30 Oct, 2020

By Alfred Birkegaard, Managing Director of the Collaboratorium / Founder of Thirdroom / HelloScience Director

Dear Collaborators, 

We live in challenging times. Corona has changed the world as we knew it. While the physical world is getting smaller – we can‘t travel or be together the way we used to, new opportunities are also emerging. The challenges and constraints of Covid-19 have also opened up a new world of innovations to discover. 

We have to encourage innovation, but that requires the courage to step into the unknown – to dare to step out of our own comfort zones, open up and collaborate. It requires us to move into a space where we can build innovative new ideas that amplify collective intelligence, and move towards swift, new solutions and action in a rapidly evolving world.   


In all the areas that COVID-19 has transformed the way we see the world, the relationship between cleaning, health and well-being have taken on a whole new importance. Cleaning is no longer just cleaning – it‘s about safety and it’s about freedom: the freedom of coming back to society, to our schools, to our workplaces and to our cities. This has made us ask new questions, like: What does clean even mean? How can we create new forms of communication  around cleaning? Are there more sustainable ways to clean – moving beyond chemical products and into the realm of more natural, biological solutions? Can cleaning innovation also be green, sustainable innovation?  

Innovation is about imagination, it‘s about world building, it‘s about the ability to see things differently than they are. COVID-19 forces us to rethink cleaning, but finding new sustainable solutions requires collaborative innovation. 


In the ‘Future of Clean’ LIVELAB some of the biggest corporations in Denmark have stepped up to engage with Covid-19 cleaning innovation as a systemic challenge. We hope that a collaborative framework can amplify the progress we can make together. Making it possible for corporates to enhance and expand new cross-cutting technologies with startups, involving collaborators on local and national level, and connecting to incubators and investors that can support the development of new cutting-edge innovations and pioneering initiatives. 

If we step up and create a national strategy for systemic innovation, Grand Challenges, like COVID-19, can be converted into Grand Opportunities. They hold  the keys to creating tens of thousands of new jobs; economic growth opportunities; and innovation that benefits people, society and the environment.

A special credit to Nilfisk, Novozymes, Dansk Erhverv and Gladsaxe Kommune for making this possible.
Here’s to entering into a new era of innovation, together! 

Good luck!