, i.e. they try to attract the best partners in order to be able to bring the optimal combination of expertise into a collaboration. We already have many partners in both Denmark and abroad. Moreover, our fusion with Aarhus University has further enhanced our possibilities for establishing cross-disciplinary combinations of expertise. If you have any specific wishes in relation to areas of expertise other than those to which you already have access, then feel free to contact the researchers you know to hear more about the possibilities for drawing upon expertise from within their networks.

You are also welcome to contact us.

4. Is collaboration relevant of our company is not involved with the primary sector?

It is correct that DCA’s predecessors have long generated knowledge of relevance to the “traditional” agricultural sector and have hence developed close contact to enterprises within the sector. More recently, DCA’s predecessors have been trying to establish contact with new partners, including partners that they have not traditionally worked with. DCA continues this trend. Our scientific expertise is of relevance for the traditional agricultural sector as well as for associated enterprises involved in supplying, processing and refining products, and for related sectors such as bioenergy, environmental technology and health.

Please contact us for an assessment of the possibilities for collaboration with your company.

5. What is the cost of collaborating with our researchers?

The cost naturally depends on the type of collaboration model employed, the nature of the project, and who the project participants are. It is worth noting, though, that with several of the available models, collaboration with us is financially practicable for you. This is especially the case with the Industrial PhD Programme and some types of collaboration projects for which you as an enterprise can obtain financial support from public sources.

For more information see Collaboration and financing models.

6. What happens at the first meeting?

At the first meeting we send a couple of our researchers to your enterprise to initiate discussion of the possibilities for collaboration. Together we assess whether it is possible to establish a joint project that would benefit your business while concomitantly having an appropriate scientific content and standard. We also discuss the relevant collaboration models and project financing.

If your company possesses knowledge that you want to be kept secret in connection with the discussion we can draw up a secrecy agreement. This also applies in cases where our researchers possess knowledge or ideas that they do not wish to be disseminated without their prior approval.

If agreement is reached to continue developing a project after the first meeting, the remaining negotiations will take place at different levels. Your scientific staff and our researchers decide the scientific content of the project and draw up a project plan. At the same time it could be necessary to involve your Head of Development and our Heads of Department in approval of the project and decisions on financing. Thereafter a legally binding collaboration agreement is drawn up so that there are clear guidelines as to how the collaboration is to proceed. The contractual discussions are primarily handled by your lawyers and lawyers from our secretariat.

Read more at Technology Transfer Office.

7. What is the procedure for contracts and legal issues?

We accord importance to the preparation of a legally binding collaboration agreement for the project collaboration with us. It is important that there are clear guidelines governing how the collaboration is to proceed and defining each partner’s contribution. Moreover, public sector research is subject to a number of regulations that indirectly affect the agreements that Aarhus University can enter into with private enterprises.

Our lawyers collaborate with your lawyers to draw up the specific collaboration agreement. This clarifies who holds the intellectual property rights pertaining to the research, the researchers’ investigative freedom, the possibilities to publish the research findings arising from the collaboration and questions of secrecy. All this depends on the type of collaboration model used in the specific project.

Please contact our legal adviser, Hanne Rye Johansen

8. What course does collaboration follow?

In our experience several factors determine whether or not collaboration with us is experienced positively by you as an enterprise. We therefore strive continually to share knowledge and experience so that all our researchers are aware of what is important in industrial collaboration. Among other things we accord importance to: 

  • Acknowledging and involving the enterprise as an equal partner throughout the whole research process
  • Developing a good project description and plan with clear goals and division of responsibilities
  • Ensuring the preparation of a legally binding collaboration agreement that takes into account the interests of both parties
  • Supporting systematic communication throughout the collaboration process
  • Communicating both the good and the bad
  • Developing good relationships that serve as a spawning ground for new ideas and projects.

9. What use can my company make of a student?

If your company has a specific problem or task that could be solved or carried out by a student with the appropriate scientific expertise then it is a good idea to contact us to investigate the possibilities for entering into an agreement on practical placement or project collaboration.

For more information, contact:
Rasmus Pedersen
Telephone: +45 8715 1198
E-mail: Rasmus.Pedersen@au.dk

10. Can I further my education at Aarhus University?

Yes. Aarhus University offers single-subject courses within a wide range of our core areas as part of the Daytime Course Scheme.

Everyone with relevant qualifications thereby has the possibility to further educate themselves within a broad spectrum of agricultural science topics and thereby upgrade or expand their knowledge.

For more information about the possibilities see Continuing education.