Norwegian Roadmap for Research Infrastructure 2023
Over the past 10-15 years, there have been major changes in the funding of national research infrastructure. The Government's long-term plan for research and higher education for the period 2015–2024 made it clear that the best researchers and students should have access to world-class research infrastructure, and that funding of infrastructure should be strengthened based on strategic assessments and priorities. Since then, the Government has followed up an ambitious and predictable escalation plan with an increase in the annual allocations to research infrastructure, so that the National Financing Initiative for Research Infrastructure now (2023) has an annual budget of approximately NOK 800 million. The need for and importance of access to research infrastructure are also highlighted in the new long-term plan for 2023–2032.
The National Financing Initiative for Research Infrastructure was established in 2009 as part of the follow-up of the white paper Klima for forskning ("Climate for Research") and the Research Council of Norway's strategy "Verktøy for forskning – Nasjonal strategi for forskningsinfrastruktur". The National Financing Initiative for Research Infrastructure is funded by the Ministry of Education and Research and is intended to contribute to a well-functioning research system that delivers high-quality research, develops knowledge to meet key challenges in society and the business sector, contributes to dynamics and interaction nationally and internationally, and facilitates learning, application and innovation. In addition, funding of high-quality research infrastructure must support increased internationalisation and recruitment.
The National Financing Initiative for Research Infrastructure is intended to give Norwegian research access to infrastructures that are necessary at any given time to:
- conduct research of high international quality
- achieve a high degree of institutional cooperation and division of labour at the national level
- increase international cooperation
- achieve access to the use and reuse of FAIR research data
Research contributes to the development of knowledge to meet key challenges in society and business6. With access to good, up-to-date tools, research groups can meet societal needs for increased sustainability and more innovation and restructuring through high-quality research and efficiency. Updated infrastructure facilitates that researchers from different disciplines utilise the infrastructure and collaborate in interdisciplinary projects. Business competitiveness is increasingly built on expertise and technology developed in close cooperation with internationally leading academic environments with access to modern research facilities. The development of public sector services in Norway also requires high-level research.
Attractiveness and efficiency
The right tools are needed to ensure targeted and effective work. This is also the case in research. Modern and up-to-date research infrastructure contributes to high quality in Norwegian research and facilitates collaboration with the best international research groups, while at the same time inspiring good students to pursue a research career. Up-to-date research infrastructure, combined with good researchers, is also important for the effective implementation of innovation projects in industry and public administration, and may encourage Norwegian and foreign companies to choose to organise their research activities in Norway.
Messages at time of print 30 November 2023, 02:14 CET