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Record-high funding for the business sector

NOK 1.1 billion for innovation projects

The Research Council of Norway is announcing a record-high amount of funding for Innovation Projects for the Industrial Sector.

“It is the Government’s objective for Norway to become one of Europe’s most innovative countries. With this in mind we have sought to strengthen various schemes that promote increased research and innovation. This creates a framework for robust companies as well as new jobs,” says Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry Monica Mæland.

“Support for research and innovation allows companies to think in a long-term perspective. The Research Council’s record-high announcement of NOK 1.12 billion in funding is an important step towards boosting the competitiveness of Norwegian companies through innovative products and services,” Minister Mæland adds.   

Minister of Trade and Industry, Monica Mæland urges companies to apply for funding to support innovation-based activity.

Research across the full spectrum of Norwegian trade and industry

Any type of company may seek support for projects via the announced funding.

“Established companies and start-ups from all branches and sectors of industry will be able to find an opportunity suited to their needs within the announced funding,” says John-Arne Røttingen, Chief Executive of the Research Council of Norway.

The Research Council has taken steps to simplify the application process in recent years and has expanded its advisory services to applicant companies. By submitting a project outline under the call for Outlines for Innovation Project for the Industrial Sector companies can obtain non-binding advice prior to preparing and submitting their final application. The Research Council also provides advice to companies regarding which calls for proposals under Research Council programmes, or other funding schemes, may be relevant for their project.

This winter and spring, the Research Council have been hosting project workshops (information in Norwegian) in many locations throughout the country. Seven such workshops are scheduled to be held in the period from June to September.

Companies can use these services to obtain advice and concrete guidance on how to structure and further develop their innovation projects. “In particular, new applicants who have not previously submitted a grant application to the Research Council and applicants who are looking to expand into new areas will benefit greatly from submitting a project outline and attending a workshop,” Dr Røttingen adds.

The application deadline for submitting a proposal for an Innovation Project for the Industrial Sector is 11 October 2017.

Looking for new companies

The Research Council is hoping to receive a wide variety of creative project proposals among the applications received by the October application deadline.

“We encourage all knowledge-intensive companies to think along new lines and to expand their cooperation with research institutions both in Norway and abroad. If we are to succeed in our current national restructuring process, a greater number of companies will need to think innovatively and we must make greater use of the expertise and wealth of ideas found in our business sector today,” Dr Røttingen says.  

Companies in all branches of industry will be able to find an opportunity suited to their needs within the announced funding, states John-Arne Røttingen. (Photo: Sindre Mekjan/Forskningsrådet)

The Research Council’s own analyses show that research activity and the pace of innovation in Norwegian business is at an all-time high. The SkatteFUNN R&D Tax Incentive Scheme has experienced major growth, and in 2016 the Research Council granted NOK 4.3 billion in funding to R&D projects in and for Norwegian trade and industry. 

“We see that Norwegian companies are gearing up for the future and want to use research and development as tools for growth and competitiveness. This is a good sign,” says John-Arne Røttingen.

Minister of Trade and Industry Monica Mæland urges companies from all branches of industry to take advantage of what the Research Council’s support for innovation projects offers in the way of risk reduction.

“Norwegian trade and industry is extremely competent and we have cutting-edge research institutions that make excellent partners for our companies. I encourage any company with a research idea to submit an application. It could be the pivotal strategic element that enables a business to position itself for the future,” Ms Mæland concludes.

Important dates

  • Project workshops relating to the October calls for proposals are organised in different locations around the country until 24 August.
  • Final deadline for submitting a project outline: 30 August, 13.00 CET.
  • Final deadline for submitting a complete grant application: 11 October, 13.00 CET.
  • Companies are also able to apply for support under the SkatteFUNN R&D Tax Incentive Scheme. Remember to apply on or before 1 September to guarantee that your application will be processed within the current year.

The Research Council will be announcing funding for Innovation Projects for the Industrial Sector for the 11 October 2017 deadline under the following programmes: Programme on User-driven Research-based Innovation (BIA), Large-Scale Programme for Energy Research (ENERGIX), Innovation Programme for Maritime Activities and Offshore Operations (MAROFF), Large-scale Programme for Petroleum Research (PETROMAKS2), Norwegian RD&D CCS Programme (CLIMIT), Large-scale Programme on Aquaculture – An Industry in Growth (HAVBRUK), Research Programme on Sustainable Innovation in Food and Bio-based Industries (BIONAER), Research Programme on Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials (NANO2021).

More about the individual programmes

Companies in virtually all branches of industry and areas of research are eligible to apply for funding under the Programme on User-driven Research-based Innovation (BIA).

Programmes of relevance for projects in the areas of energy, maritime industries, petroleum or CCS (carbon capture and storage):

Programmes of relevance for projects in the areas of aquaculture, fisheries or agriculture:

Programmes of relevance for projects in the areas of nanotechnology and microtechnology:

The Research Council will help to ensure that project outlines and applications are directed to the most relevant programme.

Written by:
Andreas Kjensli Knutsen. Translation: Glenn Wells/Carol B. Eckmann.
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