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Entrepreneurship at AU: New working group to develop new university-wide entrepreneurship ecosystem

A decision has been made to strengthen entrepreneurship at AU. As a result, the Business Committee has appointed a working group to develop a proposal for a new university-wide entrepreneurship ecosystem.

2018.11.05 | Signe Schou

The Business Committee’s vision is to foster a stronger entrepreneurship culture at AU by creating a unified, attractive milieu for AU’s entrepreneurs – an milieu which makes it easy for students and researchers to collaborate across faculties, and in which entrepreneurs have access to professional advice on how best to develop their companies.

The working group consists of five members of academic staff as well as a representative from Research and External Relations:

  • Michael S. Dahl, professor, Department of Management (chair)
  • Eva Sørum Poulsen, associate professor, Department of Business Development and Technology
  • Claus Olesen,business engagement partner, Department of Biomedicine
  • Troels Skrydstrup, professor, iNANO, national research centre director, entrepreneur
  • Marianne Ping Huang, development coordinator and professor, School of Communication and Culture
  • Anette Poulsen Miltoft, manager, Corporate Relations and Technology Transfer

“This is a very exciting project, and I’m looking forward to exercising the freedom the working group has been given to think big and be visionary, with the challenge that we have to deliver on the practical level. My day-to-day work is precisely concerned with understanding entrepreneurship. It will be exciting to work with this in practice,” says Michael S. Dahl, who chairs the working group.

Concrete implementation plan some time this winter

The working group has been tasked with developing proposals for location, activities, organisation, admission requirements, financing and models for collaboration with the business ecosystem in Aarhus. In addition to which they must draw up a realistic implementation plan.

“Over the course of the winter, hope that we will be able to get concrete enough to have a road map for how and when the various activities can be initiated, so the senior management team has solid material on which to base its decision. I think it’s important to get some activities started as quickly as possible so that we can translate the research and knowledge generated at AU into new companies. In addition, this initiative will also profile AU as an innovative university which is making a strong contribution to the creation of new businesses in Denmark,” Dahl explains.

The Business Committee will serve as the steering committee for the initiative. In addition to encouraging more entrepreneurship at AU, the committee wants to create good physical infrastructure for AU’s entrepreneurs. And in fact, a new entrepreneurship facility for students and researchers is already included in the vision for the future campus expansion on the former municipal hospital property.

Anchored in business and industry

In order to ensure that AU’s entrepreneurship ecosystem is anchored in business and industry, an external advisory group has been set up which will provide advice and inspiration to the steering committee and the working group. It is comprised of representatives from start-ups as well as large, established businesses, and is chaired by Vice-dean Kurt Nielsen, ST.


The Business Committee is comprised of the Senior Management Team.

The external advisory group:

  • Kurt Nielsen, vice-dean, ST (chair)
  • Pernille Alberg Pedersen, Co-founder and Head of Business Development, Pond Biomaterials
  • Thomas Knudsen, Founding Partner and CEO, Falcon Invest, formerly CLC BIO, former. member of the City of Aarhus Business Relations Committee
  • Mai Louise Agerskov, CEO, Incuba
  • Lars Aagaard, Non-executive Vice President, Grundfos Holding A/S
  • Kasper Enggaard Krog, Co-founder, CCO, Lix Technologies
  • Claus Strand Kristensen, Partner and Investment Director, Accelerace
  • Thomas Riisgaard Hansen, CEO, Innoforunder, Kite Invent
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