Norwegian research community on the offensive:
Seeking international research cooperation
Norwegian researchers and research institutions are intensifying efforts to cement Norway’s reputation as an attractive partner for international research cooperation. This implies new prospects for their international partners as well.
“The next few years will bring a wealth of opportunity. We encourage Norwegian institutions and individual researchers to familiarise themselves with the new funding opportunities in the offing and to step up network-building with their international partners,” says Jesper Simonsen, Executive Director of the Division for Society and Health at the Research Council.
Bilateral agreements and Joint Programming Initiatives
Norway has signed bilateral agreements on research cooperation with a number of countries. Currently the focus is on the research component of the bilateral agreements with Poland, the Czech Republic, Estonia and Latvia under the EEA and Norway Grants scheme. Mr Simonsen also points out that Norway’s close collaboration with countries such as China, India and Japan offers excellent opportunities for all parties.
In the years ahead, the Research Council will channel a portion of its research funding via joint calls for proposals under Joint Programming Initiatives (JPI), a funding instrument under the EU Framework Programme. “Of the ten JPIs launched thus far,” says Mr Simonsen, “Norway is participating in nine.”
Most funding schemes require partnership with relevant research groups in partner countries encompassed by the scheme. “Norwegian players are on the offensive, getting the lay of the land and forging strong alliances,” Mr Simonsen says.
Focus on development research
The Research Council administers the research programme Norway – A Global Partner (NORGLOBAL), which brings together research in a wide array of areas under the umbrella of development research and research cooperation with countries in the South. The programme will issue a series of funding announcements this autumn.
The NORGLOBAL programme encompasses the following activities, initiatives and sub-programmes: Poverty and Peace Research (POVPEACE); the CGIAR Fellowship Programme; research on women and gender in the context of development; globalisation of environment, energy and climate research (GLOBMEK); Research on Economic Growth, Poverty Reduction, Reproductive Health and Population Dynamics (ECONPOP); Western Balkan Countries Development Studies Programme; and research on tax havens, capital flows and development (TaxCapDev). The most recent addition is the sub-programme on research on humanitarian policy (HUMPOL).
Projects are required to have a Norwegian research institution as their designated Project Owner.
From tax havens to women and gender research
Programme coordinator of the NORGLOBAL programme Inger-Ann Ulstein urges Norwegian research groups to establish solid international partnerships and prepare for the stream of funding announcements this autumn. “A call for proposals for research funding in the areas of humanitarian policy and tax havens will be issued shortly,” she says.
Ms Ulstein adds: “The NORGLOBAL programme will also be cooperating with the Research Council’s Norwegian Programme for Research Cooperation with India (INDNOR) this autumn on a joint call for funding for environmental, energy and climate research and women and gender research.”
“The NORGLOBAL programme employs a wide range of funding instruments, so the programme administration must handle the challenging task of guiding Norwegian institutions through the maze of funding schemes available for research on and collaboration with countries in the South.”
“We are also available to assist international players seeking to learn more about Norwegian research activities in these areas,” she says, and suggests they consult the NORGLOBAL webpages to begin with.
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