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International eyes on the Research Council

In order to obtain an international perspective on the Research Council of Norway and Norwegian research and innovation policy, raise important issues for debate and avoid unhealthy, premature and exaggerated consensus, the Research Council of Norway has appointed an International Advisory Board. The Board’s first meeting took place on 2 March.

‘Norway is a small country, and we do not always manage to keep up to date on international developments and knowledge and experience from other countries. Being a relatively small country also entails a risk of seeing everything from much the same perspective. That is why outside input is so important to us,’ says John-Arne Røttingen, Director General of the Research Council of Norway.

The International Advisory Board will have an independent role and advise the director general as well as the rest of the Research Council. In other words, it is not a decision-making body. Among other things, the International Advisory Board will be tasked with providing a wider range of perspectives on the organisation’s management and development, and it is intended to give the Research Council a clearer identity as an adviser both nationally and internationally.

The members of the International Advisory Board are (from left to right): Top: Georg von Krogh, Mariana Mazzucato, Erkki Ormala, Sylvia Schwaag Serger. Bottom: Jan-Eric Sundgren, Sir Mark Walport, Hanne Leth Andersen, and Andrew Wyckoff.

‘We will involve the Board in issues and cases that could potentially result in proposals for research and innovation policy changes. We trust that it will bring a great deal of knowledge and experience of other ways of investing in research and innovation, and of influencing and managing the research system, that will be relevant to our whole range of activities,’ says Røttingen.

The topics for the first meeting are the overall challenges faced by the Norwegian research and innovation system as described in the OECD’s report last year and how to create better cross-sectoral cooperation. These topics were also discussed at the Research Council’s knowledge base conference on 2 March. Other topics that the Board will be invited to discuss at subsequent meetings include international cooperation and research, development and innovation in business and industry.

‘We have succeeded in bringing together a group of people all of whom have extensive experience and prominent positions in European research and innovation policy. The group includes people in leading positions in academia, experienced scientists and heads of research and innovation organisations and other advisory organisations. Together, they have extensive knowledge of developments in their home countries, as well as at the European and global level. We strongly believe that they can provide important input on how Norwegian research and innovation policy can be improved and how the Research Council can contribute to this,’ says Røttingen.

The members of the International Advisory Board are:

  • Georg von Krogh (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH Zurich), Zurich, Switzerland),
  • Mariana Mazzucato (University College London, UK),
  • Erkki Ormala (Aalto University, Finland),
  • Sylvia Schwaag Serger, (Lund University, Sweden),
  • Andrew Wyckoff, (OECD),
  • Hanne Leth Andersen (Roskilde University, Denmark),
  • Sir Mark Walport (UKRI, UK), and
  • Jan-Eric Sundgren (Independent consultant, Sweden)

The Board has been appointed for a period of three years.

Written by:
Ingebjørg Aadland. Translation: Anneli Olsbø.
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