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Is the ODIN platform a SUCCESS?


Yes, we certainly think so, but we'll let you decide for yourself. A team of independent researchers evaluated the ODIN pilot (2020-2023). The first assessment (midterm evaluation) was published in the summer of 2022, whereas the final assessment was pubslihed in January 2024. You can find links to the assessments below. The evaluation team interviewed both academic and industrial participants and in the reports, you can read more about the intersectoral collaborations and the participants' motivations and pespective on openness.

The current national continuation of ODIN builds on the same principles as the ODIN pilot - we have just involved more partners (both academic and industrial).


Who can PARTICIPATE in the ODIN project?


Basically, anyone intersted can participate in an ODIN project, if their home organisation can comply with the open terms and conditions in ODIN.


There are five partner universities in ODIN, who have accepted the open terms and conditions in ODIN:

  • AAU: Aalborg University
  • AU: Aarhus University
  • DTU: Techinical University of Denmark
  • KU: University of Copenhagen
  • SDU: University of Southern Denmark

Researchers from other universities are also welcome to participate and apply for funding in ODIN if they home institution can comply with the open terms and conditions.

Similarly, all interested companies can participate in ODIN projects, if they have an interest in drug discovery and can accept the open approach. A group of Danish and international companies have already showed interst in the ODIN platform by signing the framework agreement.

Doesn't ODIN like PATENTS?


On the contrary. We like patents and see them as important tools in the innovation process. We encourage open collaboration at the precompetitive stage that offer the building blocks for downstream innovation. Anyone can use our open results for commercial purposes - and even protect the specific applications of these. Our open knowledge and results are important to drive discoveries and innovation, but they are not fully formed solutions or integral parts of a final produkt that a company (or university) would need to seek out IPR for.

What does PRE-COMPETITIVE research mean?


The term “pre-competitive research” refers to the early-stage activities before the research becomes “business sensitive" and companies would need to lock down IP to protect their investments in a given research result and transform it into a product. In theory, the university could try to patent even early stage research in the precompetitive phase, but it would not make sense for us to do so from a commercial point of view. While the knowledge we produce is an important foundation for future drug development, it will not become an integral part of final products that the companies will need to protect intellectually. Therefore, they would have no interest in any patents or licence agreements we could offer them.


ODIN only accepts applications for projects that involve research at the pre-competitive stage.

  • Definition: As the term implies, pre-competitive means before it involves any competition. That is, the knowledge generated does not make sense to patent as there will be no company takers. The knowledge is important for further innovation but it will not become an integral part of the final product that the company will need to have exclusive use rights for. In practice, we do not provide any concrete guidelines for the term "pre-competitive research" as experiences from the ODIN pilot have shown that it is self-regulating: Companies can and will not engage in open projects that are not pre-competitive.
  • Advantages: Several companies may meet the same challenges in their research. If they team up at the pre-competitive stage, they can help each other solve these challenges. The generated knowledge can then be used for further innovation and products that the individual companies can patent. Through open crowdsourcing and collective problem-solving, we can create a solid (and faster validated) knowledge foundation for all to stand on and e.g. select the right candidates for the very competitive, costly and risky clinical trials downstream.

What does OPENNESS mean in ODIN projects?


All ODIN projects will share their data and findings with the public.


  • Whom we share with: Data and findings from ODIN projects must be accessible to anyone, who is interested. This means that there are no access restrictions to the data. We share our foreground rersults from the funded projectys with universal use rights. 
  • When we share: The projects will share their data as soon as possible – but no later than by the end of the project. Therefore, the grant holders will participate in knowledge sharing events organized by ODIN, where they must provide updates on the current progress of the projects.
  • What we share: Our projects must share all foreground knowledge – that is, all the data and findings generated within the project period. Both academic and industrial participants may have background knowledge (that they bring into the project), which they do not wish to disclose. This is okay, as long as it does not affect the usefulness of the shared foreground knowledge. Examples of shared data includes indentified biomarkes, small programs, and large dataset. For this data to be useful, our projects must live up to the FAIR principles and the data must be shared under the CC BY or CC0 licenses to ensure that everyone are allowed to use the data for their own purposes.
  • Where we share: ODIN has a community at zenodo. Although the project participants are welcome to use any platform that they find appropriate for their data (as long as it is open to the public), they must also upload their data to zenodo. Therefore, you can access all the published data and findings from our projects on zenodo: https://zenodo.org/communities/odin_dk/

What type of CREATIVE COMMONS are used for the open results?


All open results from ODIN projects must be published under the Creative Commons CC0 or CC BY options.


  • Creative Commons: These types of licenses are used to provide a standardized way of granting the public permission to use the data under copyright law. This implies that everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions can use the published work for specific purposes as defined by the different CC ‘options’. Visit the Creative Commons website for more information.
  • The CC BY option: There are several different options to choose from, when publishing your data. ODIN project must use the CC BY option, which allows everyone to “distribute, remix, adapt and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use” (source: Creative Commons website) This implies that everyone can use the open data from ODIN projects for downstream innovation.
  • The CC0 option: This is one step further than CC BY: When using this option, creators waive all interests ownership - it basically "no rights reserved". In this way, the data is completely open for everyon to freely use and develop for any purpose that they might use. (source: Creative Commons website)



ODIN focuses on areas that holds a strong potential for the Danish ecosystem and global health in general.

You will find more information about the research topics in our call guidelines. 


The main focus in ODIN will be on drug discovery and better diagnostics within three disease areas that pose major threats to human health:

  • Cardiometabolic diseases
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Infectious disease

Projects within these three areas are expected to explore e.g. new disease models, biomarkers, targets, and other precompetitive niches that can lead to improved drug discovery and diagnostics

Additionally, ODIN will have calls for cross-disciplinary projects exploring disease-agnostic technology platforms and research tools/methods that potentially can lead to improved drug discovery and diagnostics.

How are PROJECT IDEAS generated?


Both academic researchers and representatives from industry can suggest ideas for ODIN projects.


  • Who suggests ideas: As long as the suggested projects are relevant for industry, there are no requirements about the origin of the idea itself. Regardless of the origin, the ideas must be co-developed by both acdemia and industri so that they are always shaped by unmet industry/medical needs. Co-creation is an important step in the ODIN ideation process. 
  • How ODIN supports the process: Prior to the application deadline, network members can source input and partners via our online matchmaking platform. ODIN also hosts events, where network members can pitch their (academic) ideas or (industrial) research needs. The ODIN secretariat will engage both academic and industrial ambassadors to help speed up the matchmaking process.

Who EVALUATES the incoming applications?


The applications are evaluated in two steps:

1. Applicants submit an abstract for their proposed research projects. Based on the information provided, the Project Review Committee encourages a selected group of applicants to further develop their project ideas.

2. After a facilitated project development process, the invited full-length applications are reviewed by both the Project Review Committee and an international panel of evaluations.

Based on the reviews in step 2, the best projects are nominated to ODIN's Steering Group. The Steering Group has the final say in which projects to fund.

What is the LENGTH of projects?


ODIN projects can be up to 3 years depending on the time of funding and the grant type applied for (see question below). 

What is the GRANT SIZE in ODIN?


There are two different grant types in ODIN as described below.

Please note that all projects (regardless of grant type) must be concluded no later than 31.01.2029 when the ODIN platform terminates.

  • Grant type 1
    • Medium or large interdisciplinary projects addressing complex research problems
    • Max budget of 7 M DKK
    • Duration up to 3 years 
  • Grant type 2
    • Projects with the purpose to:
      • fund short projects that set out to demonstrate feasibility 
      • provide top-up funding for ongoing ODIN projects in need of additional partners/competencies
    • Max budget of 0.5 M DKK
    • Duration up to 1 year

How do the COLLABORATIONS DIFFER from traditional closed projects?


The project participants from the ODIN pilot describe the ODIN collaborations as different than traditional projects. For instance:

  • The projects are easy to initiate due to the standard legal framework
  • They are more agile
  • They offer an opportunity to de-risk wild ideas

Read more about why you should join ODIN on the page Information for university researchers and Information for companies.


The project participants (both academic and industrial) describe the ODIN projects as:

  • Balanced: All parties contribute more equally because the project has not been dictated by a commissioning company. Everyone participates and gains knowledge from participating.
  • Focused and agile: Because the projects are small, they are often more focused and agile, which reduces complexity and allows for the parties to collaborate closely and also (slightly) change focus during the project.



No. There are no membership fees for anyone, because we do not wish to exclude any participants from joining ODIN

How many INVOLVED COMPANIES are there in a single project?


Please note that some grant types have requirements regarding the number of both academic and industrial participants.

  • In theory: Any company, who is interested in an ODIN project and its outputs can join and become part of a given research projects. There is no upper limit for how many companies can join a project.
  • In practice: In the ODIN pilot, most projects had 1-2 supporting companies, who participated actively in the project. 

What are the COMPANY CONTRIBUTIONS in the projects?


The participating companies in the funded ODIN projects must be actively engaged in the projects. They can contribute intellectually, practically and by supplying materials.


  • Intellectual contributions: This kind of contribution includes expertise, experience and knowledge such as training of post docs and sharing of know-how. This includes co-creating the projects’ aim, assessing their results etc.
  • Practical contributions: These contributions are more ‘active’ and includes being responsible for work packages, analysis and conducting research based on in-house know-how or technology, or even hosting academic researchers.
  • Material contributions: Access to e.g. compound libraries, samples and infrastructure are examples of material contributions. It also includes the use of facilities or providing physical materials to be used in the academic laboratory.

How do companies BENEFIT from participating in ODIN projects?


Companies participate for many different reasons. The projects provide easy access to academic collaboration partners, new knowledge and opportunities to keep tabs on the latest technology developments in academia. Due to the unique set-up of ODIN, the platform de-risks the companies’ engagement in exploratory high-risk/high-gain projects.


Although all data will be shared openly with the public, there are many advantages to participating actively in the research projects. The participating companies will gain access to new partners and tacit knowledge, which is notoriously difficult to share via open publishing and databases.

Other advantages of participating in ODIN projects include:

    • Easy access to finding new academic partners and technologies.
    • Provides an opportunity to address complex unsolved challenges
    • Expands the company’s academic network and access to forefront academic knowledge
    • Is a fast and easy way of collaborating with academics and other companies (due to ODIN’s standard collaboration agreement that cuts “red tape”)
    • Is a possibility to engage in and de-risk promising, but underexplored research (with no requirement of cash contributions).
    • Showcasing the company
    • Access to a network of collaborators

Do companies receive FUNDING?


No. The participating companies do not receive any funding from ODIN. Only academic participants based at a university can receive funding.


ODIN is sponsored by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, which only supports not-for-profit organizations. Because ODIN must follow the same terms as the Foundation, we can only support academic partners in our projects. Thus, companies participate without funding and must therefore allocate in-house funding for their participation in the project. On the other hand, there is no requirements for cash contributions or membership fees.

What do companies COMMIT TO when joining ODIN?


When joining the ODIN platform, companies do not commit to anything. They can use the platform to source input and new collaboration partners without any strings attached. But when a company decides to become part of an ODIN application, it is expected to contribute to the writing of the application and contribute actively in the project, if it is funded.


  • Joining the network: All interested companies can join the ODIN network. We focus on drug discovery, but companies from other areas are also welcome. It is non-committal to join and all you have to invest is time because it takes time to:
    • Participate in activities,
    • Suggest ideas and
    • Source input and partners from the network.
  • Writing an application: If a company would like to become a supporting company for an application, it is expected of the company to actively contribute in development of the idea and the writing process. The project must always be headed by an academic researcher and therefore the company is not lead on the application writing.
  • Project participation: In-kind contribution from the company is necessary for the participation in ODIN projects. Companies must contribute actively to the project for the project to succeed and to benefit from the knowledge exchange between partners.

Which UNIVERSITIES can participate in ODIN projects?


Researchers from any university around the world are welcome to join ODIN projects, as longs as their home institution can comply with the open set-up in ODIN.


Researchers from the partner universities can apply without futher ado, as their home university has already accepted the open terms and conditions in ODIN. The partner universities are:

  • AAU: Aalborg University
  • AU: Aarhus University
  • DTU: Technical University of Denmark
  • KU: University of Copenhagen
  • SDU: University of Southern Denmark

If you are based at a different university, you are very welcome to contact the secretariat. If your home institution is willing to comply with the open set-up in ODIN, you can also apply for funding in ODIN projects, as long as the project includes at least one partner from one of the partner universities.


We unite right minds from industry and academia so that they can jointly create need-driven research projects - and pave the way for innovative new treatments in the future. Through competitive funding calls, we fund the best projects ideas. Although companies cannot receive funding, it is free of charge to join.

The 5-year platform is sponsored by the Novo Nordisk Foundation with 180 M DKK from 2024-2028.


You are always welcome to reach out if you have questions or comments. Reach out to odin@au.dk or find the Secretariat's direct email addresses under contacts.

Although we're spanning five Danish universities, we're based in Aarhus. Our office is located at Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 121, blg 1521-216.