Call from the collective sound cluster: Demand for objective criteria for the rehabilitation of the business support schemes

The sound industry is an important industry in Denmark and contributes to making our mark internationally within tech. Unfortunately, Denmark's Business Promotion Board has decided to remove business support for the industry cluster, which facilitates knowledge sharing, increases innovation and supports collaboration in the audio industry. It calls for action: from a socio-economic perspective, it is crucial that the leading position of Danish audio companies is maintained and strengthened.


By Torben Vilsgaard, Director Danish Sound Cluster, Søren Bech, Research Director Bang & Olufsen, Karen Wibling Solgård, Market Manager Nordics Demant , Vibeke Pedersen, Head of R&D, Troldtekt, Jesper Theil Thomsen, CEO Soundboks, Thomas Bak, professor, dean, Aalborg University, Carsten Gaarn-Larsen, group director, Technical University of Denmark


The sound industry forms an important part of the Danish economy

The audio industry is an industry that draws on highly educated labor primarily from the science and engineering disciplines. The sector is distinguished by higher wages and greater productivity and job creation than the industry average. Danish Sound Cluster's work to stimulate growth and innovation in the sound industry contributes to securing jobs in Denmark today and in the future - both among academics and trained professionals. In other words, the industry constitutes one of the country's strongest tech areas. At the same time, the companies in the audio industry contribute to research and development of new and innovative products, such as solves noise problems in cities and buildings, creates better welfare for the hearing-impaired and elsewhere in the health system, and offers experiential mediation in music, film and gaming.

The three Danish hearing aid manufacturers GN, Widex (now WSA) and Demant have created Denmark's position of strength with a global market share of over 60%. The three companies' annual value creation is more than DKK 7,5 billion. DKK,), in addition there is also B&O and other audio companies, who all in all contribute to good economics for Denmark in stimulating the hearing and audio industry.

However, at the time of writing, Denmark's Business Promotion Board is working on its strategy, which in no way contributes to stimulating the locomotive that the hearing and audio industry represents for the Danish economy. The strategy is discussed at the end of September and a final decision is made later in the autumn. Furthermore, this work is apparently not coordinated with the work of the government-appointed expert group, which according to the commissary must come up with recommendations for future business support.

The consequence of this is that several business clusters stand to lose their support and thus have the prospect of closing down – including not least the Danish Sound Cluster, the business cluster that supports the Danish sound industry, which collectively has a turnover of DKK 70 billion. DKK annually and employs 52.000. The further consequence is that this – in addition to costing growth and innovation – can cost jobs and welfare in the municipalities where companies in the audio industry are located.

In other words, the Danish Business Promotion Board's decision may end up short-circuiting the work regarding the government's plan for a reassessment of the entire business promotion system even before it has really started.

It is therefore incomprehensible that plans are being made to remove the business support for the sound cluster right now. Of course, the entire audio industry supports that business and Danish society more generally get as much out of the business support kroner as possible. But despite the sound industry's development, innovation and growth, Denmark's Business Promotion Board has still not included sound technology in its upcoming Strategy, which is an ommer that risks costing both jobs and welfare.


Proposals to clean up business support are problematic for the leading audio industry

Danish Sound Cluster supports the Danish sound industry as a business cluster. By holding activities such as webinars and conferences, the Danish Sound Cluster helps to facilitate knowledge sharing in the sound industry, just as the cluster promotes mutual cooperation between Danish sound companies, and between companies and universities. The cluster is vital for the sound technical knowledge developed at the universities to be used in industry in the form of new innovative products and initiatives. In addition, the cluster supports entrepreneurship in the audio industry.

With the proposal for the removal of business support for the Danish audio industry, the support for an important and unique industry for Denmark, which should instead be stimulated as the engine of growth that the industry is, is cut. The Danish Sound Cluster supports a well-functioning, strong and diverse ecosystem where major industry players, SMEs, startups, independent consultants and strong knowledge environments at the research and educational institutions are mutually dependent on each other. Cutting back on business support for the Danish audio industry will also affect the possibility of a strong branding of Denmark as a global center for innovation, business development, research and education. The sound cluster is vital for the technology area LYD, which, as the only one of its kind in the world, helps to continue to secure Denmark's leading position in the industry.


Review of business support scheme according to objective criteria

Overall, this challenges the line from Denmark's Business Promotion Board and actualizes the need for a remediation or removal of certain business support schemes to be based on objective and transparent criteria and in an open process.


Appeal to the parliament's business rapporteurs and business minister Morten Bødskov (S)

There must therefore be a clear call to the parliament's business rapporteurs and business minister Morten Bødskov (S), that a change to the business support scheme system should be based on uniform objective criteria and with an eye to the socio-economic gains that the individual clusters and industries contribute. It is crucial to avoid an arbitrary or politicized process, which removes the focus from the work that the Danish Sound Cluster contributes to Denmark's sound technology industry.

Danish Sound Cluster wants to make a positive contribution to the restructuring of the business support scheme in relation to to get the most possible for the Danish tax kroner. But it is crucial that the clean-up caters for innovation and research, Danish business and economy, and reduces the risk of counterproductive effects on Danish competitiveness.

Danish Sound Cluster helps mark the companies of the sound industry as strong socio-economic players within tech. For the same reason, it is crucial to support the industry. There is too much at stake to simply subject all business support schemes to the green harvest method – rarely has anything good or valuable come out of it. It will only cost jobs and the welfare of the affected municipalities at a time when we are left with no hands.

Danish Sound Cluster

Stay up to date

Sign up for our newsletter: