Novozymes CEO, Ester Baiget on HelloScience at UN General Assembly


The global COVID-19 pandemic has been responsible for significant turmoil around the world, and the impact on gatherings and travel has been substantial and most UNGA events have gone online – this has certainly helped to open doors to participation from people and groups who wouldn’t usually be able to attend.

Business Fights Poverty, the world’s largest business-led network for social impact, contributed last week to helping make UN75 the most representative General Assembly to date by exploring, in a very practical way, how business and its partners can help create an equitable and resilient future.

Throughout the week important topics were discussed including how we can create an equitable world, help build resilient livelihoods and help people survive and thrive.


Ester Baiget, CEO of Novozymes opened the proceedings on Friday during a fireside chat with Yvette Torres-Rahman, Co-Founder of Business Fights Poverty on the importance of system-level partnerships and the talks about HelloScience.

Click here to watch the whole interview or other highlights of the UNGA week

Nil­fisk og No­vozy­mes går sam­men om in­nova­tion af bæ­re­dyg­tig ren­gø­ring

September 22, 2020 // Børsen.

Nilfisk og Novozymes bruger forskerplatformen Helloscience til at få sat fart i innovationen af fremtidens rengøringsmidler


Nilfisk og Novozymes indgår åbent samarbejde for at udforske fremtidens bæredygtige rengøring

September 24, 2020 //

Verdensførende bioteknologi kombineret med 114 års ekspertise på rengøringsområdet. Det er, hvad Novozymes og Nilfisk bringer til bordet i et nyt innovationssamarbejde i regi af HelloScience. Entreprenører og startups fra hele Norden bliver indbudt til at finde nye løsninger


Q&A with Sustainia

Sustainia’s CEO, Rasmus Schjødt Pedersen, and Partnerships Manager Kelly Lynch

The next generation of Sustainable Business Innovators will come from local communities around the world, many of whom are already facing the realities of climate change. Sustainable development, education and diversity will be key tools to address this.

Sustaina has a mission is to change mindsets and narratives around sustainability through impact communications and fact-based storytelling. Last year they helped launch a report with the UN Global Compact and DNV GL to celebration leading companies efforts to drive climate action including Novozymes.

Since then and together with HelloScience, we have been looking at how we could do more together, involving universities and communities. Welcome to the Arctic Opportunity Explorer.

Sustainia’s CEO, Rasmus Schjødt Pedersen, and Partner Manager Kelly Lynch, tell us more.

25 Sep, 2020

Q: Rasmus, what is the Arctic Opportunity Explorer challenge all about?

A: Throughout the years Sustainia has focused on providing inspiration and concrete opportunities to tackle climate change risks. Now is the time to move from inspiration to action. Through the Arctic Opportunity Explorers challenge we do just that — by advancing the entrepreneurial ideas of students to lead to concrete action. By working with our six partner universities and HelloScience, we will together facilitate a culture where students become the drivers of sustainable development at the societal level in the Arctic region.

This case competition will give students the chance to work as part of collaborative groups to create solutions to real-world challenges.

It is no surprise that the Arctic is the focus of this project. The ice sheets are melting faster than ever before, sea levels are rising, the permafrost is thawing, and the Arctic flora and fauna are changing. Global warming is causing fundamental changes in the Arctic. But it’s not all about nature. There are also major community issues to be solved in terms of reducing inequalities or the wellbeing of children. These elements create new challenges and new opportunities for the students to uncover to assist the Arctic communities who are inherently dependent on their local climate, environment and communities.

We are asking students to get together to form groups, address a concrete challenge, and innovate to produce the beginnings of a solution, all with the help of digital collaboration tool HelloScience.

Read more about Open Challenge and Apply Now

Q: Kelly, why are you collaborating with HelloScience?

A: The complex problems present in the Arctic cannot be resolved by any one country or individual, making multilateral action more important than ever. For this challenge we knew it was imperative to partner with a leader in the fields of collaboration and innovation that could assist with establishing connections and partnerships between universities that have historically relied on physical connections.

Over the years we’ve been lucky to establish a good relationship with Novozymes and their HelloScience platform was easily our first choice for this project. The functionality of the platform enables the students to network, collaborate, and create to uncover the best solution for this case competition. HelloScience’s ecosystem of scientists, business developers, lawyers, startups, thinkers, and storytellers all have a shared passion for open innovation, open science and groundbreaking collaboration around the SDGs, crucial for this project.

“By uniting the combined forces of Sustainia, Novozymes’ HelloScience platform, and academic institutions, the Arctic Opportunity Explorers challenge will take students entrepreneurial ideas from inspiration to concrete action to tackle the challenges present in the Arctic.”

Kelly Lynch, Partner Manager, Sustainia

Q: Rasmus, what do you hope this can lead to?

A: We hope that all individuals interested in making a difference in the Arctic will participate in this challenge. There’s a place for everyone from mentoring to forming your own collaborative group. Our desire is to make a real impact by fostering a culture where students are the drivers of sustainable development and by breaking down barriers to communication and collaboration. As Covid-19 has taught us, the old way of doing things is on the way out, we need to find ways to work together that do not require physical interactions. That is why we believe in the power of the partnerships we have compiled for this project to multiply its impact and to create the speed and scale to facilitate the student’s entrepreneurial ideas which are impossible through unilateral action.

“The Arctic Opportunity Explorer challenge will arm students with the tools to solve intractable Arctic challenges in a digitized, globalized, and pandemic world.”

Rasmus Schjødt Pedersen, CEO, Sustainia

Read more about Open Challenge and Apply Now

Q&A with Camilla Ramby, Executive Vice President, Nilfisk

Faced with some of the biggest challenges caused by the impact of Covid-19, industrial cleaning giant Nilfisk reached out to HelloScience and Novozymes to see what could be done to tackle this. Over the past months, the two organizations have worked to map out 5 key areas that they could focus on, and then engage with Innovators and Start-Ups to take them forward. To tell us more, we sat down with Camilla Ramby, the Executive Vice President of Nilfisk.

25 Sep, 2020

Q: Camilla, why are you supporting the „Impact the Future of Sustainable Cleaning” Challenge?

A: Cleaning has always been important. However, with the spread of COVID-19 the need for finding innovative and sustainable ways to clean is more important than ever. These are challenging times and they call for new partnerships, which is why we are excited to be part of this initiative.

Read more about the Open Challenge and Apply Now

Q: Why have you chosen this collaborative partnership-driven approach to impact the SDGs instead of Nilfisk doing this alone?

A: Right now, we see a number of significant global challenges impacting people, societies and businesses across the world. No company can solve these by itself. By working together in partnerships, we build on each other’s insights and knowledge and can hopefully come up with solution that none of us could have conceived on our own.

Q: Why do you think Novozymes and Nilfisk are a good fit and how do you think those two companies complement each other?

A: At Nilfisk, we have 114 years of cleaning expertise. We know what it takes to develop cleaning equipment that keep homes, hospitals and businesses clean and safe. Now we are able to pair that with Novozymes’ in-depth knowledge about enzymes and microorganisms as well as startup innovation to positively impact the future of cleaning together.

Q: What do you hope the startups can bring and how do you imagine Nilfisk could collaborate with them after the LiveLab?

A: We know that there is a great talent pool out there! By working with innovative startups and entrepreneurs, who might look at the global challenges related to cleaning in a different light than us, we are looking for new sustainable ways to detect clean in different environments as well as new intelligent cleaning solutions. So we are very determined to make this a collaboration with a real impact on our future pipeline.

Q&A with Anuj Dhariwal: On the HelloScience Challenge

Dr. Anuj Dhariwal from Novozymes on ground reflecting on COVID-19

In the light of COVID-19 cleaning and disinfecting have never been more important. Nilfisk and Novozymes are joining forces around HelloScience to explore sustainable cleaning with startups, researchers and students. Apply now to be a part of our LiveLab, and learn more about our thinking and ideas from Dr. Anuj Dhariwal, Global Head of Scouting & Venturing at Novozymes.

27 Aug, 2020

Q: What excites you most about the Open Challenge with Nilfisk?

A: One thing that has stood out from the very first conversations with Nilfisk about collaborating has been this amazing openness and willingness to try something different and new. Both organizations share a passion for technology and innovation on the one hand and sustainability on the other, although they traditionally operate in quite different fields. And its been great to start building a shared vision of what might be possible, and although like any pioneering activity you are never fully sure of the final outcome when you start, I’m very confident that over time and by progressing together and with the HelloScience ecosystem, we will achieve some tangible results.

Read more about Open Challenge and Apply Now

Q: The world has changed due to COVID-19. How has Novozymes and HelloScience responded to this?

A: Firstly Novozymes as an organization focused short term on ensuring that our commitment to our employees, our customers, and the communities where we operate was stronger than ever. In addition to safeguarding the health of our employees and ensuring steady supply our products, we have also contributed to a series of projects and initiatives around the world to support for example education for disadvantaged students, to providing medical supplies and funding for hospitals. Read more here

But for Novozymes and HelloScience in particular, we recognized very early on that Covid-19 was going to present a number of short, medium and longer challenges. And the best way to take on a challenge is through creating opportunity. And by understanding how cleaning can be more sustainable and innovative, working with great companies like Nilfisk, enables us to all consider how new solutions can support a healthy environment, as well as seek to find and champion new ways of potentially combining existing ones.

Q: For the Open Challenge, what will success look like for you?

A: HelloScience has always had the intention to cover as many different Sustainability issues and SDGs as possible. And with Sustainable Cleaning and as Covid-19 has also shown us, there is so much to learn about the world, and how we need to – and can – respond and adapt. I would break success down into several areas: Firstly, if we can source and support some fantastic new ideas and new companies working in this space and help them grow, and second, that we raise the profile of what Sustainable Cleaning and health can do in terms of positive benefits and start a real conversation about that.


Peter Johansen from NORDIN and Dr. Anuj Dhariwal from Novozymes signing the agreement of a new collaborative journey with HelloScience

We are really excited to announce that NORDIN, a partnership that is strengthening the connection between the SME communities in Denmark and India will work with Novozymes and leverage HelloScience to accelerate and support selected startups. Julia from the HelloScience team sat down with Peter Johansen from NORDIN for a face to face interview and get the inside track on what these activities hope to achieve.

27 Aug, 2020

Q: Hi Peter, we are now working together through HelloScience: What’s the main thinking behind this?

A: The idea is to mutually help each other to create a platform for Danish startups and SMEs to access the Indian market with great solutions for the green transformation, which is so necessary for India. We want to help companies go to India in order to make a great commercial impact – and drive sustainable development at the same time.

Q: Can you tell us a bit about NORDIN and how you are helping companies?

A: NORDIN is a market access and innovation program for Danish SMEs and startups. It’s a project collaboration between 4 Danish organizations: Asia House Denmark, DI India, the Green Innovation Group and the Innovation Center Denmark in Bangalore and funded by the Danish Industry Foundation. It‘s been difficult for the smaller Danish companies to access India for several reasons and we try to address these issues on a very operational level, basically by supporting the companies throughout a process – from initial program selection of the companies we believe have the strongest competence for the Indian market, all the way through to meeting the end customer and helping them negotiate a deal.


Q: What is NORDIN hoping to get out of the collaboration with HelloScience?

A: NORDIN and HelloScience have some very complementary strengths. NORDIN is a market accelerator, it is very operational and it has strong methodology for providing access to the Indian market. We have people on ground in India, who know the country very well and we have people in Denmark, who can find the right companies. We’ve done this before and we know how to help companies go to India and basically nail down deals. But perhaps where we lack and where HelloScience can help us is on three levels:

First, by having a visually attractive and inspiring platform with some great communication strengths and the ability to assimilate information and creating content about what we do for a wider audience. I think this is important, because the outside world needs to know what we do, and we need to create awareness and interest in how and why we do it.

Secondly, HelloScience is a very interesting ecosystem with a diverse set of stakeholders. There are big pan-national organizations like Climate-KIC, there are Corporates like Novozymes, Grundfos and Legal Firms like Kromann Reumert. There’s also access to the startup community in the Nordics and there is access to some Indian stakeholders as well. HelloScience’s larger network also means that we can enhance the likely success rate and support for our companies by finding new partners.

Finally, I know that HelloScience builds on a philosophy of open collaboration and hopefully by displaying our companies and pilot test cases on the HelloScience platform we will see enhanced product development, as well as the development of business models. The whole idea behind this collaboration is so important: its focused, its outcome driven and it’s all about seeing how we can help each other. I also think that HelloScience can benefit from the strong machine that we have in NORDIN in identifying companies and helping them to market and all those many different steps that it takes in order to get there. It’s an exciting to get started with this pilot initiative over the next few months as by doing things, we can gather experience and results that can hopefully be applied to bigger and even better things later on.