With Grand Solutions, Innovation Fund Denmark (IFD) wants to invest in ambitious innovation projects with excellent science and strategic research that contributes to create new and tangible solutions to important societal challenges and creates value for Denmark.
The FORSK2025 catalogue is the basis and guide for the thematic calls.
The technological development changes our society with ever-greater speed and there is good reason to expect that the pace, at which new technologies will change everyday lives of citizens and companies, will continue to increase in the future.
With this Grand Solutions call, IFD addresses cross-disciplinary issues, challenges and needs, nationally as well as internationally, where research and innovation is the value creating element for Denmark, through the development of solutions to Danish societal challenges, which – in the short or longer term – will create growth and employment in Denmark.
The Grand Solutions call New Technological opportunities strives to invest in knowledge-based and cross-disciplinary solutions for Danish society, paving the way for unprecedented societal and market opportunities.
Areas of Investments
The call aims at innovation projects with specific or cross-disciplinary development of service, innovative products and/or processes within all fields. The ambition is for the results to drive forward the future financial and/or societal development or to find solutions to significant societal challenges, for example by ensuring that Danish public and private companies can maintain and/or develop their competiveness, nationally and/or globally.
Non-limiting examples of areas may include nano-, bio- and life science, materials science, production technology and systems, including digitisation and automation to improve health and safety in sectors with hard physical work. For example, the investment can support the development of the digital field and contribute to (interdisciplinary) research in artificial intelligence, big data, internet of things, quantum computing, IT security, block chain, interaction design and the digital transformation (see also FORSK2025 catalogue). The research may involve ethical and moral aspects of the new technological development and the use of artificial intelligence and Big Data in a Danish context.
Research within New Technological Opportunities, among other things, may support the UN goals for Sustainable Development No. 8. Decent Jobs and Economic growth, No. 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, and No. 12. Responsible Consumption and Production.
Note: Innovation Fund Denmark will allocate 20 million specifically for drones and robots in the second round of Grand Solutions.
Theme specific strategy
For applications for New Technological Opportunities, strategic research projects as well as innovation and value creation are broadly defined as targeted activities leading to growth and employment through, for example, solving social/societal challenges, creating new knowledge, developing and implementing products (sales, exports, profit), increasing productivity of companies, cost reduction and/or reduced resource consumption, etc. that help develop and maintain Danish public and private companies' competitiveness and increase their efficiency. In addition, value creation can be achieved through the use of interdisciplinary technologies and strategic research that can support the solution of key societal challenges.
Important innovation needs include the use of data and digital technologies in all sectors and the development of new robust business models.
For further information, please refer to the FORSK2025 catalogue and the IFD strategies in the areas of Industry 4.0, ICT and Digitalisation, Energy, Health, Environment, Bioresources, Tourism and Future Society.
In New Technological Opportunities, IFD invests in strategic research projects and innovative solutions, which have a clearly defined aim and expected impact. It is important that the aims are clearly defined, and the path to the goal is substantiated, for example that the project group comprises the necessary competences. The solutions must have considerable societal or market potential – short or long term. It is not a prerequisite that the project leads to a commercial product but it is a requirement that knowledge created in the project creates value by bringing the project forward in well-defined and value-creating steps towards new solutions.
IFD will always prioritise investing in excellent knowledge-based innovation projects providing solutions of the highest quality, regardless of subject and specific field.
The main assessment criteria are:
- Quality of science, research and innovation
- Value creation during and after the project period
- Efficiency of project execution
- Implementation of results
For applications for Grand Solutions 2019 New Technological Opportunities value creation is broadly defined as targeted activities leading to increased growth and employment through for example developing new products and services, creating more and value-creating jobs, increasing productivity, lowering social costs, reducing resource consumption or reducing climate and/or environmental impact and solving significant societal issues.
In the application, the partners must describe the tangible value creation in the project. Value creation is not restricted to monetary value but may also be, for example, reduced climate and resource impact, reduced social costs, better health, cleaner environment etc.
IFD prioritises applications where the project creates measureable value for Denmark and the Danish society. The project must possess considerable potential and result in new solutions or products, for example through development and utilisation of new untraditional, potentially disruptive business models, methods, smart regulations etc.
IFD invests in innovation projects having a clear recipient or beneficiary in mind that will become attractive for other investors. The issues and needs must be clear and the solutions should not be previously available (globally). Further, the value creation should be measureable (e.g. health or environmental economics parameters, societal or monetary value).
IFD is willing to invest in high-risk projects if the partners also commit resources and knowledge to the project and if the risk is well described. Thus, the project governance model and quality of the project plan are crucial.
Therefore, it is important that the recipients/beneficiaries and core stakeholders either participate to form the project, participate in the project or are otherwise involved in the project, e.g. through investment, and this will be taken into consideration when assessing the innovation project.
The application will be assessed specifically on the qualities of the project in relation to excellent science, research and innovation in a global perspective with respect to an articulated or latent unmet need, state-of-the-art, directly competitive or similar scientific or technological solutions, solution scalability, technical, regulatory and market risks, risk management in the project plan and project implementation. In addition, development rate, efficient use of invested resources, leadership and scientific skills and the subsequent efficient implementation of the project results nationally and/or globally will be carefully assessed. The project’s value creation will be assessed in relation to the size and risk of the investment.
Reference is made to Guidelines for Grand Solutions 2019.
The allocation of funds is based on the National Budget 2019 and FORSK2025 catalogue as listed in the National Budget, as well as the 2019 Allocation of the Research Reserve.
Applications for Grand Solution must be submitted via e-grant, IFD’s application system. The assessment process is shown below. It is a single-phase application process with potential interview.
- 19 February 2019, 12:00 CET
Peer review consultation procedure:
- End of May 2019
Selected applicants are invited to project interview taking place:
- 29 April to 16 May 2019
The IFD Board of Directors decides which applications are subject to peer review and will be invited to an interview at IFD. Applications that are not subject to peer review and not invited to project interviews will receive a letter containing the reason for rejection via the e-grant system in mid-April 2019.
Final decision by Board of Directors and notification to applicants:
- Early June 2019
The peer reviews are sent to the applicant via the project contact person in a consultation procedure. Applicants are notified via e-grant of the decision by the Board of Directors to reject or invite projects to negotiations for an investment agreement.
Deadline for Investment agreement for signature:
- 1 October 2019
- 1 December 2019
The duration of a Grand Solutions project is typically 2-5 years and the budget for 2019 is approx. 120 mill. DKK.
- Guidelines for Grand Solutions 2019
- Guidelines for e-grant
- National Budget 2019
- 2019 Agreement on Allocation of the Research Reserve as well as other research priorities
- FORSK2025, including the listed indicators for the allocation of funds
- IFD Investment strategies for Industry 4.0, ICT and Digitalization, Energy, Health, Environment, Bioresources and Tourism
- Innovation Fund Denmark 2015 Strategy
- UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
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Any legal entity in Denmark or abroad can be a project participant and receive funding from Innovation Fund Denmark eg.:
- Research institutions
- Public institutions
You can apply for funding for projects that create societal value and/or economic value in Danish public and private companies and/or from buyers in society, for example from citizens, the state, regions and municipalities.
A buyer can be an end user of the innovation, but it can also be a public or private investor who is willing to invest in the project after the Fund's commitment is completed.
It can be an advantage if the purchaser(s) of the project's results and other core stakeholders are involved as active participant(s) in the design of and through the project.
Grand Solutions projects will range from DKK 5,000,000 - 40,000,000
Co-financing of expenses for e.g. salaries, equipment, other project-related costs, external services, etc. (see section 1.5 in the Grand Solutions guidelines published end of January 2022 for further information)
The budget must include all direct project costs ie. costs that can be directly attributed to the project, regardless of whether the costs are to be covered by Innovation Fund Denmark or will be covered by the project participants themselves or another party.
For further details, see the programme guidelines.
The projects are of 1 to 5 years duration.
Your application must be created and submitted via the electronic application system: www.e-grant.dk.
You must register as a user of the system with either a username and password or with NemID/MitID before you can create an application.
You create a new application by finding the correct call under "Search Options" and pressing "Start your application".
Note that the list of search options is sorted alphabetically and that the names of all calls from Innovation Fund Denmark start with "IF".
You must write your application in English.
The application consists of an electronic application form designed in the electronic application system e-grant (www.e-grant.dk).
The following attachment is attached to the electronic form:
- Budget: Excel file (required)
- Appendix A: Figures, pictures, tables, etc. (optional)
- Appendix B: Partner Motivation (Required)
- Appendix C: Key persons (required)
- Appendix D: Gantt diagram (required)
Download templates below or from the electronic application form in e-grant.
All texts in the application form and appendices are prepared in English.
The application must have an official title (max. 180 characters including spaces), which briefly describes the project for which investment is sought. An acronym must also be entered.
The application is assessed by Innovation Fund Denmark's Investment Officers and by international peers and external evalutors.
Assessments that are subject to consultation are forwarded to the applicant in a consultation procedure.
On the basis of an overall assessment consisting of internal assessments (employees at Innovation Fund Denmark), assessments from external professional experts (external evaluators and international peers), possible party consultation responses and an interview with the applicants, the Board of Directors of Innovation Fund Denmark decides which applications will be invited to investment negotiations.
Applicants who are not invited to investment negotiation will receive a reasoned rejection via e-grant.
Applications for Grand Solutions projects are evaluated based on tre overarching decision criteria:
1. Quality of the idea
3. Quality of execution
The three overall desicion criteria are elaborated in the guidelines for Grand Solutions in section 3.3.
The Board of Directors of Innovation Fund Denmark makes the final decision on either rejection or invitation to negotiate an investment agreement is notified to the applicant via e-grant.
The aim is for the processing time from the application deadline to the decision to be less than 250 days.
An investment from the Innovation Fund Denmark is conditioned by the project parties investment agreement, which states that the organizing of the project must be made 60 days after the receipt of the written invitation to the investment negotiation.
The project must be started no later than 60 days after the investment agreement is signed by all parties.
Innovation Fund Denmark may demand repayment of parts of the investment if the agreed conditions are not met.
Here are the standard documents needed for the investment agreement as well as guidelines and background material for the agreement negotiations.
Note: There may occur minor changes in the documents before the contract negotiations for Grand Solutions' projects in 2022.
The project participants are free to choose if they wish to prepare the agreement material in Danish or English.
The project can start as soon as there is an approved investment agreement.
The payment is generally made twice a year and is handled in collaboration with Innovation Fund Denmark and the financial administrator appointed by the project.
Innovation Fund Denmark is an active partner in all Grand Solutions projects and engages in proactive interaction with the project for its duration. Specifically, Innovation Fund Denmark appoints one or more Investment Officer(s) to carry out this task.
The project follow-up will be evident from the Investment agreement.
Innovation Fund Denmark may terminate the investment ahead of time if the Fund considers that there is insufficient progress, the project proves aimless, or if the project is unable to achieve the objectives which the Funds' investment to the project is based upon.
There will be an ongoing dialogue between the appointed Investment Officer from the Innovation Fund as well as with the steering group of the project about the progression of the plan.
At the project's last steering group meeting, the completed accounts are reviewed and the project's progress and results are evaluated.