What does the Research Council do?

The Research Council’s task is to make the best research and innovation possible. Our aim is to promote a society where research is created, used and shared, and thus contributes to restructuring and enhanced sustainability

Empowering ideas for a better world

We invest NOK 10 billion in research and innovation annually on behalf of the Norwegian government. It is our task to ensure that this funding goes to the best research and innovation projects.

Over 2 000 international peer reviewers assess and rank the grant proposals submitted to us. Funding decisions are taken by our portfolio boards, which are comprised of nearly 200 independent board members from across all sectors.

We are at the forefront in developing research of the highest quality and relevance.

We are the key advisory body to the authorities on research policy issues and carry out tasks commissioned by 15 ministries. Our activities play an important role in the Government’s long-term plan for research and higher education.

  • Trade and industry: Research is an important tool for Norwegian trade and industry. We have a variety of funding schemes for research-based innovation and knowledge-building.
  • Public sector: We promote renewal and innovation in the public sector through a number of schemes.
  • Research organisations: Research organisations may apply for funding within all relevant thematic areas and subject fields.
  • International cooperation: We work to encourage increased international cooperation with and participation in EU research and innovation programmes. Ninety per cent of Norwegian grant applications for EU research funding have received support and guidance from the Research Council.
  • Science communication: We reach out to the public through National Science Week, a science festival during which researchers interact with people across all of Norway, from Hammerfest in the north to Mandal in the south. Through the “Grand Prix” stage contest, we have enabled more than 500 researchers to communicate their activities successfully. The Research Council also promotes scientific thinking among the general public. Each year, thousands of Norwegian pupils participate in the contests known as the Norwegian Contest for Young Scientists and the Nysgjerrigper Science Knowledge Project.

The Research Council has 450 employees working to address societal challenges and create jobs for the future.