Strong support for DTU Health Technology

Thursday 05 Jul 18
by Tom Nervil


Rasmus Larsen
+45 45 25 10 10

The new department

DTU Health Technology will be established on 1 January 2019.

The position as head of department will be advertised in Denmark and internationally.

As a result of the establishment of the new department, DTU Nanotech and DTU Bioinformatics will be discontinued as independent departments, and a large part of these departments will transfer to DTU Health Technology, together with research groups from DTU Electrical Engineering, DTU Compute, and DTU Bioengineering.

DTU receives strong support for establishing a new department with focus on health technology. Both from within the University and from existing and potential partners in the region and the industry.

The announcement that DTU will bring together a large part of the researchers working with health technology in a new and focused department has been met with positive feedback. Rasmus Larsen, Executive Vice President, Provost, has been overwhelmed by the many positive comments following the announcement on DTU’s website and on social media.


“We can see that we—with an increased focus on health technology—fill a gap in the regional ecosystem, and it has opened up for new dialogue with a number of external stakeholders. Both the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen and Region Zealand have been positive about DTU’s new initiative. And our invitation to even more internal and external collaboration has been seen exactly as such,” says Rasmus Larsen.


According to the Provost, the fact that both the health sector and the industry have responded positively is proof that the new department is the right initiative.


“The life science industry is indisputably one of Denmark’s industrial strongholds, which contributes to growth and prosperity in society, and with the new department, we will consolidate DTU’s position as a strong business partner within healthcare. We are facing an exciting time,” he says.


Health technology across many areas

The Provost has great expectations for the new Department of Health Technology and also emphasizes that DTU will continue to strengthen research groups in other parts of DTU which also focus on the field of healthcare.


“The objective is that we develop an even stronger health technology environment at the University—with interdisciplinary collaboration across departments. Around 700 of our researchers have the health sector as the exclusive, primary, or important application sector for their research. Some of these researchers are anchored in strong academic environments at their respective departments, and in some cases this has been given higher priority than allocating these research groups to the new department,” explains Rasmus Larsen.


The new department will house some 300 researchers, postdocs and PhDs, making it a relatively large department at DTU.


Also strengthening other disciplines 

The establishment of DTU Health Technology allows DTU to reorganize several other departments, which will receive research groups and thereby create other, even stronger research environments. This applies to, e.g., DTU Physics.


"With the new department, we will consolidate DTU’s position as a strong business partner within healthcare. We are facing an exciting time."
Rasmus Larsen

“This means that we will get research expertise in areas that we don’t have today, so it will be really exciting. There is, for example, excellent synergy and perspectives in joining forces within 2D materials,” says Jane Hvolbæk Nielsen, Head of Department of DTU Physics.


DTU Danchip will receive several research groups which today have a close collaboration with the centre, and also here the director welcomed the announcement.


“We look forward to receiving research groups from DTU Nanotech in 2019 and thus become a more integral part of the research at DTU and take part in the training of new students,” says Jörg Hübner, Director DTU Danchip. “It provides us with some completely new opportunities and is also a chance to define ourselves in a new research-based profile.”


DTU Bioengineering, which focuses on areas that are closely related to the future Department of Health Technology, will see research groups both leaving and joining the department.


“I have great expectations for the collaboration that will arise thanks to the new Department of Health Technology. We will have two academic environments that will complement each other because DTU Bioengineering focuses on the discovery and design of new drugs for use in biotechnology and medicine, while the new department will be based on health technology challenges. Overall, it will strengthen DTU’s role within healthcare,” says Bjarke Bak Christensen, Head of Department of DTU Bioengineering.


Solving new challenges

The goal is generally to establish academic environments which can complement and support each other and thus provide a further boost to research and education.


“The establishment of DTU Health Technology and the accompanying restructuring of other departments will create strong academic environments, which will provide even better conditions for our excellent researchers. That being said, another focus area is that the interdisciplinary research across departmental, University, and national boundaries will create new and exciting opportunities for solving global challenges. We would very much like to contribute to and take responsibility for that,” says Rasmus Larsen.



The vision for DTU Health Technology states, among other things:

DTU Health Technology delivers technology that affects public health and well-being. DTU Health Technology delivers innovation, new knowledge, and employees for Danish industry and makes it possible to build new export markets for high-tech health technologies and drugs for the benefit of Danish society.
20 FEBRUARY 2020