Public Release: 

The Norwegian Fund for Research and Innovation to be increased to 8,2 billion USD

The Research Council of Norway

The Government proposes that public funding of research be increased to one per cent of GDP.

This means that appropriations over the national budget, including the yield from the Fund for Research and Innovation, will grow in real terms by NOK 5.8 billion (950 million USD) until 2010. The Government will propose that an extra NOK 14 billion (2,3 billion USD) in capital be injected into the Fund for Research and Innovation in 2006, raising the total capital of the fund to NOK 50 billion (8,2 billion USD)

The White Paper outlines three general areas of priority in Norwegian research up until 2010:

  • Internationalization. National research efforts shall be evaluated in the light of international developments. Research co-operation with the EU will continue to be of key importance, and bilateral co-operation with North America and Asia is to be strengthened. National advantages such as the infrastructure in Svalbard (Spitsbergen), excellent petroleum research environments and databases and health registers will be utilised as a platform for international co-operation. The objective is that this will also attract more foreign researchers to Norway. In addition, increased emphasis will be attached to research in development policy.

  • Basic research is to be strengthened through the use of increased resources, strengthened professional management and funding mechanisms that foster quality. Research in mathematics, natural sciences and technology will be given special priority.

  • Measures designed to boost innovation, both in the public and private sector. If industry is to achieve its part of an ambitious stepping-up of research investments, public funding of research must be such that it triggers increased efforts on the part of industry. Research and renewal of the public sector will be strengthened by, among other things, increased levels of research in a changing Europe, welfare, law and democracy and migration and integration.

In addition to these general areas of priority, the Government will focus especially on: energy and the environment, health, oceans and food, and on three areas of technology - materials and nanotechnology, biotechnology and information and communication technology. These areas of priority largely represent continuation of current priorities in Norwegian research.

The Government also wishes to pave the way for increased private funding of basic research. This proposal means that gifts earmarked for basic research from either companies or private individuals will trigger the granting of an additional 25 per cent in public funding.

Increased R&D investments in industry

The White Paper announces a number of measures designed to increase research investments in Norwegian industry. New schemes include:

  • The establishment of a scheme of Centres for Research-driven Innovation, in which research environments and industry co-operate on fostering long-term research that is of vital importance for Norwegian industry.

  • The creation of a scheme whereby industrial scientists work towards doctorates.

  • Entrepreneurial grants for researchers wishing to commercialise their ideas

  • Increased funding of user-controlled research and R&D contracts

Attractive careers for researchers Measures designed to make research positions at universities and university colleges more attractive:

  • The creation of new temporary posts, with a duration of 4-6 years, in which candidates will be considered for fixed tenure as professors at the end of their period of research.

  • Additional Ph.D. scholarships and post-doctorate positions are to be created.

In order to secure quality and long-term skills-development in those institutes that are most exposed to competition, the White Paper announces increased basic grants to technical-industrial institutes and environmental research institutes.

The Research Council of Norway will be assigned extended responsibility for institute policy, and will, among other things, draw up proposals for new guidelines for central government funding of research institutes, including a new and more results-based funding system.


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