Demonstration Project for the Industrial Sector

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Purpose

Demonstration Project is to strengthen companies’ own efforts to demonstrate new technology for applications with major socio-economic benefits. Projects are to ensure expertise, value creation, job creation and a competitive industrial sector in Norway. 

The purpose is to encourage companies to invest more in demonstration and proof-of-concept of technology to promote innovation and sustainable value creation that is in keeping with their own business strategies.

Important dates

14 Aug 2019

Date call is made active

25 Sep 2019

Application submission deadline

12 Dec 2019

Announcement of funding awards

01 Jan 2020

Earliest permitted project start

01 Jun 2020

Latest permitted project start

16 Sep 2020

Application deadline for Demonstration Projects in 2020

31 May 2023

Latest permitted project completion

Important dates

About the call for proposals

The 2019 call for proposals for Demonstration Project covers only thematic priority areas within the framework of the DEMO 2000 programme.

The call aims to promote collaboration within the petroleum industry in order to ensure the development and application of new technology that can reduce the cost of activities on the Norwegian continental shelf, increase recovery rates, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to improved conditions relating to health, safety and the environment. The call is targeted towards Norwegian supplier companies and subcontractors that, together with end-users, have a need for pilot testing and demonstration of new technology for use on the Norwegian continental shelf or to sell in international markets.

Demonstration and qualification activities are to be carried out under realistic conditions offshore or in suitable facilities on land. Pilot testing activities themselves may be conducted abroad.

The Norwegian-language call for proposals is the legally binding version.

State aid

This call for proposals constitutes a funding scheme that is notified to the EFTA Surveillance Authority. Funding awarded under this scheme is granted in accordance with Article 25 of the General Block Exemption Regulation for state aid (Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014).

This funding scheme is to be practised in compliance with the EEA state aid rules. This means that conditions and concepts are to be interpreted in keeping with corresponding conditions and concepts in the state aid rules. In the event of conflict between the text of the call and the state aid rules, the latter will have precedence. The text of the call may be adjusted for this same reason.

Who is eligible to apply?

The formal applicant must be a supplier company (defined as an “undertaking” in the state aid rules) that has been issued an enterprise number under the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises and that carries out economic activity in Norway.

The Project Owner (company) may apply for funding to carry out the project in binding cooperation with other companies (partners). Sole proprietorships and research organisations are not eligible to serve as the formal applicant.

The Project Owner is required to carry out the project in collaboration with end-users of the technology.

Who can participate in the project?

Requirements relating to the Project Owner

The Project Owner must be able to secure project funding (in addition to any Research Council funding) and to implement other measures needed to utilise the project results in connection with its own activities.

Collaboration and roles in the project

  • The Project Owner is required to carry out the project in collaboration with one or more end-users of the technology. End-users are normally oil companies, but shipowners, suppliers or others operating within the petroleum industry may also be relevant. These partners will benefit from the Research Council’s project support, and are therefore defined as recipients of state aid.
  • Letters of Intent/Interest from the end-users describing their financial and professional commitments must be attached to the grant application.
  • Company partners may not have the role of both partner and supplier of R&D services in the same project. 
  • Research groups may take part in the project if they have responsibility for carrying out specific R&D activities. These partners (suppliers of R&D services) may only serve as task-performing partners, and the company partners collaborating in the project will be responsible for financing the costs of their participation. It is presumed that R&D suppliers are not in a dependent relationship with any of the company partners, i.e. they operate according to the arm’s length principle.
  • Company partners that are in a mutually dependent relationship with one another will be considered to be one and the same recipient under the state aid rules.
  • A Demonstration Project may involve international cooperation, and companies from other countries may participate as partners. However, non-Norwegian partners are required to fund their participation in the project themselves. Their costs will not be eligible for support from the Research Council.

About Demonstration Projects

  • Demonstration Projects build on a specific innovation produced by the companies participating in the project. The innovation can be in the form of a new product, service or production process, or a new means of delivering products and services. The innovation may also entail significant improvements in or new characteristics of existing products, processes or services.
  • Companies need to demonstrate and verify technology/innovations in order to successfully introduce their product on the market and move forward with commercialisation. It is this need for development (“experimental development”) that the project is to cover.
  • The scope and risk profile of the project must be such that the companies would not be able to carry out the project without public funding. This means that support from the Research Council will be essential to reducing risk sufficiently for the participants to implement the necessary R&D activities. Project funding should also be crucial to obtaining private investment in the company for the development and realisation of the innovation.
  • The Demonstration Project must incorporate clear targets and a concrete plan for carrying out the R&D activities under the project and for utilising the results. Grant proposals must provide a description of the users to be involved in the specific project. It is important that the anticipated benefits of the project are based on user needs and documented knowledge gaps within the thematic areas described in the text of the call. Both short- and long-term impacts and outcomes are to be described in the grant application.
  • Demonstration and qualification activities are to be carried out under realistic conditions offshore or in suitable facilities on land. The project description must include a clear plan for these activities.

What can you seek funding for?

What types of costs may be covered?

It is possible to seek funding to cover part of the costs of company partners for R&D activities performed under the project. This encompasses both a company’s own expenses for performing R&D activities itself and costs for procurement of R&D services from qualified suppliers. Project costs are actual costs that are necessary for the execution of the project, and are categorised as follows:

  • Direct project expenses: costs related to resources set aside specifically for project implementation, for example, payroll costs for project staff.
  • Indirect project expenses: costs related to the use of general resources that the project benefits from. Indirect project costs include the project’s share of the cost of rental of office space, IT/telephone and other joint administrative services for personnel, accounting and financial management.

In the grant application form, the Research Council requires you to break down the project budget into the following cost categories:

  • Payroll and indirect expenses: costs of R&D activities performed by the company’s R&D staff for the project.
  • Procurement of R&D services: costs of contracting R&D suppliers to perform R&D activities for the project.
  • Equipment: costs related to the operation and depreciation of scientific equipment necessary for the execution of the project.
  • Other operating expenses: other project costs related to R&D activities to be performed under the project.

Please refer to the Research Council’s guidelines for calculating payroll and indirect costs and costs for equipment in the project budget.

What types of costs may not be covered?

The Research Council can not cover costs for other types of activities and measures to exploit R&D results, such as: filing for patents, market surveys, marketing. Commercial rig rates or equipment/datasets provided free of charge will not be approved as project costs.

Scope of funding

  • The project must primarily involve R&D activities that are categorised as “experimental development”. The project may also include some activities that are categorised as “industrial research”.
  • The state aid rules regulate the types of activities and costs that the Research Council can help to cover, while also setting limits for the aid intensity allowed. Support from the Research Council may cover up to 25 per cent of the costs to companies of conducting R&D activities within the R&D category “experimental development”.
  • Together the applicant company and participating end-users must cover a significant portion of the project costs.

Conditions for funding

  • If the project is awarded funding, the participating companies must submit a declaration confirming that they are qualified to receive state aid.
  • Other public funding to the project, or to activities under the project, will affect the amount of funding that the Research Council can provide.
  • Allocated state aid of EUR 500 000 or more will be announced in a public register.

Archiving of research data

The Project Owner (company) is responsible for selecting the archiving solution(s) to use for storing research data generated during the project. The Project Owner must specify the planned solution(s) in connection with the revised grant proposal.

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Relevant thematic areas for this call

This called is targeted towards the petroleum industry in connection with upstream oil and gas activities.

This call is relevant for all the thematic areas below. Special requirements and guidelines may be indicated in some of the thematic areas.

Petroleum

This thematic area is targeted towards upstream oil and gas activities and encompasses all scientific and thematic priority areas set out in the DEMO 2000 work programme.

Requirements for this application type

The project description is to be submitted using the designated template for Demonstration Projects. 

The templates for attachments will be made available soon and well before the date on which you can create a grant application.

You may revise and resubmit your grant application form multiple times up to the application submission deadline. We recommend that you submit your application as soon as you have filled in the application form and included all mandatory attachments. After the deadline, it is the most recently submitted version of the grant application that will be processed.

  • Grant applications and all attachments, may be submitted in Norwegian or English.
  • All attachments must be uploaded in PDF format.

Mandatory attachments

  • A project description of maximum 10 pages. The required project description template will be made available in June 2019. All items must be completed.
  • A CV for the project manager (maximum four pages);
  • Letters of Intent/Interest from the end-users describing their financial and professional commitments to the project.

Grant applications that do not satisfy the above requirements will be rejected.

Optional attachments

  • A proposal for up to three referees who are presumed to be impartial and qualified to review the grant proposal.

Links to websites and documents, as well as other attachments than those specified above, will not be included in the application review process. There is no technical validation of the content of the attachments you upload, so please make sure that you upload the correct file for the selected type of attachment.

Assessment criteria

Grant proposals will be assessed on the basis of four criteria:

The assessment of these four criteria will be consolidated into a single, overall mark that indicates the quality of the project proposal. 

Excellence

To what extent does the project represent an ambitious innovation that is supported by relevant R&D activities of high quality?

• To what extent does the innovation represent something new?
• To what extent is the innovation targeted towards clear needs or new market opportunities for the company partners in the project?
• To what extent does the project build on relevant and updated knowledge?
• To what extent does the project employ relevant and recognised R&D methods?
• To what extent are the R&D activities essential for the success of the innovation?

Impact

To what extent does the project pave the way for significant benefits for the company partners, and lay a foundation for other positive impacts for society?

• To what extent will the project entail a potential for sustainable value creation in Norway with significant economic benefits for the company partners?
• To what extent can the project have positive external impacts, such as:
– helping to disseminate knowledge through networks and publications;
– producing results that can be used by other industries, the public sector or in society at large;
– leading to an innovation that can address UN Sustainable Development Goals or solve other important societal challenges.
• To what extent are the potential impacts of the project clearly formulated and highly plausible?

Implementation

To what extent does the work plan provide a good basis for implementing the R&D activities and realising the potential for value creation?

• To what extent does the R&D project work plan incorporate appropriate and effective objectives, work packages, milestones, resources and relevant risk assessments?
• To what extent will the project have access to the necessary R&D expertise and adequate capacity to carry out the R&D tasks?
• To what extent does the project reflect the strategic priorities of the company partners and have a project organisation appropriate to the task?
• To what extent does the project manager have appropriate expertise and experience to lead an R&D project targeted towards innovation and sustainable value creation for companies?
• To what extent is the plan for implementation of R&D results and realisation of benefits relevant and appropriate, for instance with regard to:
– IPR issues,
– assessment of the competitive framework and market risks,
– investment needs and plans,
– needs and plans regarding partnerships for commercialisation or industrialisation,
– need to develop business models.

Relevance to the call for proposals

To what extent does the project meet the requirements and guidelines set out in the call for proposals?

• To what extent do the company partners in the project meet the requirements and expectations set out in the call for proposals with regard to the Project Owner and project partners?
• To what extent have the conditions set out in the call for proposals with regard to collaboration and specification of roles been met?
• To what extent can support from the Research Council be expected to trigger increased R&D investment among the company partners in the project and provide added value to the project beyond the financial support?
• To what extent is the project in keeping with thematic or budgetary guidelines in the call for proposals, where this is relevant in light of the project’s content?

Administrative procedures

Grant applications will be made available to external referees via a digital portal. These referees will assess Excellence, Impact and Implementation.

In addition, the Research Council administration will assess the grant application’s relevance to the call for proposals. The administration will also conduct a portfolio review and submit the grant applications to the relevant portfolio boards for decisions based on previously established priorities.

Projects recommended for funding will be requested to submit further information about the project itself and the project partners. Various types of support may be announced exclusively for companies that have been awarded funding for a Demonstration Project under this call. Such support may include, for example, courses and additional support for further development of project results.

The final decision regarding funding is expected to be announced on 12 December 2019.