Do you have what it takes to be a real inventor?

May 23, 2014 - 04:55

Find out at this summer's Science in the City festival in Copenhagen where experts can help turn your ideas into actual products -- if your idea works, that is.

Do you have an idea that you reckon is pretty good? Ask an expert what they think of it at this summer’s science festival in Copenhagen, Science in the City, which runs from 21-26 June 2014. (Photo: Shutterstock)

It’s summer, it’s hot, and it’s time for … science. Join the festivities at this summer’s big science festival, Science in the City, when it takes off in Copenhagen on 21 June 2014.

Festival-goers will get a first-hand insight into how research and innovation becomes an industry. This happens when the GTS Advanced Technology Group uses words, computer games and inventions to tell the story of their work with turning good ideas into reality.

During the science festival, GTS - Advanced Technology Group, which consists of nine independent Danish research and technology organisations, will present their work, show examples of innovative Danish inventions and even give you the opportunity to have your own bright idea or invention assessed by professionals.

Don’t worry if you don’t have an idea ready; there’s plenty of other ‘sciency’ stuff to do. Like the 3D glasses that’s hooked up to Alexandra Institute’s ear surgery simulator, or spend some relaxing time in a solar-powered hammock that recharges your mobile phone.

You can also hear different presentations about the future use of stem cells.

“In connection with Science in the City we give people the opportunity to see, hear and try out some of the things the GTS institutes are working on making useful to Danish companies,” says Dorthe Christiansen, information director of the Advanced Technology Group. She is in charge of coordinating the group’s contribution to the science festival.

“This is about putting knowledge to work, enabling businesses to create growth and jobs – something that is definitely on the Danish agenda,” says Christiansen. “The organisations work with technologies that are in tune with the market and will certainly inspire the audience. So we hope people will stop by.”

GTS institutes build bridges between businesses and universities

The nine Danish non-profit research and technology organisations are gathered in the GTS Advanced Technology Group that, backed by public funds and with the approval of the Ministry of Higher Education and Science, helps small and medium-sized businesses make research, development and innovation come together.

Among other things the purpose is to make research at Danish universities accessible to those businesses by connecting them with the universities.

The work of the GTS institutes is particularly important to businesses that don’t have the capacity to initiate collaborations with universities -- something larger businesses often do directly.

“The small and large businesses often have lots of ideas, but it can be hard for them to initiate collaborations with universities directly to develop their ideas. This is where the GTS group comes in and helps establish contact and initiate collaboration,” says Christiansen.

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Facts

The nine independent GTS institutes are: AgroTech, the Alexandra Institute, Bioneer, DBI, the Danish Institute of Fire and Security Technology, DELTA – Danish Electronics, Light & Acoustics, DFM – the Danish Institute of Fundamental Metrology, DHI – Water and Environment, DTI – and the Danish Technological Institute and FORCE Technology.

They have been approved by the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science and receive around €40 million annually to help small and medium-sized businesses build bridges between Danish universities and businesses.

The GTS group’s institutes are involved in more than 20,000 collaborative agreements with small and medium-sized businesses each year.

The outcome of these collaborations can be experienced in the GTS tent during Science in the City.

In addition to the hammock that can charge a mobile phone, you can also try your luck building a sustainable city in DHI’s online strategy game AQUA Republica. The more consideration for the environment, the more points you earn.

Or maybe you’d like to be a drone pilot and commandeer the fuel cell-driven drone from the Danish Technological Institute?

“We have picked out lots of inventions and technologies that might not be nerdy but still illustrate quite well what we do,” says Christiansen.

Put your invention to the test

You can also visit the GTS association’s tent during Science in the City and have your own invention or idea assessed.

When it comes to good ideas, it’s often a jungle for non-professionals to figure out where to go and who to ask to find out whether an idea will ever make it to the production phase.

And if it can, where to go next? And what about getting a patent?

“We do that sort of thing on a daily basis and in connection with Science in the City there’ll be invention consultants present who’ll happily lend an ear if someone wants a casual assessment of an idea,” says Christiansen and provides an example:

A young girl played handball in her spare time and was tired of dragging the resin-greased handball back and forth every time she had to go to practice -- so she came up with a good idea for small carrying case.

One of the GTS institutes helped the girl contact the relevant businesses to have her idea realised and transformed into production.

“Sometimes the simplest ideas turn out to be good,” says Christiansen.

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Translated by
Iben Gøtzsche Thiele

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