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Up to NOK 1 million in funding for students with a knowledge-based business idea

Master’s students and recent Master’s degree graduates are eligible to seek funding in cooperation with a university or university college.

Other support Choose


The application submission deadline for this call for proposals is 29 March 2017, 16:00 CET. The application review process will begin on 30 March for grant applications received within the expiry of this deadline. There will be no additional submission deadline in 2017. Applications may only be submitted by the project administrator at the university or university college affiliated with the project.

Please note that draft versions of the grant application and relevant attachments may be saved on “My RCN web”. Applicants are encouraged to start preparing their applications well in advance of the submission deadline.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to save and submit their application as soon as it is completed, preferably several days before the expiry of the submission deadline. This will give applicants time to deal with problems, for example, if an attachment is missing. In such cases, applicants can contact the STUD-ENT scheme and have their application withdrawn. Once it has been withdrawn, applicants may re-submit the grant application with the necessary corrections. To be able to make corrections in this manner, applicants must contact the Research Council several days prior to the expiry of the deadline.

Applicants that advance to phase 2 of the application review process will be invited to present their project to the referee panel on 2, 3 or 4 May 2017.



Amount of funding presumed available for this call for proposals:

NOK 27 million is expected to be available (25 mill. from the FORNY2020 programme and 2 mill. from the IKTPLUSS initiative) for projects with start-up in mid-2017. This funding will be distributed over a project period of up to one year. STUD-ENT funding may be used to cover 100 per cent of the project costs.

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


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

Please read the text of this call for proposals carefully. The text is comprised of two parts: the information under “Announcement” on this page, and the information under “Create application” (click on “Other support” above). Links to necessary attachments and templates may be found at right.

Applicants are encouraged to read the entire call for proposals carefully before reading the attachments.

Target group and requirements

The STUD-ENT funding scheme is targeted towards students/Master’s candidates who:

  • have a knowledge- or research based idea with commercial potential;
  • have entrepreneurial skills and/or education in entrepreneurship;
  • seek scientific and commercial assistance to realise their idea.

To be eligible to seek support under the scheme, the students/Master’s candidates must be in charge of the effort to realise the business idea. Students must be candidates at Bachelor’s or Master’s degree level, or be recent Master’s degree graduates who received their diploma at the latest 12 months prior to submission of the grant application.

The students/Master’s candidates (referred to hereafter collectively as “the students”) must also establish a project team led by a project manager who has:

  1. planned to submit his/her final Master’s exams by at the latest six months after submission of the grant application; or
  2. received his/her Master’s diploma at the latest 12 months prior to submission of the grant application.

The project manager is to be the driving force behind the project.

Prior to submitting a grant application to the STUD-ENT scheme, applicants are encouraged to apply for premarket evaluation support from Innovation Norway and attend Innovation Norway’s seminar “From idea to market”. The customer and market insight generated by a premarket evaluation project can provide a good basis for an application for a STUD-ENT project. However, applicants are not required to have received premarket evaluation support or attended the seminar to be eligible to apply for STUD-ENT funding. Please note that projects that have been awarded STUD-ENT funding cannot apply for premarket evaluation support or commercialisation support from Innovation Norway (this applies to these two support schemes only).

Requirements for the project and the company

The students must obtain formal support for the project from a research environment at a Norwegian university or university college. Students must describe in the grant application how the research environment and university/university college will help to lay the foundation for ensuring that the project can achieve its targets.

The students must have the following assistance:

  • a project administrator who is authorised to approve the project at the departmental level at the university/university college;
  • an academic mentor at the university/university college who is affiliated with the research environment where the project is based;
  • a commercial mentor who can contribute relevant experience in commercialisation activities (may be from the business sector).

Students must indicate who has the rights to the project and the ownership of the idea, concept, technology or research on which the project is based. In addition, they must describe plans for how these rights will be clarified, or describe how these have already been clarified. To be eligible for STUD-ENT funding, students must have secured the necessary rights for implementing the project.

If a project is awarded STUD-ENT funding, the students must establish a limited company. Companies that have already been established must not be more than two years old. Students are not required to have established a limited company at the time of submission of the grant application.

The share distribution/planned share distribution for the company must clearly show that the students are in charge of realising the business idea. In addition:

  • the established/planned company must be wholly or partially owned (minimum 80 per cent) by the students;
  • the project manager must have a key role in the company;
  • funding from the Research Council will be disbursed to this company.

A STUD-ENT project can only be started up once the project manager has completed his or her Master’s degree. The earliest permitted project start is 1 April 2017 and the latest permitted project start is 1 October 2017.

Requirements for applicants

The Project Owner on the grant application must be a Norwegian university or university college. The application is to be submitted on behalf of the students by a project administrator employed at the university or university college. The institution/project administrator may submit multiple applications on behalf of multiple students/groups of students. The project manager is not required to study or have completed a Master’s degree at the university or university college submitting the application on behalf of the students.

If the project is awarded STUD-ENT funding, the university or university college agrees to:

  • participate in the project by providing an academic mentor;
  • come to an agreement regarding giving the project access to necessary infrastructure and equipment and relevant scientific expertise, as well as provide work space for the project manager and project team, when needed;
  • submit a brief final report to the Research Council on the institution’s own contribution to the project.

Purpose and activities eligible for support

STUD-ENT funding is to be used to help to clarify questions relating to commercial, business-related, conceptual and technological aspects of the project. Funding may be used to cover e.g. supervisory, mentoring and advisory services; infrastructure; material, equipment and payroll costs; and technical and administrative assistance. Please note that funding may not be used to finance the establishment of the limited company.

Activities during the course of the project period may include:

  • confirming and verifying that the business idea can be implemented;
  • further defining the customer groups for the product or service and determining how the company will approach these customers;
  • planning how to realise the innovation beyond the project period, such as by identifying the technical challenges that must be solved, determining how to obtain necessary capital, determining how to set up production when this is relevant, etc.


Assuming that all factors relating to scientific merit and relevance are essentially equal, priority will be given to projects led by women project managers.

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