Skip to content
  • 1. About the programme
  • 2. Announcement
  • 3. Create application

Biotechnology for Innovation (BIOTEK2021)

Deadline Announcement
13:00 CEST
Up to NOK 80 million for Researcher Projects affiliated with the National Centre for Digital Life Choose


Biotechnology is one of the enabling technologies covered in the Norwegian Government’s Long-term plan for research and higher education 2015–2024 (LTP), and is vital to the development of the agricultural, marine, industrial and health sectors. Biotechnology extends across a wide range of applications, and many Research Council activities support projects that develop or use biotechnology expertise and methods.

Primary objective

The BIOTEK2021 programme will promote the use and development of biotechnology that contributes to innovation needed to solve societal challenges in a responsible manner.

Secondary objectives

The programme will:

  1. promote the development and use of innovative biotechnology expertise and methodologies at top international level;
  2. promote the development and use of biotechnology that leads to innovation and industrial development;
  3. promote the responsible development of technology that addresses major societal challenges;
  4. promote cooperation, task distribution and highly focused research activity nationally and internationally.

Biotechnology as an area of expertise shares an interface with a number of subject areas such as biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and engineering. To make practical use of biotechnology, expertise in the social sciences, the humanities and law is also needed. The development of biotechnology therefore requires a high level of interdisciplinarity.

The developing convergence across the life sciences, mathematics and engineering has laid the foundation for cutting-edge technologies such as systems and synthetic biology. The vast amounts of data generated by modern life science activities hold major innovation potential, but realising this potential will require enhanced expertise in biostatistics and mathematical sciences. There is great interest internationally in new technologies being developed in areas in the interface between existing technology areas. The optimal use of a given technology often requires the application of other technologies as well. The interfaces between technologies are expanding and there are significant opportunities for synergies across established technology areas. 

The BIOTEK2021 programme will therefore follow developments within these areas of interface and cooperate with the other programmes encompassing enabling technologies. Regardless of sector, activities under the BIOTEK2021 programme will be focused on thematic areas and associated research questions on which the development and use of biotechnology expertise and methodology will have a critical impact.

This programme/activity normally accepts grant applications from:

Trade and industry, independent research institutes, and universities and university colleges in Norway.



Overall budget:

The budget for 2014 is approximately NOK 150 million. The estimated budget for the entire programme period is approximately NOK 1 500 million.