Funding to Enhance Structure and Promote Network-building and Competence-building

Please note that this open-ended call has a final application submission deadline of 16 September 2019, 13:00 CEST.

Important dates

01 Aug 2019

Earliest permitted project start

01 Dec 2019

Latest permitted project start

30 Nov 2021

Latest permitted project completion

Important dates


The purpose of this call is to aid the FORNY 2020 programme’s primary partners, the Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs), in becoming more professional and specialised, and to enhance the culture for entrepreneurship and commercialisation within the management at Norwegian universities, university colleges and research institutions.

About the call for proposals

Funding is available under the FORNY 2020 programme to enhance structure and promote network-building and competence-building in order to meet the common needs for structure and expertise among the TTOs.

This support is to help to develop and encourage a culture for innovation at the institutions and at the TTOs, and to promote collaboration between TTOs. These measures will also help to build networks targeted towards industry and expand cooperation with companies.

Projects must only comprise knowledge-transfer activities of a non-economic character as set out in the EFTA Surveillance Authority’s guidelines on state aid for research and development and innovation, cf. the definition of knowledge-transfer activities. More information about this is presented in the section below, “Conditions for funding”.

Priority will be given to applications that:

  • promote collaboration, learning and a distribution of tasks between TTOs;
  • have the support of multiple TTOs;
  • seek to build networks targeted towards industry in the aim of improving collaboration with existing companies.

Who is eligible to apply?

Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) that represent a research organisation and that satisfy the definition of a research and knowledge dissemination organisation set out in the state aid rules.

Who can participate in the project?

Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) that represent a research organisation and that satisfy the definition of a research and knowledge dissemination organisation set out in the state aid rules.

Eligible partners include research organisations and TTOs, private or public sector entities and other Norwegian or foreign actors (that carry out economic activity in Norway and have been issued an enterprise number under the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises).

Companies will not be eligible to receive support to cover their projects costs.

What can you seek funding for?

Approved project costs comprise:

  • payroll expenses (own personnel, compensation to institutions for time used by R&D personnel, hired consultants);
  • operating expenses (travel expenses, procurement of services). 

The maximum calculation rate is 1.2 ‰ of the annual salary. The hourly rate may not exceed NOK 1 100/hour. Partners that are publicly funded research institutions are to calculate hourly rates based on the TDI full costing model or rates already reported to the Research Council.

Approved project costs must be included in a budget in accordance with the general requirements and guidelines that apply for projects funded by the Research Council.

The duration of the project period may not exceed 24 months.

Scope of funding 

Under this call, funding may be sought for up to 100 per cent of the budgeted project costs.

Conditions for funding

Support for research organisations and TTOs:

To be eligible for funding, TTOs must satisfy the definition of a research and knowledge dissemination organisation set out in the state aid rules:

TTOs representing approved research organisations must satisfy the definition of a research and knowledge dissemination organisation set out in the state aid rules:

  • Definition in the state aid rules
    ‘research and knowledge dissemination organisation’ or ‘research organisation’ means an entity (such as universities or research institutes, technology transfer agencies, innovation intermediaries, research-oriented physical or virtual collaborative entities), irrespective of its legal status (organised under public or private law) or way of financing, whose primary goal is to independently conduct fundamental research, industrial research or experimental development or to widely disseminate the results of such activities by way of teaching, publication or knowledge transfer. Where such entity also pursues economic activities, the financing, the costs and the revenues of those economic activities must be accounted for separately. Undertakings that can exert a decisive influence upon such an entity, for example in the quality of shareholders or members, may not enjoy a preferential access to the results generated by it.

Support awarded to TTOs may only be used to cover project costs related to knowledge-transfer activities of a non-economic character as set out in Paragraph 19(b) of the EFTA Surveillance Authority’s guidelines on state aid for research and development and innovation.

Both the Project Owner (research and knowledge dissemination organisation) and any partners that are to receive support must satisfy the definition of a research organisation under the state aid rules. Other types of partners will not be eligible to receive support from the Research Council under these projects.

Definition of “knowledge transfer” in the EFTA Surveillance Authority’s guidelines on state aid for research and development and innovation:

‘knowledge transfer’ means any process which has the aim of acquiring, collecting and sharing explicit and tacit knowledge, including skills and competence in both economic and non-economic activities such as research collaborations, consultancy, licensing, spin-off creation, publication and mobility of researchers and other personnel involved in those activities. Besides scientific and technological knowledge, it includes other kinds of knowledge such as knowledge on the use of standards and regulations embedding them and on conditions of real life operating environments and methods for organisational innovation, as well as management of knowledge related to identifying, acquiring, protecting, defending and exploiting intangible assets.

The Research Council requires a clear separation of accounts for the research organisation's economic and non-economic activities.

See here for more information from the Research Council about the state aid rules.

Termination of contract

It is important to meet the approved milestones by the stipulated deadlines. This will be given particular weight when assessing whether to continue providing support or to terminate the contract. 

Other examples of key issues that can lead to amendment or termination of a contract include the following:

  • The conditions set out in the call and the approved prerequisites for funding are not met.
  • The project is not progressing according to plan.
  • Key partners are no longer involved in the project.

Relevant thematic areas for this call


Practical information

Requirements for this application type

A complete application consists of the online application form and the mandatory attachments.

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

All the templates for attachments are available for download at the end of the call for proposals.

Applications must fulfil the following requirements.

  • The applicant/Project Owner must come from an eligible category of institution.
  • The grant application must lie within the scope/satisfy the objectives of this call.
  • The funding amount sought and the expenses to be covered must be in keeping with the framework of the call.
  • The budget must be formulated correctly to clearly indicate what the funding will cover.
  • The application form must be fully completed.
  • The required attachments must be included using the designated templates.
  • The project description must provide answers to the items set out in the text of the call.

All items in the project description template must be completed. Responses to each item should be as concrete and clear as possible. Applications that do not fulfil the formal requirements or that fall outside the target group outlined in the call will be rejected.

Mandatory attachments

  • A project description of maximum 10 pages, using the designated project description template.
  • CVs for key project participants, using the designated template.

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 the following criteria:


• The extent to which the concept is sound, credible and novel.

• The extent to which the project objectives are clear and relevant.
• The quality of the proposed deliverables from the project.


• The extent to which the expected effects are specified.
• The extent to which expected impacts on the system and societal levels are specified.

Knowledge sharing and exploitation
• The quality of the proposed communication and dissemination activities.
• The extent to which it is credible that the proposed outputs will contribute to the specified effects and impact.


Project Manager and project group
• The extent to which the Project Manager and project group are qualified and have the necessary expertise and are positioned to implement the project.
• The extent to which management structures and procedures are appropriate.

Plans and management
• The extent to which the work plan is clear and understandable, and the time table realistic
• The extent to which objectives and measures are coherent.
• The extent to which the project has the support of the leadership of the Project Owner and any partners, and the allocation of roles in the project is clear.
• The extent to which the budget is realistic and appropriate, and resources are allocated so that each of the partners can fulfil their role.
• The extent to which potential risks have been discussed.

Administrative procedures

Applications will be assessed by the FORNY programme administration. External experts will be brought in or consulted when needed.

Applicants will receive notification of the funding decision as soon as possible and by at the latest three months after the application was submitted.

The Chief Executive of the Research Council is responsible for taking the final decision regarding funding awards.

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