EU project: High-tech innovation project involving UCPH – University of Copenhagen

EU project: High-tech innovation project involving UCPH

For CEO Claus Schafer-Nielsen of Schafer-N, there is no doubt about the important role played by the universities in the EU-funded project PepChipOmics. “It is a significant advantage that a group of researchers from the university have multiple ways to assess and test a new technology against existing ones. We wouldn’t have the resources to do it on our own.”

PepChipOmics gives the company a unique opportunity to fund innovation and validation and provides brand new sales opportunities.

Help for research and modelling

PepChipOmics is based on a technology platform developed by two SMEs – the Danish company Schafer-N and the French company Genoptics.

The two companies have teamed up with universities in Denmark and abroad, all of which have provided indispensable help with the research and modelling to allow the project to culminate in a demonstration of the effect of peptide microarrays.

When the EU funds a project, it requires that the partners generate synergies and dynamics that provide opportunities that neither the companies nor the universities would be able to achieve on their own. But for the companies, the €3 million in EU grants is also crucial. “The financial support that companies get out of the project makes it possible to run greater risks during the development process – and that is, of course, what drives innovation,” Schafer-Nielsen explains.

Important administrative support
The University of Copenhagen has earmarked resources for the management of EU projects, a priority deemed critical to SMEs’ ability to get involved in projects like PepChipOmics. “As a company, it is extremely difficult to learn the EU system and comply with the administrative requirements, so it is a great advantage that the University co-ordinates the scientific and administrative side,” Schafer-Nielsen continues.

“We wouldn’t have the resources to write the application or take care of the admin without the support of the EU office.  It is surprisingly effective.”

The project ran from 2008 to 2012, during which time the companies and researchers received another EU grant.

The project is designed to turn high technology into services or tools that are ready for the market.