Discover how 50+ years of innovation made Denmark the most digital country in the World.
The DESI 2021 report looks at connectivity, integration of digital technology, digital public services and human capital. Denmark ranks high in all categories, it has some of the most tech-savvy individuals and companies in the EU. Denmark benefits from one of the highest levels of digital interaction between individuals and businesses with the government, this paired with a high adoption of digital tools makes it a great place to test new solutions.
Source: European Commission 2018
81 years life expectancy
5,8 million people
78% have completed further education
39% Has a Higher education
For more than 20 years, Denmark has had clear national goals for digitising the public sector. These goals have paved the way to become a world leader in public digitisation, and to ensure that Denmark will stay ahead of the curve and maintain that position in the future.
But one key ingredient to the successful digitisation of Denmark is rarely mentioned in reports and strategies. As Danes, we have a high level of trust in each other and the state. We put humans before technology and build trustworthy solutions that fulfil public needs safeguarding inclusion, democracy, and providing access to public services for all humankind.
92% of internet users used digital public services within the last year.
Application for maternity benefits has a digital take-up rate of 100%
70% of adults have basic digital skills, significantly above EU average of 56%.
Even application for state pension has an uptake rate of 95% - digital is not only for the younger generation.
More than twice as many SMEs sell online in Denmark than the EU average.
9 out of 10 citizens use Digital Post to communicate with public authorities.
Back in 1968 Denmark introduced the CPR, a central database of every person residing in Denmark.
The CPR is basically your gateway into Denmark.
The CPR was the start of a digital gathering and measuring of data and information. This early adoption of digitisation had a major impact on shaping Denmark into a nation of digital frontrunners we know today.
Danish citizens and businesses have welcomed the digital transition of Danish society, recognising the many advantages. Today, large infrastructure solutions serve all citizens and companies in their daily lives and interactions with the public sector. Over time Denmark has succeeded in exchanging the data necessary for transforming manual, arduous and defective work procedures into flexible system integrations that save the citizens, authorities and companies time and raise data quality for everyone.
The high use of digital public services also reflects that Denmark’s population has a high level of digital literacy and are critical users of public IT services. Denmark launched several initiatives in 2020 and 2021 to make even more public services digital, supported by initiatives to ensure that the population get the necessary training to use these.
Denmark has understood that there is strength in having a digitally-skilled population.Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Denmark's position as an international frontrunner in developing digital solutions that can solve pressing societal issues, serves as a strong platform for promoting Danish tech in a sizeable and growing global GovTech market.
The Danish government has one of the highest budgetary allocations for R&D as a percentage of GDP (OECD, MSTI). By financing R&D and business innovation, Denmark has successfully fuelled collaboration between public and private companies. In 2020, the public sector spent 2,13 billion EUR on IT services provided by private companies.
International tech companies recognise Denmark as an AI hotspot and the go-to place for leading research, talent and innovation along with good business ethics and trust.
The European Commission chose Denmark to lead the work of setting common European requirements for the use of AI in the future.
Four focus areas of the National Strategy for AI:
A responsible foundation for artificial intelligence
More and better data
Strong competences and new knowledge
The D-seal: Denmark’s new labelling program for IT security and responsible use of data.
“Trust is necessary. If there is no trust, users are not going to share their data with you. If there is no data, you have no AI and without AI there is no business.”
In 2021, Denmark hit a record high in investments almost quadrupling from the year before. In Denmark, you will find a fast-growing tech ecosystem which means readily available funding from both public and private investors. There are great opportunities for soft funding options, making it possible for the startup community to grow at a fast pace. On top of this, you will find excellent public funding schemes, active business angels, leading accelerators, and a viable network of Danish and international venture capital investors.
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