New business collaboration will provide more on-site research

Aarhus University is taking part in a new nationwide project that will strengthen small and medium-sized enterprises in the wind industry.

2017.04.24 | Jesper Bruun

Creative solutions and innovative ideas from SMEs in the wind industry must also be heard, and this is one of the tasks the programme will ensure. Photo: Colourbox

The wind industry is a rapidly changing branch that is often dominated by large international players. A considerable number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – including subcontractors – also have a foot in the industry, but being heard is not always an easy matter in such rapid development.

A new business development will bring this into focus. The project is called ‘Development programme for subcontractors in the wind industry’ and it is financed by the Central Denmark Region and the North Denmark Region. It will help SMEs to get their ideas out of the drawer and bring them into the light. The Department of Engineering at Aarhus University is participating in the project, and Peter Harling Lykke – chair of the department’s industrial cooperation committee – is looking forward to collaborating with the SMEs.

“We can’t carry out interesting research that can be used by companies unless we work closely with them. As far as we’re concerned, the project means that we can carry out research that is much closer to industry. We can get the students to solve specific tasks and receive relevant requests, bringing us much closer to the companies and enabling us to carry out application-oriented research,” he says.

A world of difference

The programme provides participating companies with an opportunity for knowledge collaboration with the university’s researchers, with a view to developing, testing and validating innovative new ideas and projects, as well as helping to prepare growth plans and get advice about business development.

This is a golden opportunity for the university itself to develop long-term strategic collaborations with the companies, and to try out the students with real issues.

“Working with a project that is not just lying in a drawer makes a world of difference for the students. And this also applies the day they start looking for a job. At the same time, it enables SMEs to try out and see that engineers are not so risky after all, and that they in any case know which end of the screwdriver to hold,” says Peter Harling Lykke.

The project is a result of the National Wind Programme and Megavind – Denmark’s national partnership for wind energy. The wind turbine industry will act as operator and secretariat for the project, in close collaboration with the other partners, consisting of Aalborg University, Aarhus University, the Danish Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (DAMRC), the Technical University of Denmark, Hub North, the University of Southern Denmark and the Business Development Centre Central Denmark.

The project has an overall budget framework of DKK 39.25 million, and the support period runs until 2019.

Read more about the project (in Danish only) here.

Read more about our industrial collaboration here.

For more information, please contact

Peter Harling Lykke, Smart Grid Manager, Head of ENG Industrial Co-operation Committee

    AU Engineering