News from the senior management team no. 10/2016

Greater openness about public sector services

More openness and faster publication of research reports when providing consultancy to government agencies and institutions. These are some of the wishes which Kurt Nielsen, vice-dean at Science and Technology, and Hanne Bach, director of the Danish Centre for Environment and Energy, expressed in response to last week’s criticism of the confidentiality period stipulated in consultancy contracts between universities and government agencies and institutions.

The criticism is levied specifically at a contract made between the Danish Centre for Environment and Energy and the Danish Nature Agency commissioning the preparation of a report prior to the presentation of the Danish Government’s proposals for its agricultural package. 

The contract contains no special restrictions on what the university’s researchers can say about their work. However, they are precluded from presenting their findings before the date agreed with the authorities. Aarhus University generally wants the period between the submission of reports and their publication date to be as short as possible.  

  • Read the article by Vice-dean Kurt Nielsen and Hanne Bach, director, DCE (in Danish)
  • Read the article by Dean Niels Chr. Nielsen (in Danish) 

External research funds must not finance the administration 

Revenue is one of the parameters on which the calculation of the academic units' contribution to the financing of the administration is based. The senior management team has decided that, starting in 2017, the external research funding will be subtracted from revenue in order to strengthen the incentives to attract external grants. 

  • Read more (in Danish)

Poul Nissen receives Gregori Aminoff Prize 2016

Last Thursday 6 April, Professor Poul Nissen was the first Dane to be awarded the Gregori Aminoff Prize for his ground-breaking contributions to understanding the structural basis for the ATP-driven translocation of ions across cell membranes. The Gregori Aminoff Prize is an international award presented by the Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Application deadline for Innovation Fund Denmark – 2 May

Monday 2 May is the last chance if you want to apply for Innovation Fund Denmark's major strategic initiatives in 2016 – the so-called Grand Solutions. Under these initiatives, Innovation Fund Denmark will invest DKK 5-30 million in projects focusing on research, development and commercialisation. The projects are usually undertaken by several parties in public-private partnerships, with considerable emphasis being placed on both quality and novelty value, strategic importance as well as efficiency and implementation. At the moment, ten possible calls are listed on the Innovation Fund Denmark website. 

In the latest round, Aarhus University has been involved in 18 projects in which Innovation Fund Denmark has invested a total of more than DKK 350 million. Innovation Fund Denmark has published the awards on an ongoing basis, and on 6 April, the latest investment was announced – DKK 80 million for a new national centre for quantum technology. The Quantum Innovation Centre, of which Aarhus University is a part, brings together some of the world’s leading competencies within quantum technology. Generally, Science and Technology has been awarded most of the investment funding.

Read more news about Innovation Fund Denmark’s investments in AU projects in the latest round:

New guidelines for university seal and logo structure

The senior management team has adopted a revised design programme for Aarhus University. The changes are minor and enable departments and centres to highlight their own name in the AU logo. At the same time, the revised design programme allows for the seal to play a more prominent role.

The aim is to allow more room for the identities of the individual academic units while recognising the role of the university as a unifying organisation. In addition to greater focus on the individual disciplines, the solution focuses on cost-efficiency and the effective use of resources.

The work on revising the design programme has been carried out by a working group of representatives of all the faculties. The adjusted design programme will be available very soon on the Staff service website.

Two contributions to the health debate

In last Friday's edition of Weekendavisen, Allan Flyvbjerg, dean at Health, suggested introducing a whistleblower function for employees in the healthcare system. The aim is to maintain public confidence in the system and to curb the unfortunate cases where medical doctors deceive or repeatedly misdiagnose patients and get away with it.  

Last week, Allan Flyvbjerg also addressed the development of the dental study programmes. In a post on, he argues that in future the degree programmes should be better tailored to generally improving dental health in Denmark and should reflect the resulting polarisation of functions among providers of dental services.

  • Read the article (in Danish)
  • Read the post (in Danish)


  • 18 April: Danish Minister for Environment and Food Esben Lunde Larsen visits the AU research centre in Foulum together with Kristian Pihl Lorenzen MP
  • 26 April: Board meeting
  • 28 April: Meeting of the Main Liaison Committee
  • 28–29 April: Minister for Higher Education and Science’s annual education summit: General education in higher education
  • 29 April: Festival of Research
  • 6 May: Regatta 2016


Kind regards,

The Senior Management Team

The Senior Management Team publishes a newsletter every week. This newsletter includes a brief description of current activities and discussions. You can sign up for the Danish version of the newsletter at, after which you will receive an e-mail whenever the newsletter is issued.

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