Danish research wins a billion kroner from the EU – University of Copenhagen

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13 December 2017

Danish research wins a billion kroner from the EU

Elite Research

Danish research is in the European top class. The University of Copenhagen is among the best in the competition for EU research funding. With more than DKK 1 billion in EU funding from Horizon 2020, UCPH's research is the fifth most supported in Europe.

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have now received more than DKK 1 billion from the EU's research programme, Horizon 2020, which, among other things, grants funds for absolute frontier research in Europe. This puts the university in fifth place in Europe in terms of allocation of EU funds. UCPH is surpassed only by four British elite universities and is the highest ranked university in continental Europe.

“A large portion of the success is due to joint Danish investments over a number of years. The government's globalisation funds have played an important role, but also initiatives from private foundations and companies have been decisive. It is this partnership between public and private players that gives Denmark a unique opportunity to be at the highest international level," says Prorector Thomas Bjørnholm.

The 10 most funded universities under Horizon 2020

The Horizon 2020 research grants are awarded by, among others, the European Research Council (ERC). The council provides funding for particularly promising researchers at different stages of their careers. The grants allow researchers the opportunity to become immersed in a particularly original research idea.

The EU funds are distributed within three areas: Societal Challenges, Industrial Leadership and Excellent Science.  Especially support for excellent fundamental research and talent development forms the basis of UCPH's success. 86% of the funds granted to UCPH's researchers thus fall within the Excellent Science category.

“EU funds have become very prestigious because the competition is fierce, and we’re of course both pleased and proud of the excellent results. But above all, Horizon 2020 is a fantastic opportunity for international collaboration with strong European research environments and elite centres," says Prorector Thomas Bjørnholm and points to PROTEIN2FOOD as a concrete example where UCPH is heading a large international team of researchers who are developing new food and resource efficient plant protein products.


In 2017, researchers at the University of Copenhagen have signed 90 EUgrant agreements. Horizon 2020 has a total budget of EUR 75 billion of which just over EUR 40 billion still remain to be awarded. Made up on the basis of total wins up to 2017