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Up to NOK 90 million is available for Researcher Projects (with industry participation) for agriculture and the food industry

The scheme for Research Funding for Agriculture and the Food Industry (the Board of the Foundation for Research Levy on Agricultural Products (FFL) and the Board of the Agricultural Agreement Research Fund of Norway (JA)) is announcing funding for Researcher Projects (with industry participation) to meet challenges in the agricultural and food sector.

Researcher project Choose
12.09.2018 13:00 CEST


The Norwegian-language call for proposals is the legally binding version.

Electronic grant applications may be created once the call has become active (i.e. as of 1 August 2018). Applicants are encouraged to create applications well in advance of the submission deadline. It is possible to revise and resubmit the complete grant application form multiple times up to the application submission deadline. It is the most recently submitted version of the grant application that will be sent on for processing. The Research Council does not have access to the grant application until the submission deadline has expired.



Amount of funding presumed available for this call for proposals:

Up to NOK 90 million is available overall.

Guidelines and important considerations relevant to all types of applications in this call for proposals:

Research projects must promote increased competitiveness and profitable, sustainable value chains in agriculture and the food industry.

Research projects must involve one or more of the following thematic areas:

  • Increased sustainable food production based on Norwegian resources – throughout the country 
    Focus must be placed on better and more cost-effective utilisation of forage in pasture and rangeland areas; sustainable agronomy, including knowledge about different production methods, soils, fertilisation, crop production methods and ecological farming. Research should lead to greater understanding of the impacts of agricultural practices on ecosystems.
  • Increased utilisation of biomass
    It is a stated objective to fully utilise renewable biomass in Norway. Research projects must help to compile data on, process and utilise biomass and residual raw materials from agricultural, forestry and marine resources which can be used e.g. as alternative protein sources for fodder concentrate, fertilisers and energy production in agriculture. More knowledge is needed about the opportunities, and challenges, involved in integrating value chains and utilising all resources in a circular economy.
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions and production that is adapted to new climatic conditions
    Research projects are to strengthen knowledge about agricultural processes and measures that help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the carbon balance. Research should focus on conditions in Norway. Life cycle analyses and research on the climate footprint of various value chains are encouraged. More knowledge is needed about production adapted to new climatic conditions and developing Norwegian adaptation strategies for food production in the wetter climate to come.
  • New technology
    There is a need to develop technology that can automate resource-intensive work duties in food production and increase production while minimising pressure on the environment. An effort must be made to design efficient and environment-friendly automated production lines from raw materials to consumption. More research and development within biotechnology, sensor technology and digitalisation, including the collection, analysis and utilisation of large amounts of data (Big Data), is also called for.
  • Food safety and health
    There is growing awareness of food safety, food-waste reduction, diet-related health issues and consumer behaviour, and there is a need for more knowledge in these areas. Furthermore, there is a need for research that enhances plant health and animal welfare and yields a deeper understanding of the links between public health, animal health and ecosystems.
  • The socio-economic significance of agriculture and the food industry
    Research on the impact of Norway’s agriculture and food industry on economic and societal conditions is encouraged.

Political guidelines for the use of research funding

The overall political guidelines for activities are set out in the white paper on agricultural and food policy (in Norwegian only: Endring og utvikling – En fremtidsrettet jordbruksproduksjon (Meld. St. 11 (2016–2017)) PDF - 8,7 MB and the recommendation PDF - 988 KB (in Norwegian only) concerning the white paper.

The Board of the Agricultural Agreement Research Fund of Norway allocates funding for research activities in keeping with the annual Agricultural Agreement. Under this year’s funding round, the general guidelines of the Agriculatural Agreement for 2017–2018 apply, cf. Proposition to the Storting 141 S (2016-2017):

Funding for research and development through the Agricultural Agreement Research Fund is intended to promote the development of new knowledge and technology for the agricultural and food sector. Research that is of high quality and of commercial relevance for sector-based industry will help to increase food production, enhance food safety, and expand sustainability and competitiveness within the sector. The call for proposals issued by the Board of the Agricultural Agreement Research Fund of Norway and the subsequent allocation of funding must give consideration to the need for knowledge relating to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from food production and agriculture and wider sequestration of carbon in soil and forests. Furthermore, the priorities of the Board are to facilitate realisation of the opportunities in the sector as discussed in the  Government's Bioeconomy Strategy PDF - 3,6 MB (in Norwegian only).

Requirements relating to industry participation and financing

The benefits of the proposed research for the agricultural and food industries must be clearly described. Active user participation from the industry is required in order to ensure the relevance of the project to industry and society. Reference groups may be used, but are not sufficient on their own. The boards of the Research Funding for Agriculture and the Food Industry recommend that industrial actors are involved in the application process and project design from an early stage. Funding from the industry must already be clarified before an application is submitted. Projects addressing issues involving both the blue and green sectors are required to incorporate significant involvement of industrial actors in the agricultural value chain.

Under this call for proposals, at least 20 per cent of the project costs must be funded by industry actors in the form of cash or in-kind funding.

The requirement for monetary contributions from industry may be modified under special circumstances. This applies to projects that address important collective knowledge needs for the industry as a whole, where it is not possible to expect a larger monetary contribution from individual actors. Projects must still be firmly based on the needs and involvement of the users.

Communication and dissemination of research results

The boards of the Research Funding for Agriculture and the Food Industry emphasise that the project results must be highly beneficial for the food and agricultural industry. Applicants must explain in their project outlines how they will achieve this. Importance will be attached to a well-designed plan for disseminating project results.

Mandatory project outlines: submission deadline 2 May 2018

Applicants must have submitted a mandatory project outline by the 2 May 2018, 13.00 CEST deadline, and must have received approval for their outline by the boards of the Research Funding for Agriculture and the Food Industry to be qualified to submit a complete application for the 12 September 2018 deadline.

Mandatory project outlines for Researcher Projects (with industry participation) for Agriculture and the Food Industry.

Applications that are not based on an outline submitted by the stipulated deadline, or that do not comply with the guidelines and requirements set out in this call, will be rejected on administrative grounds.

Conditions for funding

Support from the Research Council to a research organisation is to be reserved for the organisation’s non-economic activity, and as such therefore does not constitute state aid. The Research Council requires a clear separation of accounts for the organisation’s economic and non-economic activities.

Companies defined as an “undertaking” in the state aid rules will not be eligible to receive support to cover projects costs.

Overseas research grants for fellowship-holders and extension of post-doctoral fellowships in connection with research stays abroad

Applicants should include overseas research grants for doctoral and post-doctoral fellowship-holders in the grant application. If the project is awarded funding, the Project Owner may also apply during the project period for overseas research grants and extension of post-doctoral fellowship periods corresponding to the length of the research stay abroad. See here for more information about the UTENLANDSSTIPEND scheme.

Archiving of research data

The Project Owner (institution/company) is responsible for selecting the archiving solution(s) to use for storing research data generated during the project. The Project Owner must specify the planned solution(s) in connection with the revised grant proposal.