Denmark is a modern economy with high dependence on foreign trade, and with a financial position among the strongest in Europe. With few natural resources, the mixed economy of Denmark relies almost entirely on human resources, where the service sector makes up the vast amount of the employment and economy. Today, the service sector accounts for 68% of total GDP in the private sector, 64% of total private employment, and for 80% of new jobs in the country (Dansk Erhverv, 2010). Therefore, it is recognised by the Danish government that innovation and research, especially in the private sector, will be a key driver to sustain growth. As a consequence, initiatives have already been taken to boost Research and Development (R&D), especially with focus on creating a fossil-free economy. Where the EU countries still are negotiating about increasing the target for national investments in R&D, Denmark already reached the target of investing more than 3% of GDP in R&D in 2008.

Denmark historically has been one of the leaders in the EU in promotion of sustainable economies and eco-innovation. Denmark is one of the leading exporters of environmental solutions and technology; its R&D investments boosted eco-innovations in air, water, waste, energy, clean transport areas. Today, products and services related to energy and environment has become the second-largest export sector in the country, only surpassed by the transport sector but more important than food products. A number of sectors have high potential for future eco-innovations; among those are shipping, bio-technology, and industrial symbiosis. In Denmark a wide range of public Institutions are involved in supporting eco-innovation, either through policy-making (setting standards, strategies, programmes), or though direct funding or co-financing programmes for development and demonstration of new technologies, green business scheme, etc.

2012 Eco-innovation Scoreboard ranking and eco-innovation index composites for Denmark


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Eco Innovation in Practice in Denmark

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(Waste): Recycling of…

(Waste): Recycling of Car Tyres

The Company Genan (Genan, 2011) has in few years grown to be one of the world’s largest recycling companies of used car tires. The company... Read more

20 May 2011 Hits:11678 Denmark

(Air): Cleaner Diesel…

(Air): Cleaner Diesel Combustion

The company NoNOx, owned by the global pump producer Grundfos (Grundfos, 2010), has developed a technology, which can reduce Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) from the combustion... Read more

20 May 2011 Hits:6929 Denmark

(Water): Chlorine Fre…

(Water): Chlorine Free Swimming

Eco-innovation is not only about preserving the environment; it is also about creating better and healthier living conditions for the public. The company Skjoelstrup &... Read more

20 May 2011 Hits:5289 Denmark

Topsøe Wet gas sulphu…

Topsoe’s Wet gas Sulphuric Acid technology (WSA) recovers sulphur from off-gases and produces commercial-grade concentrated sulphuric acid. It is also used to regenerate spent sulphuric... Read more

19 Mar 2012 Hits:6229 Denmark

Enzymes for biofuel

Novozymes, a Danish company specialsing in biotechnology, is developing enzymes that can "fuel" the process of making cellulosic ethanol out of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW).... Read more

19 Mar 2012 Hits:3941 Denmark

Industrial Symbioses

The Danish municipality Kalundborg has for several years been known for their research and development in industrial symbiosis. The Industrial Symbiosis is a networking cooperation... Read more

19 Mar 2012 Hits:3078 Denmark

Wide Span Technology

The development of the Wide Span Technology is a concept being designed and tested by three Danish partners, with support from the Danish Innovation Fund.... Read more

19 Mar 2012 Hits:3217 Denmark

The Green Ship of the…

Green Ship of the Future is a unique cooperation in which companies across the Danish maritime industry join forces in order to develop strategies to... Read more

19 Mar 2012 Hits:3279 Denmark

ET Carwash

ET Carwash

The ET Carwash concept offers a car wash facility that can operate as a closed loop structure, with no discharges to the public sewage system,... Read more

19 Mar 2012 Hits:4481 Denmark

Recycling of Used Roc…

Rock wool insulation material is currently not being recycled after end of use, but just deposited, although a great potential exists for recycling and reuse... Read more

20 Mar 2012 Hits:9504 Denmark


Genan is the world’s largest recycler of scrap tyres. The company's technology enables scrap tyres to be recycled into high-quality rubber powder and granulate, substituting... Read more

20 Mar 2012 Hits:5210 Denmark

Mapping of Wind Energ…

Mapping of Wind Energy - Computer Modelling of Wind Potentials in Complex Terrains.

A partnership between EMD International, Vattenfall AB, and DTU Risoe is aiming to develop a computer model that can make accurate calculations of wind energy... Read more

04 Dec 2012 Hits:2212 Denmark