Denmark has only little benefit of the resources spent on education, research and development, and so new initiatives are required if Denmark is to maintain its position as one of the wealthiest countries in the world.
This is what five researchers in social science concluded in an analysis that brought them the Grundfos Prize 2003 on Monday, 19 May 2003.
The five prize winners are:
Svend Erik Hougaard Jensen, Director of Research at the Centre for Economic and Business Research in Copenhagen, and Professor at the University of Southern Denmark
Ulrich Kaiser, Senior Lecturer at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense
Nikolaj Malchow-Møller, Research Fellow at the Centre For Economic and Business Research
Jan Rose Skaksen, Professor at Copenhagen Business School
Anders Sørensen, Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC
Their thorough analysis combines the most recent Danish and international research in the field described above with Danish experience, offering new, valuable information on how important the research and educational level is for the development of Danish economy.
The winners of the Grundfos Prize propose a number of ways in which Denmark could ensure an initial advantage for itself in the field of education and research and in this way increase the qualifications of the workforce. This is necessary if the Danish welfare is to be maintained in a future with fewer active members of the workforce as a consequence of a changing distribution by age groups and increasing globalisation combined with high taxation.
Among other things, the team of researchers recommend a higher degree of specialisation in the primary and lower-secondary school as well as in the education of teachers. They point out the necessity of, for instance, increasing or differentiating the access to student loans to attract more young people to the studies that offer the highest returns to society – first and foremost the technical and scientific studies.
In the context of research, the team advise emphasis on the further development of connections between public and private research through, for instance, increased public support to joint research syndicates, such as the COM Centre at the Technical University of Denmark as well as the Alexandra Institute at Aarhus University.
The Grundfos Prize 2003 includes a sculpture, a diploma and a cash amount of DKK 500,000, of which each of the prize winners receives DKK 50,000 as a personal gift, whereas the remaining DKK 250,000 are to be used for further research. At the presentation of the prize, taking place at the Danish Design Centre in Copenhagen on 19 May, Niels Due Jensen, Grundfos Group Chairman, pointed out that for a number of years research has not been offered great attention in Denmark.
“Knowledge is what Denmark has to build its future growth and welfare on – and without research we shall not gain more knowledge! I sincerely hope that the entry for the Grundfos Prize will add innovation and inspiration to the political debate on the conditions of research in Denmark – as well as the necessary decisions on this important area,” said Mr. Due Jensen.
Public expenses for research and development in Denmark make up only 0.75% of GDP whereas private expenses for research and development make up some 1.65% of GDP. Grundfos uses some 4% of turnover – about DKK 450m – for research and the development of new products and technology.
The jury of the Grundfos Prize consists of the following members:
Sven Caspersen, Vice-chancellor of Aalborg University
Nina Smith, Professor at Aarhus School of Business
Preben Terndrup Pedersen, Professor at the Technical University of Denmark
Niels Due Jensen, Grundfos Group Chairman
Lars Kolind, member of the board of Grundfos
Jens Jørgen Madsen, Grundfos Group President