Pre-projects to Mobilise Trade and Industry for Research

The call for proposals is now only open for pre-projects from N2 Nord-Norge. The call will be closed once the funding has have been distributed.


Pre-projects to encourage companies to carry out research comprise small-scale R&D projects in companies with little or no R&D experience. The company must cooperate with an R&D group in the project. It must be the company’s intention that the pre-project will lead to further research activity or cooperation with research institutions.

About the call for proposals

It must be the company’s intention that the efforts will lead to further research activity or cooperation with research institutions. The pre-project should be a precursor to participation in other funding schemes for research, such as the Regional Research Funds, Research Council innovation programmes, the SkatteFUNN tax incentive scheme or Horizon Europe.

How to apply

Contact representatives of the Programme on Research-based Regional Innovation (FORREGION) mobilisation projects (see the list of relevant links below) or a competence broker in the county where the company is located. The county administrations have different priority areas and set the guidelines for which companies are eligible to apply.

Competence brokers are able to provide advice on project design as well as help to identify relevant research groups to participate in the project.

Your county may have a fixed deadline for applications. Some counties may have their own support rates.

Consult with your respective county administration and then create a grant application by clicking on the “Create application” button via this call for proposals.

Grant applications submitted by applicants that have not been in contact with either the correct county administration or a competence broker associated with the FORREGION programme, may be rejected.

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

For links to the individual county webpages, see the Norwegian-language call.

Who is eligible to apply?

This call is open to companies with little research experience whose efforts to develop new products, processes or services may be strengthened through research.

Companies that have currently or previously served as Project Owner of a main project funded by the Research Council, Regional Research Funds or the EU framework programmes within the past five years are defined as experienced R&D companies and are not eligible to apply.

Who can participate in the project?

Requirements relating to the Project Owner

The company is to be Project Owner. The project administrator is the individual in the company who is authorised to represent and assume obligations on behalf of the Project Owner in relation to the Research Council.

Requirements relating to R&D partners and R&D suppliers

The Research Council has drawn up a document defining and specifying the concept “research organisation” and a list of approved research organisations.

Only R&D groups that are included in the list may participate as a partner or R&D supplier. Non-Norwegian public universities and institutes located abroad may also be suppliers of R&D services. The non-Norwegian R&D supplier’s scientific expertise in the relevant area must be documented and described in the project description.

The research organisation is to be registered as an R&D supplier or partner depending on the role it plays in the project.

What can you seek funding for?

Project costs are actual costs that are necessary for the execution of the project. The project is to involve activity that falls within one of the categories of industrial research, experimental development or feasibility studies. A more detailed description of what this entails is available in Article 25 of the General Block Exemption Regulation for state aid. The following costs may be covered under the project:

  • Payroll and indirect expenses incurred by the company;
  • Procurement of R&D services from approved research organisations or non-Norwegian R&D suppliers;
  • Other operating expenses.

Costs involved in mapping the literature and state of the art may only be included as a minor activity.

Calculating the amount of support

The company may receive funding to cover a maximum of NOK 320 000 and up to 70 per cent of the budgeted costs for the project. The minimum amount of funding that may be sought is NOK 100 000.

At least 70 per cent of the funding must be used to procure R&D. If the funding is NOK 200 000, this entails that NOK 140 000 must be used for the procurement of R&D.

Conditions for funding

Funding will be allocated as de minimis aid in accordance with Commission Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013 of 18 December 2013, and implemented in Norwegian law through section 2 of the Regulations of 14 November 2008 No 1213 concerning exemption from the notification requirement for state aid. The amount of de minimis aid that may be awarded to a single undertaking is maximum EUR 200 000 over a period of three fiscal years.

Prior to the award of any de minimis aid, the Research Council will request written confirmation and an overview of all other de minimis aid that the company has received in the course of the three fiscal years in question. For companies that are a part of a group of linked enterprises, the ceiling amount generally applies to the group as a whole. For more information on de minimis aid, see the Commission Regulation (EU)No 1407/2013.

Own funding

The company must provide at least 30 per cent of the total project costs through own funding. Own funding may be in the form of cash financing and/or in-kind contributions such as payroll and indirect expenses. Payroll and indirect expenses are to be calculated on the basis of actual costs. Guidelines for calculating payroll and indirect expenses for companies, the public sector and other entities are available here.

Unpaid in-kind resources are not to be included in the calculation.

Funding may not be used for the following:

  • preparing applications for national and regional programmes;
  • procurement of equipment;
  • market surveys and marketing;
  • establishing networks, clusters or consortia.

Relevant thematic areas for this call

Trade and industry

Trade and industry throughout the country

Practical information

Requirements for this application type

It is possible to revise and save your grant application form multiple times prior to submission, but it may not be revised once it has been submitted.

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

All the templates for attachments other than the project description are found at the end of this call. Project description templates are available from the county administrations.

Mandatory attachments

  • Project description (use the project description template provided by the county you are seeking funding from);
  • A CV for the project manager using a template of your choosing or the standard template found at the end of this call;
  • Information about the each of the partners, using the designated template found at the end of this call;
  • Declaration form for de minimis aid, using the designated template found at the end of this call.

Optional attachment

  • CVs for the key project participants. Each CV must not exceed four pages.

Grant applications that do not satisfy the requirements stipulated in the text of the call will be rejected.

Attachments other than those specified above as mandatory or optional, as well as any links to websites in the grant application, will not be included in the application review process. 

Assessment criteria

Applications will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria (in Norwegian):

Forskning og innovasjon (forprosjekt for regional innovasjon)

• I hvilken grad møter innovasjonsidéen i prosjektet et udekket behov?
• Hvor original og nyskapende er innovasjonen?

Relevans og kvalitet på FoU-aktivitetene
• I hvilken grad er FoU-aktivitetene relevante og/eller av kritisk betydning for innovasjonen og som bidrag til forprosjektet?

Virkninger og effekter (forprosjekt for regional innovasjon)

Verdiskapingspotensial og gevinstmuligheter
• I hvilken grad er det potensial for at resultatene fra forprosjektet kan bidra til
– verdiskaping i norsk næringsliv og/eller offentlig sektor?
– å løse betydelige nåværende og fremtidige samfunnsutfordringer, også med henvisning til FNs bærekraftmål?

Gjennomføring (forprosjekt for regional innovasjon)

Plan for forprosjektet:

Hvor god er
• Kvalitet på prosjektplanen med mål, arbeidspakker, milepæler, ressursinnsats og relevante risikovurderinger
• Kvalitet/kompetanse til prosjektleder og eventuell prosjektgruppe
• Organisering, med roller og ansvarsdeling, styring og strategisk forankring
• Budsjett og finansiering

Plan for utnyttelse av FoU-resultatene for innovasjonen:
• Hvor god og realistisk er bedriftens plan for videre utvikling av ideen når forprosjektet er gjennomført? (f.eks. i form av hovedprosjekt)

Prosjektidéens relevans (forprosjekt for regional innovasjon)

Prosjektidéens relevans:
• Hvor godt vil forprosjektet bidra til at bedriften får erfaring med å ta forskning i bruk i sitt innovasjonsarbeid?
• Hvor godt er forprosjektet i tråd med de regionale satsingsområdene?

Samlet vurdering (forprosjekt for regional innovasjon)

Administrative procedures

See the call for proposal webpages posted on the websites of the various county administrations for information about when to expect notification of the outcome of your application.

Once the grant applications have been received by the Research Council they will be forwarded to the respective counties for assessment. The county administration will assess applications to determine whether they fulfil the formal requirements of the call and fall within the relevant priority areas. The county administration submits its recommendations (referee review) to the Research Council.

The Research Council is responsible for the final decision regarding the approval or rejection of grant proposals. The county administration is responsible for implementing measures and following up allocations.

Project start-up and conclusion

Project start-up may not take place until applicants have been notified of the outcome of their grant applications.

The latest permitted project start is three months after funding has been allocated.

The latest permitted project completion date is 15 months after funding has been allocated.

See here for information about lodging a complaint: Complaints about decisions

Messages at time of print 20 April 2024, 03:32 CEST

Important message

For the application deadline 24 April, we manage our hotline +47 22 03 72 00 Monday 22 April and Thursday 23 April at CEST 08.00–15.45 and Wednesday 24 April at CEST 08.00-13.00.