Juridisk Institut

Crowdfunding, Law, Education, and Research (CLEAR)

Welcome to the CLEAR Project - a research-based, practice-focused group of scholars and practitioners, with a drive to achieve some form of clarity in the rapidly developing world of CROWDFUNDING. The CLEAR Project is based in Aalborg, Denmark, and was established in 2021. We work in partnership with the Crowdfunding Research Center in Norway. We aim to fill the academic void in the crowdfunding arena, and provide practical legal, financial and social resources with a solid, research-based foundation.

We would love to work with you, so don't hesitate to connect with us on e-mail or socia media.


Education Activities

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    Master Course: Crowdfunding 360

    CLEAR is currently developing a university course in crowdfunding. The course will have a theoretical as well as a hands-on approach to all major stages and issues of crowdfunding, including selection of crowdfunding model, legal issues, campaign design etc.


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    Master Dissertation / MatchMaking

    The researchers at CLEAR are involved in the supervision of bachelor and master dissertations relating to crowdfunding issues. Students at Aalborg University with an interest in crowdfunding are encouraged to approach CLEAR researchers to explore their opportunities.


    Supervision and Topics for master dissertations in law

    Supervision is provided for AAU students. Non-AAU students may be supervised by CLEAR researchers on pro bonos basis depending on availability of researchers. Contact Thomas Neumann for more information about being attached to CLEAR as a student.


    Write in collaboration with the industry (Matchmaking)

    AAU students are offered to write their master dissertation in collaboration with a private corporation. CLEAR works with several crowdfunding platforms and often offers one or more options for student-industry collaboration. See the AAU Matchmaking sites for more information or contact Thomas Neumann (thn@law.aau.dk) for guidance if you are an AAU student.


    Example of master dissertation supervised by CLEAR

    The master dissertation is part of the Aalborg University MatchMaking program, which means that the master dissertation is written to adress both the theoretical legal issues of the new EU crowdfunding regulation as well as the practical needs of crowdfunding service providers. The MatchMaking program is run in cooperation with a specific danish crowdfunding service provider.

    While the master dissertation is not publicly available, an academic summary will be available at the time of defense for anyone interested.

    Did you know that we at CLEAR welcome master and ph.d. students into our work? We happily share knowledge on the regulation of crowdfunding. Contact Thomas Neumann (thn@law.aau.dk) for more information or see our education section.


    Working title: The interpretation, application and implications of the new EU regulation of crowdfunding service providers.

    Preliminary description: The dissertation is structured in three parts. One part on the practical and administrative requirements for the ECSP. One part on the investor protection rules in the regulation. And one part on the administrative penalties and measures. We find that large parts of the provisions in the regulation are vague and drafted as principles instead of rules. In addition, one has to await further technical specifications by ESMA - which does not add to clarity at the moment. Consequently, we are challenged by the lact of litterature and case law directly relevant to the new regulation of ECSPs. Hence, we draw several analogies from similar or related areas of law, including corporate law, marketing law, sales law and general principles of law of obligations.


    The authors:
    Nicolai Mørk Jensen is law student at Aalborg University and student assistant at the law firm Advokatfirmaet Himmerland ApS. Other than crowdfunding, Nicolai's interest include law of obligations, construction law, insolvency law and insurance law.
    Emil Vejby Thorndahl is law student at Aalborg University and student assistant at the law firm Advokatfirmaet Kühnel P/S. Other than crowdfunding, Emil's interests include a broad range of private law and commercial law issues, including in particular the common principles of law of obligations.
    Jens Lindgreen is law student at Aalborg University and employed at the public authority Familieretshuset in Aabenraa. Other than crowdfunding, Jens interests include private law, consumer law, family law and financial law. And then Jens is record holder in powerlifting.

Research Activities

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    Article: GDPR in Crowdfunding

    Crowfunding involves three groups of stakeholders - the fundraiser, the platform and the investors. The crowdfunding model itself necessitates recording and exchange of information between stakeholders. Kasper Bjerre Hendrup Andersen seeks to clarify the GDPR aspects in the relation between the three groups of stakeholders as well as in the investor-to-investor relation. Contact Kasper Bjerre Hendrup Andersen (kbha@law.aau.dk) for collaboration or more information.

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    Article: MLETR as Promoter of the Crowdfunding Business

    Crowfunding has, due to its internet-based nature, a high cross-border potential. When investors, platforms and fundraisers may be located in different countries it may be desirable to have a uniform legal framework governing the secondary transfer of debt instruments or shares. As part of her work as a PhD-fellow Lærke B Fosgaard investigates to which extent the UN Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records (MLETR) may serve the need for a uniform legal framework that may support the crowdfunding activities seen today.

    Contact Lærke Bjørka Fosgaard (lbf@law.aau.dk) for more informationa or collaboration.

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    Database and Article: State of the Art in Law and Crowdfunding

    We collect and systematise references to legal scholarship on a continued basis to provide both us and our collaborators with access to state-of-the-art. The work is currently being supplemented with a scientific article drawing out the current legal issues that can be derived from the state-of-the-art. The article is expected to be published as open access during 2021.

    Have we missed your legal paper? Please contact us!

    Contact Stefano Cattelan or Thomas Neumann for more information. 

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    PhD: Regulating Crowdfunding Service Providers

    As crowdfunding grows as a business, so does the need for regulation. Triggered by the recent enactment of EU regulation on electronic crowdfunding service providers, Cecilie is researching, interpreting and clarifying the law and practice of crowdfunding service providers. Which crowdfunding activities are governed by the new EU regulation, and if some crowdfunding activities are not governed by this regulation, then how are they regulated? By other EU regulations or by domestic frameworks? Cecilie is curious to clarify the responsibility of crowdfunding service providers and the protection of investors.

    Contact Cecilie Højvang Christensen (ceciliehc@law.aau.dk) for more information or collaboration.

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    Special Issue on Crowdfunding (NJCL)

    We would like to invite you to take part in the Nordic Journal of Commercial Law (NJCL) and the CLEAR project’s special issue on crowdfunding: 'Regulating Crowdfunding: Past, Present and Future'. Are you interested in contributing to this exciting issue? Then keep reading!

    Your contribution must be in English but may comprise the legal aspects of crowdfunding in any national, regional, or international context. Our goal is to bring together legal researchers with an interest in crowdfunding and to boost the scholarly attention to the field. Contributions may draw on lessons from the past, focus on current issues, or take a punch at what the future may look like.

    Topics of interest for the special issue (see also attached inspiration sheet): any legal aspect of crowdfunding, equity crowdfunding, loan crowdfunding, donation crowdfunding, rewards crowdfunding, commercial law, contract law, sales law, regulation of public fundraising, EU law, financial markets, secondary markets, harmonisation, alternative investment funds (AIF) and more.

    As a support to your work, we can offer access to our Zotero database with more than 1000 titles about crowdfunding, which are indexed according to topics and can be accessed through Zotero web. Moreover, Zotero makes it easy to create references and bibliographies in accordance with the journal’s preferred citation style, OSCOLA.

    We also offer proof reading through NJCL and we are planning to host online as well as physical workshops (depending on the covid19 situation), where authors can discuss their papers, share ideas, review each other papers and get inspiration. If you would like to contribute to the issue, then please get in touch with us - and send us a preliminary working title no later than 30 September 2021.

    For questions or more information about the issue, please contact Thomas Neumann (thn@law.aau.dk).

    Please feel free to share this invitation with your network and to share with us on LinkedIn.

    Nordic Journal of Commercial Law (NJCL) has since its conception in 2003 enjoyed publishing contributions from prominent scholars especially in the fields of international contract and sales law. The change in the journal's management in 2016 meant that after almost 15 with Turku University, the responsibility for the journal moved to Aalborg University. The Nordic Journal of Commercial Law is internationally renowned (BFI2 ranking in Denmark), diamond/platinum open access as the journal is free to both authors and the public, indexed automatically in DOAJ, archived also in HeinOnline, and published in English. 


    See the Nordic Journal of Commercial Law website for styleguides, writing templates etc.


Highlights from Social Media
























































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Join Us

We welcome any legal scholar with an interest in crowdfunding to take part in our work or our closed online knowledge sharing sessions.

Join Us


We contribute to the development of crowdfunding through our dedicated research, education and cooperation with stakeholders. We do qualitative and quantitative research of the legal aspects of crowdfunding at both national, regional and international level and strive to share our knowledge widely and without costs so it may benefit the many.

Based in legal science we want to understand and inform stakeholders of the law and practice in crowdfunding so they can pursue opportunities, make informed regulatory decisions, increase trust in digital community finance, fight crime, and strike a fair balance between the many interests and interest-holders involved.


full description mission text

Highlights and Events


PAST activities at The CLEAR Project in reversed chronological order:

  • 9 May 2023. Webinar on equioty crowdfunding in Denmark. Hosted by CLEAR. Speakers: ph.d.-fellow Cecilie Højvang Christensen, attorney Layal Sarhan, professor Jesper Lau Hansen, associate professor and CLEAR chairman Thomas Neumann.
  • 9 May 2023 PhD evaluation.
  • 24 March 20223 Industry Talk: Maria Hybholt, Copenhagen University. Crowdfunding of research activities. Hosted by CLEAR.
  • 28 February 2023 Kick-off event, Green Societies at Aalborg Uni. Speaker from CLEAR Cecilie Højvang Christensen. 
  • December 2022 Publication of 'Regulation on European Crowdfunding Service Providers for Business' (Edward Elgar Publishing) with contribution by CLEAR researchers Cecilie Højvang Christensen and Thomas Neumann.
  • December 2022 International Conference on Crowdfunding by University of Agder with speeches by CLEAR researchers Priscilla Serwaah and Thomas Neumann.
  • 15 November 2022 Special Issue of Nordic Journal of Commercial Law published. Edited by CLEAR researcher Thomas Neumann.
  • 7 September 2022 Guest lecture under the auspices of Folkeuniversitetet in Grenaa by Thomas Neumann.
  • 24 November 2021 Conference at the Danish Parliament. Crowdfunding and rural development. Hosted by The Confederation of Danish Industry and The Association of Rural Districts (Landdistrikternes Fællesråd).
  • 20 October 2021 NJCL Special Issue, Online Introductory Workshop, hosted by CLEAR.
  • 14 October 2021 Q3 CLEAR Meeting.
  • 15 October 2021 Academic Talk: Kristian Nielsen, Copenhagen Business School, Entrepreneurs preference for crowdfunding. Hosted by CLEAR.
  • 4 October 2021 Industry Talk: Finanstilsynet / Danish Financial Supervisory Authority.
  • 21 September 2021 Industry Talk: Louise Bech Junge, CrowdNerds, Educating entrepreneurs in crowdfunding. Hosted by CLEAR.
  • 8 September 2021 Industry Talk: Michael Syrishave, ABN Law Firm, Legal challenges to start-ups in Denmark. Hosted by CLEAR.
  • 11 August 2021 Industry Talk: Sine Linderstrøm, Dansk Industri. Crowdfunding policy and potential in Denmark. Hosted by CLEAR.
  • 15 July 2021 Industry Talk: Jasmina Pless, Dansk Erhverv. Start-up and crowdfunding regulation and policy in Denmark. Hosted by CLEAR. 
  • 12 July 2021 Academic Talk: Elif Härkönen. Hosted by CLEAR.
  • 30 June 2021 PhD Pitch 'Crowdfunding Regulation' at Aalborg University Law Department seminar. Participation by CLEAR.  
  • 24 June 2021 Q2 CLEAR Meeting.
  • 14 June 2021 Master Thesis Defence, 'Interpretation, Application, and Implications of the EU ECSP regulation. Authored by Emil Vejby Thorndal, Jens Jakob Lindgreen Jørgensen, and Nicolai Mørk Jensen. Supervised by CLEAR.
  • 9 June 2021 Academic Talk: Krystallia Moysidou. Research in Crowdfunding and Health. Hosted by CLEAR.
  • 27 May 2021 IDA 'Sådan får du succes med crowdfunding'. IDA (Danish association of engineers). Participation by CLEAR.
  • 26 May 2021  Industry Talk: Industry Talk: Jacob Skou Lopez Gøtterup, Makari. Hosted by CLEAR.
  • 25 May 2021  CrowdTuesday: ECSPR - Opportunity or Threat? Particpation by CLEAR.
  • 12 May 2021  Academic Talk: Stefano Cattelan. The systematisation of research and state of the art. Hosted by CLEAR.
  • 5 May  Regulatorisk oppdatering - Norsk Crowdfunding Forening. Participation by CLEAR.
  • 29 April 2021  Industry Talk:  Michael Stausholm, Sprout. Hosted by CLEAR.
  • 27 April 2021  CrowdTuesday: Intellectual Property and Crowdfunding, EUIPO & European Crowdfunding Network. Participation by CLEAR.
  • 16 April 2021  Industry Talk: Michael Eis, chairman of the danish crowdfunding association. Hosted by CLEAR.
  • 13 April 2021  Announcement of The CLEAR Project to the public.