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Partnerships between companies and humanitarian organisations to strengthen Danish export

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Three major relief aid organisations are teaming up with Danish companies and universities in order to develop solutions for future humanitarian challenges. To achieve the most, it is necessary to combine business and relief aid.

The World’s humanitarian needs are anormous. The number of refugees is the largest since World War II, and at the same time, climate changes means that people have to leave their homes and move to other areas and re-establish themselves under difficult conditions.
As the problems grow, so do the costs to solve them.
One of the solutions is to have humanitarian organisations and private companies work together in partnerships that focus on both market powers and humanitarian needs.

In a new project called Deciphering the Relief Aid Market (“Knæk koden til nødhjælpsmarkedet”), The Danish Industry Foundation, Red Cross, DanChurch Aid,  the Danish Refuge Council, Confederation of Danish Industry, Aalborg University and the University of Copenhagen now join the access2innovation association in order to develop better and more effective relief aid solutions that are economically viable.

“If we look at the relief aid sector, it makes out a very large potential market for Danish companies. In Denmark, we have substantial knowledge on crucial areas within the humanitarian sector, and Danish companies can supply many of the products that are in demand in top quality. The goal of the project is to have the procuring organisations and the companies move closer to each other and allow Danish companies to deliver sustainable solutions to the World’s pressing challenges,” says CEO Mads Lebech from The Danish Industry Foundation that supports the project as part of the foundation’s work with finding new export areas for Danish companies.

The collaboration between humanitarian organisations, Danish companies and universities will be focusing on areas that solve acute humanitarian challenges as well as more long-term needs and covers everything from food supply, water and energy to waste handling and infra structure. In these areas, relief aid demands are massive – and this is where Danish companies and researchers excel.

“If we want to secure future relief for the poorest people in the World, we have to consider solutions that are economically viable. We would very much like to participate in developing sustainable business models that enable Danish products to help solve the World’s biggest humanitarian challenges,” says secretary general Anders Ladekarl from the Danish Red Cross.

The collaboration between companies, humanitarian organisations and universities will be facilitated and coordinated by the access2innovation association.
The goal is to develop 4-6 sustainable solutions over the next two years that meet concrete relief aid demands, and that the collaboration will at the same time build a platform for developing sustainable relief aid solutions of the future.

“I look forward to the fact that the world of academia will be working more actively together with companies and the humanitarian sector. We will be able to contribute the latest knowledge and methodologies in relation to a range of different areas within the humanitarian sector,” says dean Eskild Holm Nielsen from Aalborg Univrsity.

The new project is supported with a grant of 5 million DKR from The Danish Industry Foundation.

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