Research areas

CRT’s research strategy

CRT works with applied research and consulting targeting strategy and policy development at local, regional, national and international levels. We research and perform analyses primarily in four areas – often focusing on peripheral areas and islands.

CRT research strategy ensures that we are always involved in research areas that meet social needs, market needs or clarify important trends, and where CRT’s competencies can bring about change in regional development and tourism meticulously .

CRT’s work is based on four themes:

It is crucial for the development of society that businesses have access to a workforce with the right competencies. Society is rapidly developing and there is a continuing need to develop and adapt the skills of the labour force.

Therefore, CRT researches:

  • Supply and demand for different types of competencies and how they are expected to develop in different regions. Balance between the workforce’s competencies and the local labour market’s competence needs.
  • The geographical supply structure of the education system and its importance for 1) youth education choices, 2) the migration patterns of young people and thus 3) access to skilled labour.
  • Different geographical development patterns and their effects on regional and local labour markets – including understanding different types of geographical challenges for eg. industrial areas, small towns, actual rural areas and islands.
  • Certain business sectors’ specific competence needs and the challenges that industries experience with the acquisition of skilled labour, eg. digitisation and robotisation in the manufacturing industry, tourism’s competence development, transition towards green / sustainable / circular economies within a wide range of industries.
  • Foreign labour – need for access to a larger labour supply in relation to the actual competencies that different types of foreign labour bring.
  • Entrepreneurship – its conditions and development opportunities – especially outside the larger cities.
  • Concrete labour market and education efforts and their unequal effects across different geographical areas in Denmark, including islands.
  • The effects of given political or other initiatives in the field of education and the labour market.
  • Developing new understanding of dynamics that affect labour and education markets.

CRT works in different ways with all four parts of what you traditionally call the tourism product: Accommodation, dining (i.e. food), transport and attractions (activities, experiences).

Danish tourism is a mature tourism without big growth outside the larger cities, which is why innovation and investments are needed.

Danish tourism is challenged regarding tourists’ assessment of quality versus price and there is a need for improvement of tourism products, services and experiences. At the same time, we see a development in terms of both accommodation and transport.

Therefore, CRT researches:

  • Who are the tourists, why do they choose Denmark and what do they do when they are here?
  • How are tourism companies managing with the competition in the last 10-15 years?
  • How to improve the quality of service, product and experience without raising the price?
  • What is needed to promote innovation in small tourism businesses? And can business models be developed for products that are developed / marketed across companies?
  • What trends and development opportunities are there in various outdoor activities such as hiking, biking and fishing?
  • What are the links between outdoor activities for tourists and residents? Are there (niche-embossed) outdoor activities that can be grouped and offered as a palette?
  • How can the effects of larger events be calculated?
  • Can the effect of “place branding” be calculated and if so, how?
  • What is the role of food and catering in relation to tourism (eg. in relation to consumption, holiday experience and destination image)?
  • How large is the scale and economic importance of sharing economy in (coastal) tourism?
  • What are the social, economic and political implications of new tourism accommodation such as Airbnb?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities for transport in relation to tourism on the Danish islands?

Knowledge and innovation are key drivers of economic development in today’s global service and knowledge economies. Regional research has helped to create and disseminate an understanding that innovation and knowledge development are not just individual cognitive activities for researchers and special technicians, but social, institutional and territorial embedded processes.

Regional research concepts of developing knowledge within the framework of regional “innovation systems” and “clusters” (i.e. co-located companies within a defined industry or sector, affiliated suppliers and customers, institutions, research, business services, etc.) have had a great deal of influence on business and innovation policy in Denmark.

The regional growth forums are committed to promoting the building of “clusters”. This also applies to business efforts in peripheral areas, where the conditions for business clusters are not as obvious as in larger urban areas with a wide-ranging supply of companies, universities, specialised services etc.

Both in regional research and in business and innovation policy, there is a focus on research-based knowledge, at high-tech innovation in specific industries (IT, medical etc.), in large urban area’s driving role, as well as on local interaction rather than relationships with and interaction with external actors.

The more practice-related customer / supplier-driven forms of knowledge development and innovation that characterise small and medium-sized enterprises in peripheral areas are not given the same attention.

More knowledge is needed on the ways in which peripheral companies develop knowledge and innovate their products, processes and organisations, and on the territorial, often regional, implications thereof.

Therefore, CRT researches:

  • Characteristics of different types of knowledge and forms of learning (“knowledge bases”): CRT has strong relationships with national and international innovation research environments and contributes articles in leading journals within the field, not least about the importance of combining different “knowledge bases” including scientific (analytical), technical-instrumental (synthetic) and cultural, value-based (symbolic) knowledge.
  • How do smaller service and manufacturing companies in peripheral areas implement innovations? What types of knowledge and knowledge relationships do they use? How do they build and develop the knowledge internally in the organisation? How and about what do they co-operate with local and extra-local actors, respectively? Can their informal, practice and experience-based knowledge combine and be combined with the university’s formal scientific knowledge?
  • What is the role of unskilled and skilled production workers in corporate innovation processes and knowledge building? And how do they interact with other types of labour in, for example, management, development, service and sales?
  • How could local, regional and national business promotion be organised to promote innovation and productivity development in small Danish companies to a greater extent?
  • Is there a need for new methods for disseminating knowledge to SME’s – if so, which ones?

Places are increasingly competing against each other – attracting resourceful people, investments, job creation and public tasks.

In this competition, cities and their suburbs seem to “win” at the expense of peripheral areas, including islands. At the same time, we live in a time of great movement between places, and many people live or stay in many places throughout their lives. It creates connections – between people, places, networks, organisations and landscapes. The connections provide a renewed understanding of the place – and open up new development perspectives for both big cities, small towns, catchment areas and rural areas.

Thus, places no longer simply consist of the people living there and the physical and cultural resources that are in place, but also of the connections that exist with people, knowledge, economy, networks etc. elsewhere.

Overall, we can talk about the development of trans-regional perspectives in rural research and regional development. Does this have value for the development of challenged areas and can an increased amount of relationships between the “residents” and different types of visitors create development? Research knows very little about this.

Therefore, CRT researches:

  • Vacated young people’s connection to their original home as a starting point for initiating and engaging in various social and cultural development projects in the original area, including focus on the motivations of the young and on the networks / communities that serve as platforms for their relation.
  • Different types and groups of people who relate to a place, so-called “elective residents” who do not live in a place, but who, by their affiliation, choose to engage in different communities. It can be cultural communities, “foodies” that involve themselves in the development of regional foods, different events, festivals etc.
  • Analyses that link the translocal perspective to tourism research and categorisation of different types of affiliates – from the non-obliged tourists, to habitual visitors, to highly committed and active city entrepreneurs. An important aspect of this is the connection points or anchors between the different forms of attachment and the local residents.
  • Analyze the effects of different types of site development policies, including branding strategies and bonding development processes. This also applies to child and youth policies, cultural policy, etc.
  • Comparative studies across different locations, including in different types of rural areas in the Nordic region.
  • Developing methods for assessing values, preferably quantifiable, by translocal local and regional development relationships .


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