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Up to NOK 40 million for projects on Responsible Research and Innovation and Corporate Social Responsibility

The Research Council of Norway plans to establish a learning and development network for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), designed as a virtual centre with geographically distributed nodes and affiliated projects. This call for proposals pertains to affiliated projects.

Other support Choose
13.02.2019 13:00 CET


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



Amount of funding presumed available for this call for proposals:

Up to NOK 40 million is available for the entire duration of the project period.

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

Background for the initiative

Through the SAMANSVAR programme, the Research Council is announcing up to NOK 70 million for a learning and development network for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), designed as a virtual centre for RRI activities with geographically distributed nodes and affiliated projects. The nodes will consist of research institutions that carry out projects under the initiative. These projects must encompass CSR activities in consortia comprising research groups, companies and other users, such as non-governmental organisations and public sector entities. This hub/node model is employed in the National Centre for Digital Life under the BIOTEK2021 programme’s strategic initiative Digital Life – Convergence for Innovation. This initiative under the SAMANSVAR programme, will comprise a learning and development centre for RRI and CSR activities. The research centre is to generate new knowledge about RRI and CSR. Network-building, learning and dissemination will be carried out through nodes and affiliated projects in collaboration with the hub.

Who is eligible to apply?

The call is open to applications from both research institutions and companies.

Thematic focus of the initiative

A more detailed description is available in the document Thematic focus of the initiative PDF - 128 KB .

Societal responsibility is of great importance in the restructuring processes facing the Norwegian economy and business sector. This initiative stresses how CSR and RRI may be used to integrate societal responsibility into companies’ core activities. Pilot projects are to be developed for learning across sectors and disciplines to engage societal challenges. Integrating different fields such as technology, social sciences and humanities will be a key focus. This will require approaches that will challenge the competence, skills and capacities of the private sector, research institutions, policy developers, the Research Council and researchers themselves, enhance the quality of strategic choices made. Emphasis will be placed on developing diagnoses and prospects in order to understand challenges and the scope of opportunities in the longer term, such as through opening up prerequisites for research and innovation activities in the form of assumptions and frameworks of understanding, uncertainty, complexity and dilemmas. The future-oriented approach is intended to provide directionality in research and innovation processes.

The following secondary objectives are key aspects of the initiative:

  • strengthen private-sector competence and capacity for engaging the grand societal challenges;
  • develop and strengthen researcher training and recruitment of young researchers, e.g. via existing researcher schools;
  • promote transdisciplinary research;
  • develop new forms of interaction where the authorities, public agencies in the research and innovation system, companies and civil society come together as partners to engage societal challenges.

Communication of research results, knowledge-sharing and networking will be important activities under the initiative.


Partners may be research institutions, companies, non-governmental organisations or public sector entities.

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.

According to the state aid rules, support to an undertaking constitutes state aid. An “undertaking” in this context is defined as any actor that carries out an economic activity consisting of offering products or services on a given market. When an undertaking receives support to cover a portion of its project costs, either in the role as Project Owner or as a partner in the project, this support must be awarded in accordance with Article 25 of the General Block Exemption Regulation for state aid (Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014).

What can the funding cover?

When the applicant (Project Owner) is a company, funding may be sought to cover up to 50 per cent of approved project costs. The remaining costs must be covered with own financing. Relevant project costs encompass payroll costs, procurement of external R&D services and equipment, and direct project expenses. Own financing may consist of cash financing or internally financed hours. International and public-sector actors may be participants in the project, but their activities and costs may not be included as part of the total for own financing.

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

Applicants may 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.

Priority will be given to projects that:

  • are led by women project managers, assuming all factors in competing grant applications are assessed as being equal.

Archiving of research data

The Project Owner (company/R&D organisation) 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.