Five Danish inventions with global impact

Published 21-04-2021

On the occasion of World Creativity and Innovation Day, we take a closer look at some of the greatest Danish inventions through time.

Inventions are stronger with IP protection

Inventions are stronger with IP protection, and an idea is only really worth something once the IP rights are in place and actively brought into play. Without either a patent, trademark or design protection, your company is not nearly as strong, and you risk becoming an easy victim of counterfeits, and perhaps also missing out on growth opportunities.

We take a closer look at five patented inventions that were so remarkable that they are used worldwide to this day.

1. Carlsberg's yeast (Emil Christian Hansen, 1870s). Hansen developed a way to produce pure yeast (Saccharomyces Carlsbergensis). This yeast is still used today to make lager beer, not only at Carlsberg, but worldwide

2. Dry-battery (Wilhelm Hellesen, 1880s). Hellesen invented a way to make the liquid tough so that the battery could be easily transported and moved. In 1887 he founded the battery factory Hellesen. The company was taken over by Duracell in 1992.

3. The speaker (Peter L. Jensen, 1915). In his young days, Jensen had been an employee of the great Danish inventor Valdemar Poulsen and took part in the first experiments with wireless telephony in 1907. A decade later, Peter and an American co-inventor invented the electrodynamic speaker principle.

4. The Lego brick (Developed by the Lego company's creative department under the leadership of Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, 1950s). The special thing is not the brick itself, but the way the bricks are connected.

5. Fiber-optic imaging (Holger Møller Hansen, 1951). An instrument that can transfer images directly to the eye using optical fibers - today it is called an endoscope. Hansen did not get a patent on his solution, in turn, Japanese Olympus got it on their solution, 20 years later.

Why do we celebrate World Creativity and Innovation Day?

World Creativity and Innovation Day (WCID) is a global UN day, marking 21 April each year. The purpose of the day is i.a. to focus on the fact that creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship help to ensure a strong foundation for economic growth and job creation. WCID was established with the support of 80 countries and was first held on 21 April 2018