Support for commercialisation of research results

Research organisations produce a wide range of ideas and research findings, some of which have the potential to be developed into cost-competitive products of benefit to society. The Research Council has schemes designed to support this type of commercialisation activity, and we encourage more researchers and project managers to give consideration to these opportunities.

Have you been a part of publicly funded research activity with results that could individually or combined be become a new product, service or production process? Or did your Master’s thesis produce commercialisable results or new knowledge? If so, then you can apply to the Research Council for support for commercialisation.

The Research Council provides funding for development activities in the early, critical phase before investors have expressed interest or willingness to invest capital in the results to be commercialised.

Two schemes with separate annual application deadlines are available:

  • One scheme targets research results from universities, university colleges, health trusts and research institutes. See the Programme for Commercialising R&D Results.
  • The other scheme, Student entrepreneurship (STUD-ENT), is targeted towards students right before, or soon after, they have completed their Master’s thesis.

Commercialising R&D Results

This is relevant for researchers at research organisations with promising results from one or more publicly funded projects.

You have research findings with commercial potential, i.e. the potential to become a product, service or new production process.

You are at a stage where the results have not been adequately developed yet, i.e. it is still too far to the market to generate income, or to attract investors’ interest or willingness to invest.

How to proceed:

  1. Contact the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) affiliated with your organisation to find out whether your research results have commercialisation potential. TTOs can be found at all universities, and a wide variety of enterprises and research organisations.
  2. TTOs can help you with evaluating research results, seeking patenting rights and preparing applications for commercialisation support.
  3. Apply to the Research Council for commercialisation support. The application deadline is in September of each year. The call for proposals outlines what to include in the grant application.

Tips: You should not publish your results before speaking with a TTO. Results with market potential cannot be commercialised once they have been published, but may be published after they have been patented/protected.

Researchers may apply on their own, but we recommend contacting a TTO for guidance before submitting an application.

The call for proposals will be issued before the summer and has a September application deadline.

Please contact the Research Council if you have questions about the call or other enquiries relating to commercialisation support.

Support for student entrepreneurship

The STUD-ENT funding scheme is the Research Council’s national competitive arena in which students, together with higher education institutions, may seek financial support for realising their knowledge- and/or research-based business ideas.

Projects receive written feedback from the referees. Thus, the STUD-ENT scheme also serves as a practical learning arena, both for students seeking to become entrepreneurs and for institutions of higher education working to provide a high-quality educational programme in entrepreneurship.

The scheme is designed to promote a culture for entrepreneurship and commercialisation among students, researchers and the administrators at Norwegian universities, university colleges and research institutions.

Applicants and project proposals

  • STUD-ENT funding is announced once a year (August) with a February application deadline and project start-up on 1 June.
  • The project period is one year.
  • The project groups consist of students and recent Master’s degree graduates.
  • The project manager is a student or has recently completed a master’s degree.
  • The business idea must be related to knowledge the students have obtained through their studies.
  • The project:
    • seeks to realise a knowledge-based business idea;

    • must have the formal support of a Norwegian university or university college;

    • may address any subject field or branch of industry.

  • Project activities must help to reduce the level of risk associated with the project or provide the answers to questions that a customer, industry partner, investor or other public/private funding source needs to resolve before deciding to invest in further development or procurement.
  • Project proposals must demonstrate that the business idea has been adequately developed and that preliminary market surveys indicate support for the business idea.
  • STUD-ENT funding is to be used to clarify uncertainties related to the commercial utilisation of research, i.e. questions that will prevent the project from moving forward in the commercialisation process if they remain unanswered. This includes:
    • business development;
    • premarket evaluations;
    • prototype development;
    • technical proof-of-concept activities;
    • technical equipment;
    • advisory services and technical assistance;
    • payroll costs.

Up to NOK 1 million may be sought in funding for a STUD-ENT project. A total of 10–20 project proposals are normally awarded funding each year.

How to proceed if this is relevant for you:

  1. Contact your institution to determine whether it will give formal support to your application.
  2. If your institution has a commercial mentor to supervise students’ commercialisation projects, you can contact him or her to evaluate your proposal.
  3. Create your application. You will find the relevant link in the call for proposals.
  4. The call has not been published yet, so please contact If you have any questions.

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