Photo: Mikal Schlosser

Exchange agreement on biotech students between Denmark and India

Tuesday 27 Nov 18
by Jeppe-Moelgaard-Thomsen

About the foundations

The Novo Nordisk Foundation

The Novo Nordisk Foundation primarily awards grants for research within biomedicine, biotechnology, general practice and family medicine, nursing and art history at public research institutions. The Foundation also awards grants for eliciting innovation and for humanitarian and social causes, including the research programmes at the Steno Diabetes Center.

The Holck-Larsen Foundation

The Holck-Larsen Foundation was established by the Danish-Indian engineer Henning Holck-Larsen, who graduated from DTU and travelled to India in 1937 as a chemical engineer. Partnering with his former schoolmate and fellow engineer Søren Kristian Toubro, he set up Larsen & Toubro in 1938. Today, Larsen & Toubro is an international company with multi-billion USD revenues.

Sponsored by Novozymes and the Henning Holck-Larsen Foundation, biotech students at DTU can now receive a grant to go on an exchange to India.

It was smiles all around when representatives of Novozymes, the Henning Holck-Larsen Foundation and DTU gathered last Wednesday, 21 November, at the office of Philip John Binning, Dean of Graduate Studies and International Affairs. Here, they signed a new exchange agreement which secures financial support for biotechnology students wanting to do an exchange stay in India.

“The agreement offers our students the opportunity to learn how to use their competences to help realize the sustainable global goals in a country needing support. It emphasizes that at DTU we create technology for people, and if you want hands-on experience, there is no better place to go than India,” says Philip John Binning.

The exchange agreement is the result of the efforts which have been made in recent years to support Indian biotechnology students doing exchanges at DTU. With this extension, the parties to the agreement are focusing in particular on motivating Danish students to travel to India.

“There is so much happening in India, both academically, in the private sector, and in the start-up environment, but the country also has more than its fair share of problems. There are 200 million people that live below the poverty line, while they’re also struggling with huge environmental challenges. So, there is every opportunity to create innovation and develop ideas which can help the people, the environment, and agriculture,” says Mads Bjørnvad, Senior Manager at Research and Development, Novozymes.

Mads Bjørnvad adds that he has spent two years in India, and that an exchange programme enables you to build up a strong network and competences that can be leveraged in the Danish biotech industry. Philip John Binning agrees:

“We have a mission at DTU to build close ties and to support Danish businesses with our study programmes. So, it’s very important for us that we do this together with one of Denmark’s biggest companies and the Henning Holck-Larsen Foundation,” he says.

BSc, MSc, and PhD students in biotechnology will be able to apply for an exchange stay. They will receive EUR 2,000-2,700 (DKK 15,000-20,000) to pay for travel expenses, and EUR 1,100 (DKK 8,000) a month to cover living expenses.