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Morten Østergaard Minister for Science, Innovation and Higher Education in Denmark.

What is the Danish government’s strategy for investing in and developing the life science industry in Denmark?
“First of all, life science and health is a highly prioritized field in Denmark. We have excellent research that also has a large impact on the global research community. Denmark has been focusing on these areas for a long time, but we need to develop our strengths even more. Recently, a new national biobank was inaugurated in Denmark, a research that which will open up many possibilities. Through the biobank, researchers will have access to blood samples from a large part of the population, which will allow researchers to learn much more about our diseases.”

“Another part of the Danish strategy is to promote the emergence of life science clusters. Through the Medicon Valley cluster, for example, there is a great deal of investment in science and development, as well as this being an environment where companies can grow and inspire each other.”

How can Denmark become more competitive on the global market?
“By attracting investments, creating possibilities for more research facilities to arise, but also by promoting Denmark’s large pharma industry. Of course, we want to make sure that these companies feel motivated to stay in Denmark.”

What is the biggest challenge for the life science industry in Denmark at the moment?
“There are several challenges. BGI, the world’s largest genomics organization, has recently opened a new international genome research centre in Denmark. One of our challenges is that we need to attract more investments similar to this, even though we have a high level of taxation. At the same time, Denmark is a country with high standards of living and has a strong position within the industry, which can attract international companies. Furthermore, we hope that the new EU regulations for register-based research won’t be a handicap for Danish researchers or counteract our ability to maintain people’s trust.”

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