Category Archives: News from Trade Council

New Danish Innovation Center opens in Boston

The Danish Trade Council opens a new Innovation Center with focus on Life Science

Denmark opens a new Innovation Center in Boston which will be a liaison for Danish researchers and companies and ease the way to important American partners in this vibrant region. Initially, the innovation center will specialize in Health and Life Science, and support Danish researchers and companies in maintaining their world-class position within this area.

The Trade Council wishes to make it easier for Danish researchers and SMEs to contact partners from the world’s leading research environments, notably Harvard and MIT. Danish research is elevated and good ideas become great ones, when we collaborate with the best in the world. An innovation centre in Boston will reduce the distance between Denmark and the USA so that we can create the right kind of contacts and bring relevant knowledge and new technology home to Denmark.

“In addition to a strong research environment, Boston has a large medical and pharmaceutical industry and is an attractive environment for entrepreneurs. The centre in Boston will give ambitious Danish start-ups and growth companies valuable access to partners and financing, which can help them upscale and pave the way for their further international growth. So that they can be the Danish export success stories of tomorrow,” says Minister for Foreign Affairs Anders Samuelsen.

Massachusetts has from 2008 to 2018 been committed to spending $1 billion to jump-start the life sciences sector and in 2017, Governor Baker decided to dedicate $500 million more over five years to continue this effort. Boston’s Longwood Medical Area – mostly associated with Harvard University – represents a world-class campus area within health with more than 46,000 scientists, researchers, and staff, and over 21,000 students studying at institutions and hospitals. In nearby Cambridge, the so-called “most innovative square mile on the planet,” Kendall Square – mostly associated with MIT and equally famous for being a biotech and life science hub – has $14 billion venture capital under investment.

The Danish innovation centers in the USA

With the new innovation center in Boston, Denmark will now have two innovation centers in the USA (the other one being in Silicon Valley) – building bridges between Danish research, higher education programs, companies and some of the leading innovation and growth environments in the US.

The centres help introduce Danish education and research institutions, as well as companies, to the latest local knowledge, technology, relevant networks, collaborative partners and financing.

Steel and Aluminum tariffs

The recent announcements on steel and aluminum tariffs have created a great deal of uncertainty amongst Danish companies with production in US. Please find below a short update on the latest events.

On March 22, President Donald J. Trump authorized a modification of the ‘Section 232’ tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The following countries were exempted until May 1st at which time the President will decide again whether to continue the exemption or not: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, the member countries of the European Union and South Korea. The European Union will keep negotiating on behalf of its member countries.

Industry Minister: Good dialog about the new proposal

In the beginning of March, the Danish Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, Brian Mikkelsen, met with Secretary Ross to a talk about the steel and aluminum tariffs.

“We had a very good dialog about the new proposal from the President about trade tariffs on steel and aluminum. Our standpoint from Denmark is that all kind of trade tariffs will mean problems for European industry, for American industry and for American and European consumers. In Denmark we believe in free trade, that will be beneficial for both America and Europe,” says Brian Mikkelsen who also adds that it was a very constructive meeting where it was agreed to look into further cooperation.

Secretary Ross, in consultation with other Administration officials, will evaluate the exclusion requests for products, taking into account national security considerations. In this evaluation, the Secretary will consider whether a product is produced in the United States at a satisfactory quality and/or sufficient and reasonably available amount.

Embassy Update on Steel and Aluminum

On March 21st, the Embassy invited all ADBC members for a briefing by Klaus Juel Werner , Head of Economic Department. We hope that this briefing was helpful for you, and we will continue to provide these kinds of briefings for our companies whenever it is relevant to trade policy.

Feel free to contact the ADBC Secretariat or the Economic Department here at the Embassy for specific updates – we are here to support and assist you.

Danish Minister for Environment and Food Esben Lunde Larsen visits DC

The Danish Minister for Environment and Food visited Washington D.C. on a two-day trip to the US in the beginning of January 2018. Each day evolved around a different topic. The focus of the first day concerned the Minister’s movement “Better Food for More People” aiming at securing sufficient food at a high quality for future generations while reducing food waste and loss. This day included meetings at the World Resource Institute (WRI) and a formal dinner in the Danish Ambassador’s residence where guests were encouraged to share their thoughts on “Better Food for More People”. The second day had a political focus, featuring meetings with the US administration and in the Congress.

As protector for the World Food Summit in Copenhagen and as part of the “Better Food for More People” movement, H.R.H. Princess Marie accompanied the Minister on the first day in Washington DC. To begin with, they had a meeting at WRI with President and CEO, Dr Andrew Steer, who presented the work WRI is doing. Dr Steer was supported by a group of experts from WRI who talked about subjects such as the Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, food waste, P4G, water, forestry and cities. At WRI Denmark’s role in promoting the reduction of global food waste was acknowledged. At the WRI the Minister also addressed an audience of WRI employees talking about Danish initiatives in regards to food waste followed by a Q&A session.

On the evening of day one, the Danish Ambassador Lars G. Lose invited a number of people to join him, HRH Princess Marie, and the Minister for dinner to talk about food waste. It gave rise to an interesting discussion between the guests that represented large American corporations, local government, and previous members of the US administration as well as a food critic.

On the second day of his visit, the Minister attended three political meetings. The first person the Minister met with was the newly appointed Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs at the USDA, Ted McKinney. The aim of the meeting was a “meet and greet”. The discussion mainly focused on issues related to trade and rural development.

The next meeting was with Congressman Mike Gallagher from the 8th district of Wisconsin. The two of them had an interesting discussion on rural development in his district and the Congressman invited Denmark to participate in one of the quarterly meetings at local initiative “Save the Bay”. Denmark has proven that the Ag sector can increase the production while at the same time reducing nitrate, phosphor and cO2 emissions. Furthermore, there was a discussion about the Danish Dairy company Arla Foods and their Dairy plant in the district and how Arla Foods are involved in the local community and working with the local Dairy farmers. Congressmen Gallagher showed great interest in learning more about Arla Foods and a site visit was discussed. As a member of ADBC, Arla Foods is working closely together with the Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries team at the Embassy.

Finally, the Minister had one last meeting before returning to Denmark in the afternoon. This meeting was with Congressman, Jim Sensenbrenner from the 5th district of Wisconsin, where another Danish company, Chr. Hansen A/S, is located. The topics discussed during the meeting mainly centred on trade issues, and the Congressman expressed his appreciation of Danish companies seeing the export opportunities out of Wisconsin.

New Team Leader to the District Energy Alliance

Niels Vilstrup is the new team leader of the District Energy Alliance (DEA) of the Energy & Environment Team at the Trade Council, and he looks forward to boosting Danish district heating solutions in North America. Having previously worked as an energy engineer with experience in market development and project sales in the U.S. and Canada, Niels will run the leading effort of Danish companies seeking to expand or establish their business within district heating and cooling technologies:

“A large number of Danish companies have for decades developed and implemented advanced, large and well functional district heating systems in Denmark and Europe, and are therefore frontrunners and world leading within the technology. Many of these companies are already utilizing their expertise and experiences in the North American market but still, the potential for developing and expanding the market further is enormous”, Niels Vilstrup explains.

The North American market for renewable energy production and environmentally friendly energy systems is expanding, which creates a wide array of opportunities for Danish energy companies. Vilstrup eyes great opportunities for Danish companies in North America, where the market is characterized by a large amount of waste energy from e.g. electricity production or utilities that can be utilized for heating and cooling purposes. Given his background and more than 9 years of experience within the power plant and district energy industry, Vilstrup highlights the importance of understanding the needs, technological barriers and challenges that Danish companies face when operating in North America. However, he sees Danish district energy technologies as the optimal solution to improve and modernize the existing energy utilities and to meet the raising demands for reducing GHG emissions.

For this reason, Vilstrup is excited about DEA collaborating with cities, utilities, universities, and the military defense, among others, on developing and executing modern district energy projects and adapt these technologies to the North American market.

“I am excited to be part of the dynamic, ambitious and highly skilled Trade Council Team. I will take a great pride in supporting the already existing strong focus on win-win synergies between Danish companies, and the rapidly expanding North American market for renewable energy production and environmentally friendly energy systems.” 

Reach Niels Vilstrup: nivils@um.dk or +1(202)797-5314

Royal Consulate General Opens in Texas

A new Danish Consulate General will open in Houston, Texas, come late April, and will be the first Danish representation in the South. The opening is a result of increased commercial activities, which is why the Consulate will feature a Trade Council, aiming to build and strengthen the ties of trade and investment between Denmark and the South.

The opening of the new Consulate General in Houston is a part of a greater strategy for the Danish presence in the US. As Texas, measured separately from the US, is the world’s 10th largest economy and has 28 million citizens, there are immense opportunities for trade and growth. The Consulate will work actively on promoting business within the sectors of energy and environment, healthcare and maritime. With Texas’ size and dynamic growth, there is a great potential for Danish companies on the US market.

The new Consul General and Trade Commissioner is Jacob Vind, who was previously Head of Water Technology Alliance at the Trade Council in North America. Vind comes with profound knowledge and experience from working with Danish companies in the US, and he will be joined by a team of highly skilled advisors to stand by him.

Denmark is already present with consulates in Chicago and New York, as well as the Embassy in Washington DC. Another addition to the strategy for Denmark in the US is to open a consulate by the Innovation Centre in Silicon Valley, whilst closing the existing consulate in Atlanta. The changes are reflecting the development in the US market, as the activity on the East Coast is still increasing. The office in Silicon Valley will continue as an Innovation Centre, but will now also include consular assistance. You can earn more on Denmark in the US here

Learn more about Jacob Vind’s ambitions for the Consulate in Houston below:

Introducing the Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Team

Troels Mandel Vensild is the new Minister Counsellor of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries at the Embassy. He has 14 years of experience from within Government institutions on Food and Agriculture in Denmark. Before joining the Embassy in August 2017, Troels was Head of Division for International Trade at The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration from 2013 to July 2017. Troels was lead negotiator for market access for live animals, food, feed, etc. to markets such as China, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Colombia and other emerging markets in especially South East Asia and South America.

Previous positions include serving as Attaché at the Danish EU-representation in Brussels and President of the Council Working Group on Fisheries, from 2008 until 2012. He has also served at the staff of two Ministers.

Moreover, he holds a Master in political science from The University of Copenhagen and a BA in history from The University of Southern Denmark.

In his position as team leader for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries at the embassy, Troels will use his extensive experience in international trade and knowledge of the Danish Food Cluster to assist Danish companies in the US as well as to ensure close relations with relevant government agencies.

As of April 1st, 2017, Tine Hasling Rasmussen has been Commercial Advisor of Food Agriculture and Fisheries at the Embassy. Tine is the team’s commercial specialist and has a commercial background, specialized in business development and innovation on a global scale. This includes various positions within the Danish Trade Council under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark as well as several stays abroad of longer periods.

Tine holds a M.Sc. in Management of Innovation and Business Development and a B.Sc. in Business Administration and Service Management, both obtained from Copenhagen Business School.

In her position as Commercial Advisor her focus is on assisting Danish companies enter or accelerate their business on the US market.

Economic Diplomacy – Global Public Affairs

One of the teams main tasks is to make sure that Danish interests are high on the agenda of the US Administration. The team maintains very good relations with the USDA and other Government entities such as USTR, FDA, FSIS and APHIS. The team also works through Committees on Capitol Hill in both the Senate and the House as well as think tanks, and other institutions. The excellent relationships allows for access and influence, in the end benefiting Danish interests and companies.

Another big task for the team is to facilitate Danish/American partnerships that are beneficial to both parties and lead Danish companies in the right direction on new markets. The team can help grow the business by mapping out relevant stakeholders.

Staying on top of legislation is crucial for Danish food and AG-industry companies with existing or potential export to the US, and is another area where the team can assist.

Contact

 

Troels Mandel Vensild

troven@um.dk

+1 (202) 750-9636

Tine Hasling Rasmussen

tinras@um.dk

+1 (202) 372-5151

 

 

Valuable Insights on District Heating

On October 24th, the Danish District Energy Alliance hosted a district energy workshop for universities in Greater Boston. The workshop was followed by a panel discussion with key stakeholders from the cities of Boston, Cambridge and Somerville.

The Danish District Energy Alliance has for several years worked closely with universities in the Greater Boston Area who are interested in establishing or updating district energy systems at their campuses. This has resulted in the creation of a group called Campus Energy Accelerator, which includes University of New Hampshire, Dartmouth, Smith College, Princeton and Tufts University. Tufts University kindly hosted the workshop on October 24th with participation of the Danish Minister for Energy, Utilities and Climate Lars Christian Lilleholt.

At the Campus Energy Accelerator workshop, four leading Danish companies shared their insights on various aspects of district energy. Ramboll gave insights into strategic energy planning, while ABB presented their system integration and control optimization technologies for district energy systems. Furthermore, Danfoss disclosed their knowledge within system efficiency and building connections, concluding the workshop with Grundfos presenting valuable expertise regarding the use of efficient pumping systems to campus energy.

Cooperation across the Atlantic

After the workshop, the Danish Embassy alongside with the Danish Energy Agency and the Danish companies attended a roundtable with the Mayor’s offices of Boston, Cambridge and Somerville. The Energy Commissioner of Massachusetts Ms. Judith Judson brought her perspective on how to cooperate between city and state to meet sustainability goals. This was a unique opportunity to exchange knowledge on energy planning and how to integrate district energy solutions regionally. “I see this roundtable as a great opportunity to discuss the possibilities of district heating, which is a topic close to my heart, and which has been a key element in the Danish energy policy since the seventies – and still is today,” Mr. Lilleholt stated at the roundtable.

Read more on the District Energy Alliance here.

Trade Council welcomes new advisor

Andrew Kessler is our newest Senior Commercial Advisor within the Danish Trade Council’s Energy & Environment Team. He is responsible for the Biogas and Waste sectors. Andrew began his career as an investment banker holding senior positions as a corporate finance and M&A professional at various firms in New York and London executing equity, debt and M&A transactions across a diverse set of sectors and markets. In 2010, he founded Turning Earth, a company focused on converting organic waste into biogas and compost. Andrew writes and lectures on organics recycling and related topics, regularly speaking at industry forums and conferences. He served on the Board of Directors of the U.S. Composting Council from 2010 to 2012 and was elected to its Executive Committee in 2011 and 2012, as Vice President and Treasurer, respectively.

Waste management in the U.S. is at an inflection point. U.S. municipalities, corporations and individuals are seeking new ways to reduce and recycle waste, with a particular focus on the organic fraction of waste such as food waste, yard waste, agricultural waste, etc.

Organic waste can be converted into valuable resources such as biogas and compost, representing an important and growing source of renewable energy.

Andrew will be heading the effort to assist Danish companies in these sectors enter into the U.S. market as well as expand existing operations in the U.S.

To quote Andrew, “Denmark has a wealth of value added services, technologies and equipment in the biogas and waste sectors to help U.S. stakeholders achieve their objectives.”

The Biogas and Waste sectors are the latest additions to the Danish Trade Council’s Energy & Environment Team’s portfolio of sector coverage, which also includes CHP, Green Building, Innovation, Smart Grid, Solar, Water & Waste Water and Wind Power.

“Since I began collaborating with the Danish Trade Council several years ago, their team and capabilities have grown substantially. The Danish Trade Council is delivering a broad range of high value business development and execution services under the leadership of subject matter and sector experts. I am delighted to join the Trade Council and its team of highly qualified professionals.”

EXPERTISE:

Biogas, Waste, Recycling, Environmental Services, Renewables

Operational Management, Corporate Development, Project Development, Corporate Planning & Analysis, Corporate Finance, Corporate Advisory, Capital Markets

EDUCATION:

MBA, New York University’s Stern School of Business

BA in Economics, University of Virginia

CONTACT:

+1 (202) 797-5324

andkes@um.dk

https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewckessler/

Trade Council welcomes two new advisors

The Trade Council have long been offering Danish companies a direct connection to Washington D.C facilitating policy monitoring in the different sectors, strategic advice, and relations to U.S. Government, Congress Members, and other relevant partners. Please meet our two new team-members; Tine Hasling Rasmussen and Heidi Roborg Storgaard.

Tine Hasling Rasmussen

Tine is our new junior commercial advisor within the food and agriculture sector, and will focus on assisting Danish companies enter or accelerate on the U.S. market. Tine has a relevant commercial background specialized in business development and innovation on a global scale. This includes various positions within the Danish Trade Council under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark as well as several stays abroad of longer periods. You are welcome to contact her at tinras@um.dk │ +1 (202) 372-5151

Heidi Roborg Storgaard

Heidi will focus specifically on assisting Danish environment and energy companies on public affairs issues. Heidi has a relevant public affairs background specialised in environment and energy. This includes positions in the Danish Energy Association’s EU office in Brussels, DONG Energy’s Global Public Affairs team, interning at the Danish Parliament’s Climate & Energy Committee, and most lately, 2 years as Environment Advisor at the European Parliament in Brussels. You are welcome to contact her at heisto@um.dk │+1 (202) 304-2636..

Trade Council establishing Waste & Recycling Advisory in the U.S.

A market opportunity

Several states and cities in the US have been given goals of no longer disposing waste at disposal sites. Instead, waste should be recycled and resource utilized. According to the Danish Trade Council in the US, if Danish companies in the waste industry join forces in coming up with total system solutions, opportunities for export will be presented. This is why the Trace Council is establishing the Waste & Recycling Advisory. It will be a sector team that will seek out actors in the American waste industry, discuss solutions and lay the foundation for potential sales.

Danish competence

The Danish companies in the industry might seem small individually compared to the big actors in the United States, which is why the Waste & Recycling Advisory will focus on whole systems and complete technologies. The same approach has been successfully applied to the District Heating industry.

To read more about this new initiative click HERE.