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Novo Nordisk Foundation Creates New Center for Startups in Denmark


The Novo Nordisk Foundation is to establish the BioInnovation Institute (BII), a center for the purpose of developing and maturing the best research projects in the life sciences in Denmark, with an initial investment of DKK 392 million ($62m/€51m). 

Danish initiative with an international perspective, BII will be located in Copenhagen "to create synergy with the existing research environments and laboratory facilities in the life sciences".

The Foundation has awarded an initial grant of DKK 392 million to cover the 3-year establishment phase.

Talented researchers and entrepreneurs from universities, hospitals, companies or other Danish or international research and entrepreneurial environments can enter BII at all stages, depending on how far the research project is in the maturation process.

During the discovery phase, BII will attract talented researchers and entrepreneurs from Denmark and abroad from research environments at universities and hospitals to collaborate on new pioneering ideas and inventions across disciplines.

The transition phase will primarily test promising projects in an acceleration process in which excellent research ideas are further developed and business plans are drafted. Experts and mentors will be involved in this phase.

The incubation phase covers projects for which a start-up company has been established. These projects have significant potential to be further developed.

In the transition and incubation phases, BII will support start-up companies with risk capital and feedback through access to a network of experts within the start-up environment, financing, legal affairs and other areas critical for the business models of start-ups so that they develop towards becoming financially sustainable. Start-up companies that can attract external funding to implement the ideas in specific solutions then leave the incubation phase.

The growth phase covers companies that have attracted funding from external investors. They can use BII’s facilities on market terms.

The 3-year establishment phase

The 3-year establishment phase will focus on building the transition and incubation phases. This will enable existing research in the life sciences to benefit quickly from the opportunities offered by BII. During this period, BII will be anchored in the Foundation.

After the establishment phase is evaluated, the Foundation’s Board of Directors will decide whether to establish BII as an independent foundation for years 4–10. When this happens, all activities and results from the first 3 years of operating BII will be available to the new foundation. This enables the first 3 years to be used to build a solid framework to ensure that BII starts well.



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