Outside INnovation: Hygge meets high concept

Racing across the region (photo: Pixabay)
December 3rd, 2022 4:40 pm| by Patrick Halford 
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Dawn. Slipstreaming across the Øresund strait. ‘The Bridge’ shaking hands with Sweden. I peer down at the wind turbines, harvesting the elements and fuelling our futures.

The wind and the waves. For millennia the Danes have harnessed them. What is it with me and Denmark? Half-Scottish and a hundred percent European. There’s probably a bit of 8th century Danish DNA mixed in there too.

A side-wind slams into the fuselage shaking me out of my nostalgia. My red eyes from the Helsinki red-eye fluttering as the Finnair pilot compensates and drops the gear like Thor’s hammer.

Careering through CPH
We are down in Denmark. Trader nation. The pace picks up outside of Kastrup. A three-day bolt across the Danish islands, discussing applying advanced tech in real-world scenarios, and building sustainable partnerships is on the agenda.

Copenhagen is humming. Global hub. Corporates, SMEs, startups, universities and research thrive, wired into each other, and the rest of the world through their respective arteries.

It’s a rush back and forward across town. Hunger starts to take its toll and the Palæ Bar calls out for a smørrebrød pitstop. This place is so cool it found its way into my second novel.

Belting around Fyn
Now I’m westbound, aiming the car towards Fyn. The ‘Garden of Denmark’ beckons. 

The great bridge over the Storebælt comes into view from kilometres away, reaching into the sky. I floor it but it takes an age to get there. A construction masterpiece spanning the great channel. Yeah, the Danes are engineering masters too. Apparently they are building energy islands far out to sea.

I’m on Fyn, hurtling towards Odense. Robot central. Land, sea or air. If you can think of it, then they can probably build it here. A full day on Fyn requires a full course meal, and there’s no better place than Kok & Vin to hygge down after a day of high concept.

Robot rotation
I wake up at the Frederik VI hotel in Korup, which is an old haunt of mine, and head further west, leaping the Lillebælt. I hit Jylland and head to the farm of the chair of DLG Group for two days of filming and interviews. Robots everywhere. I learn a fraction of the importance of partnerships across agricultural food chains.

The agenda is tight. The Finnair flight won’t wait. It’s a four-hour sprint eastwards. I make the last call. Phew, three days that read like a screenplay.

Denmark. Can’t wait to get back.

Patrick Halford 


Pat Halford is VP of Digital Industries at Spinverse building EU consortia across electronics, healthtech and smart cities. He’s on advisory boards at Nordic Drone and AR startups, and an advisor at a Nordic space VC. He’s also the author of the new Danish thriller ‘Tilda & Lærke’ and the Icelandic thriller ‘North to Akureyri’. He’s half-Scottish and 100 percent European.