Innovative digitalization for better societies

Digitalization is one of the most essential paths for the welfare of societies. Therefore, Denmark can be seen as a global champion in digital life science.

The country’s status as a digital pioneer contributes to Danish exports and foreign investments in the innovation and technology sectors.

Against the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, robotics, digital know-how and life science are the key to a more secure technological future that delivers solutions to the world’s greatest challenges.

Innovating a better life is Denmark’s main vision as stated in the country’s digital health care strategy. With an elderly society that is the most connected with wireless in Europe (DESI 2020), Denmark is a laboratory for the dissemination of digital health care and life science.

In terms of being a digital hub, it is not just commercial interests that are being practiced. For Denmark, it is critical that this accelerating technological development supports and upholds democratic values, human rights and the integrity of the societal model – based on welfare for all.

In this context, technology should be responsive and contribute to better, healthier and more meaningful lives, and assist humanity in solving the shared global challenges of the 21st century.

Although this digital age creates enormous opportunities for economic growth, sustainable development and innovative solutions across borders, new challenges do also arise.

A strategic framework

As one of the world’s most digitalized democracies, Denmark has launched the Digital Health Strategy applicable from 2018-2022. Under the title of “A Coherent and Trustworthy Health Network for All,” this action plan ensures that Denmark will continue to lead the way with tech solutions that boost digital health care collaboration for every patient.

Even further, this strategy also aims to encourage ethical behavior, democratic values and human rights.

Similarly, in the upcoming months, the Danish government will launch a Life Science Strategy for the contribution to the improvement of the whole life sciences value chain – from research to commercialization, based on international collaboration with the purpose of equal access to technological solutions.

Denmark did not become a digital pioneer in a day. In the pre-technological age, Denmark took the necessary steps to become the most digital country in Europe.

Digitalization became a vital part of modernizing and creating a more efficient public sector. Deeply founded trust between citizens, businesses and the government has created productivity and growth in the private sector.

This development has been the key factor for digitalization. In fact, today only a few projects are handled by the government on their own.

In relation to this framework, governmental focus on digital diplomacy in foreign affairs is also well known.

In 2017, Denmark became the first nation to appoint a tech ambassador to represent Danish interests before companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and Google.

In order to build a responsible, democratic and secure technological future that delivers solutions to the world’s greatest challenges, the Danish government also launched Strategy for Denmark’s Tech Diplomacy 2021-2023 this year.

Grounded on responsibility, democracy and security, the Danish tech strategy will foster a trustworthy engagement with all international stakeholders.

Artificial intelligence

Struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic, all nations still face pivotal health care and industry problems. We will need to reach out across borders to seek joint solutions.

The overall aim for the solutions that we have seen working in Denmark is built on remote care. Danish health care professionals have been working tirelessly to keep the patients out of the hospitals.

With the increasingly high use of advanced video consultations, digital solutions have created sustainable communication between health care providers and patients.

Prioritizing when providing health care is considered absolutely necessary by the Danish authorities. The Danish health care system is benefiting from this new technology to assist health providers in making the best possible decisions, bringing only the most ill patients into the hospitals.

Denmark largely relies on artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics technologies to ensure safe environments without risk of infection and to keep people healthy utilizing precision medicine.

For instance, during the pandemic we have seen how UVD-robots helped institutions worldwide against contamination by using UV lights to kill the viruses in places like operating rooms.

This technology has drawn interest not only from hospitals, but also non-health care facilities in over 70 countries – such as airports, schools and offices.

In another example, Danish collaborative robots (cobots) that are proudly produced in Turkey helped a lot of businesses and industries ensure a safer work environment.

Universal Robots invented the technology of collaborative robot arms, enabling a wide variety of applications with incredible flexibility and easy integration into existing production environments all over the world.

Despite the pace of digitization, Denmark still needs to gain new insight from international actors. Combining different perspectives and digital solutions from different subsectors can in fact result in more permanent and qualified solutions for the improved well-being of our societies.

Bilateral cooperation

Denmark has an advanced and high-tech ecosystem in the field of robotics and drones. This knowledge makes the country an interesting playground for the development of intelligent robotics, drones and automation solutions – especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), companies and other commercial associations.

Robotics is one of Denmark’s fastest expanding industries, consisting of 290 companies across the country. Producing digital intelligence for the global market, the digital sector has created jobs and annual exports of more than $1.8 billion. Today, including sub-suppliers, the industry employs more than 80,000 full-time employees.

Drawing on long-standing R&D, Odense Robotics is home to several unicorns as Europe’s only gold-certified robotics cluster. For this reason, Denmark has a great potential to explore, particularly in line with the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) No. 17 – Partnerships for the Goals.

In respect to medical technology and science, Denmark has plenty of experience and know-how to share. Applauding the digital transformation in Turkey, Danish stakeholders can contribute to the process. Denmark can add great value to Turkish industry and the country’s economy by participating in bilateral cooperation in these fields.

The Trade Council of Denmark in Turkey is more than willing to assist in building bilateral business partnerships between Denmark and Turkey. I believe that such international cooperation will further strengthen the bonds between Turkey and Denmark and promote the well-being of all in accordance with the SDGs. Finally, such initiatives will hopefully accelerate the growth in the digital ecospheres in both countries.

*Danish ambassador to Ankara

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