COWIfonden grants donations to innovative research projects in all of COWI's fields of activity.

Projects should be innovative, of relevance to society, and be characterised by high professional standards, social responsibility and a long-term perspective that extends beyond the standard market/service development that is expected to take place in COWI. Applications for prequalification to prepare innovative research projects must be submitted by a COWI employee or an employee with a Danish university.

Projects or activities supported by COWIfonden must comply with COWI's set of values.


  • Employees in COWI Group companies
  • Research communities at Danish universities.

Projects eligible for donation must be developed and carried out in cooperation between COWI and universities in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Projects that involve COWI departments and universities in more than one of the three Nordic regions will be prioritised.


Submission of application requires prior prequalification, and as much as DKK 100,000 is granted to prepare the actual application.

The application for prequalification must include a general description of the research/development idea of the project. The application for prequalification must state the following information: 

  • Background for the research/development idea
  • Context
  • Long-term, specific purposes
  • Significant content elements
  • Expected budget and requested donation from COWIfonden
  • Estimate of funds needed to prepare an actual application
  • Signed statement of managerial support from SVP and EVP (with COWI) as well as from directors of university departments.

The project duration must be limited to a maximum of three years.

The prequalification application must be no more than three to five pages, excluding appendices.

Applications for prequalification must be sent to COWIfonden by email,, no later than on 1 April, along with a filled-in application form. Forwarding of documents relating to the prequalification application is not accepted.


Deadline for submission of detailed application is 1 October at 12:00 (CET). Forwarding of documents is not accepted.

Applications must be sent to COWIfonden by email,, as three separate Adobe (PDF) documents.

The following documents must be submitted:

The detailed application must state the following information:

  • Name of the applicant and cooperation partners
  • CVs of the key persons involved (separate document)
  • Presentation of the project manager and their qualifications in relation to that role
  • The purpose and nature of the activities that the application concerns
  • Expected results and relevance for society at large
  • The news value and stakeholders of the activity
  • Market potential for COWI Group companies
  • The amount applied for, specified budget (hours and amount applied for per activity)
  • Project plan and time schedule designed as Gantt chart
  • Signed statement of managerial support from SVP and EVP (with COWI) as well as from directors of university departments.

Applicants are usually notified of COWIfonden’s decision in mid-December.


The economic framework for a three-year project is DKK 3 to 4 million.

For projects submitted by COWI employees, universities must account for at least 40 per cent of the fee funds applied for. If a university is the main applicant, COWI must account for at least 40 per cent of the fee funds applied for.

You may apply for funds for:

  • Fee corresponding to salary expenses/basic salary rate plus an overhead of DKK 175/hour
  • Other project-related costs (e.g., equipment, air tickets) corresponding to direct expenses plus a 20 per cent overhead.

Co-financing by all parties involved is a precondition for funding. Co-financing should typically cover project salary costs. If self-financing should cover anything else than salary costs, this must be agreed in advance with COWIfonden.


Project results are required to be published/made available to the public. For instance, that may include dissemination through publication in international magazines, participation in international conferences, release of open source software and the like.

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