It is 1920. Christian X of Denmark and Kristján X of Iceland sits on the throne at Amalienborg while Christiansborg is being rebuilt after a devastating fire. Carl Theodor Zahle is still the prime minister, but soon after he is dismissed by Christian X, resulting in what later was called the Ester Crisis and the origins of a German minority at the South Jutland-North German border. All in all, it is a very unstable and convulsive time - it is only two years after WWI and the aftermath of the war is very patent. 1920 is also the year where The Spanish Flu pandemic ends, with an estimate between seventeen million to fifty million deaths. At that convulsive time, the police station at Frederiksberg was inaugurated.
It is now 2020. Exactly 100 years later with another pandemic threatening our way of living. The old police station at Frederiksberg has now drastically changed and been transformed into Station - A Student Innovation House. Although the frames of the former police station have been preserved, the old brick building will host a completely different clientele in the future. The space will be the world’s first student-driven innovation house.
Station is the new cross-disciplinary playground fostering student innovation, where all students and student organizations are welcome.
Station is meant to be the playground to create sustainable changes in society through engagement and innovation in collaboration with various actors within society.
The idea behind Station started back in 2013 and came from a group of 5 CBS students, now graduates, Christian K. Refshauge, Andreas A. Gjede, Anne Marie E. Larsen, Anne Katrine B. Vedstesen and Maria Flora M. Andersen, who is the current Director at Station.
During that year, the Old Police Station at Frederiksberg was to be sold, so students quickly thought that their idea about a student innovation house could be located there. Thereafter, they had a conversation with Frederiksberg kommune to ask for a delay in the selling date so that they could raise the money to buy the building. Frederiksberg kommune accepted their request as they were very keen on the idea of students owning the building for such a noble initiative.
Soon after and during the period 2014-2016, they raised funds themselves, for a total of 52.5 million DKK, with support from the Nordea Foundation, the VILLUM Foundation (the first one to support the idea), the Knud Højgaard Foundation, the Augustinus Foundation, the Frederiksberg Foundation, and the Weimann Foundation. CBS topped the budget with an additional 30 million DKK, something the educational institution has promised if the group of students were able to raise the rest of the money. CBS then acquired the police station in collaboration with the students, for a price of 30 million DKK.
The idea behind Station kept evolving and the year after, Tuborgfondet, Otto Mønsteds Fond and DSEB decided to support the organisational development of the association as well as its activities. Later that year, the contract to transform the Old Police Station at Frederiksberg into a student innovation house was signed.
During the period 2017-2019, the transformation was being planned. During that time, more support was added to the initiative. In 2018, Tuborgfondet committed to a 4 year strategic partnership of 4 million DKK. The construction process took place during the period 2019-2020 and Station was finally inaugurated on October 9th, 2020, 100 years and 9 days after the inauguration of the Old Police Station
Since the association was founded back in 2013, more than 300 students have been a part of the project and helped shape the future of Station. Today, 17 student organizations sit at Station, one of them being Synapse - Life Science Connect.
WOW! Is the first reaction from me and the rest of the Synapse team, when we entered Station the first time. Station is cracking! When Synapse was first contacted early in 2020 by Markus Fritz Hansen, Head of Community Building at Station, and invited to join Station, we did not anticipate this result. Although we have only used the facilities a few times, we can already feel that this is the beginning of a great community.
Station is not only an amazing and inspiring location to hold our team meetings, but also the framework around a great community of students. Synapse is not alone in being an ambitious student organization. Together with the other student organizations in the building, we will help each other empower more and more students’ ideas.
By moving to the station, we hope to learn from other student organizations and get inspired by their innovative ideas. We hope to see new ways of doing things, come up with new event formats, and boost each other’s creativity. Last but not least, we hope to motivate the community to be driven and determined to reach increasingly, ambitious goals.
It is impressive what students have already done, but together we can do even more!