Norway participates actively in efforts to establish Europe as a world-leading region for research and innovation - European Research Area/ERA.
One of Norway's objectives is to generate new insights that will promote innovation and the development of a globally competitive, knowledge-based industrial sector in our high-cost country.
Activities are focused on mobilising the potential synergies of increased coordination of and coherence between national and international research activities, and attracting top-notch researchers and funding from abroad by promoting greater scientific merit, implementing measures to facilitate researcher mobility and gradually opening up national research programmes to participation from abroad.
European research cooperation
The Research Council gives priority to strengthening Norwegian participation in fora in which international research policy is being formulated, with special emphasis on research policy efforts in key European institutions. The Research Council contributes to deliberations and recommendations relating to policy and the substance of EU initiatives through its representation in relevant committees and meetings and other submitted written input.
The EU's Framework Programmes
Norway participates in the EU's Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development as a full member, as set out in the EEA Agreement. Norway takes part in the Seventh Framework Programme on an equal footing with the participants from the 27 member states, the three candidate countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Israel. A total of 34 countries collaborate on and fund the Framework Programme's budget of EUR 50,5 billion.
As the institution charged with national responsibility for this aspect of EU cooperation (cf. Report No. 48 [2006-2007] to the Storting), the Research Council has initiated a number of measures to encourage researchers to seek more funding from the EU's Framework Programmes and to enhance their qualifications (see below).
- Sam-EU, the automatic co-financing support provided to institutes that are granted EU project support, helps to cover the added costs an institution incurs from participation in EU projects. This measure is intended as an incentive to encourage more Norwegian researchers to apply for EU funding.
- The project establishment support schemes (PES) are intended to provide researchers with an incentive to apply for support from EUREKA and for the EU research activities that are available to the EEA countries. The scheme has now been expanded to apply to Norwegian players who wish to mobilise their efforts and position themselves for participation in the Seventh Framework Programme.
- ERA-Net seeks to mobilise potential synergies from increased coordination of and coherence between national and international research activities by enhancing coordination of national initiatives and opening up transnational research programmes to applicants from other countries. The ERA-Net model offers various levels of collaboration, ranging from information exchange via coordinated programme cooperation to joint initiatives in which national contributions are allocated to a common pot. The success has been substantial - 76 per cent of the applications involving Norwegian participation have been granted, which exceeds the EU average of 42 per cent. The Research Council is currently involved in 32 of 106 ERA-NETs, four of which encompass more than one Norwegian participant.
- Researcher mobility: Norway is working to create a framework for improved researcher mobility. Measures include electronically accessible information and international announcement of researcher positions via the EURAXESS Norway mobility portal
See also our EU research pages
Participation in other initiatives
The Research Council participates actively in the efforts of key European institutions such as the EU Scientific and Technical Research Committee (CREST), EUREKA, the European Science Foundation and the European Union's Heads of Research Councils (EUROHORC), as well as inter-ministerial efforts to facilitate Norwegian participation in research projects funded by the recipient countries' Norwegian EEA contribution.
Norway's active participation in EUREKA, the Europe-wide network for market-oriented industrial R&D, is a step in strengthening the international competitiveness of Norwegian companies. Norway is also involved in EUROCORES, a collaborative research initiative under the European Science Foundation.
Further efforts are aimed at promoting increased Norwegian participation in international fellowship schemes and specialised, high-quality, pan-European initiatives such as the European Molecular Biology Laboratories (EMBL), The European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) and the OECD's Halden Reactor Project, as well as greater use of large-scale common infrastructure through the European Strategy Forum on Research Infratructures (ESFRI).
The Research Council provides partial coverage for fees associated with Norwegian participation in European research institutions, and has set aside special funding for follow-up of such research.
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