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Ubiquitous Data and Services – Researcher Project

Please note that it is not possible to revise and resubmit grant applications multiple times for programmes and activities operating with open-ended submission deadlines.

Project start-up must take place within six months of funding allocation.

If you are seeking support for a project involving cooperation with partners that are not research organisations, you should apply for funding under the call for proposals for Collaborative and Knowledge-building Projects.

We will have a new, revised version of this call for proposals available from February. The new call for proposals will give priority to artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomy with associated systems. We will also prioritise projects that focus on collaboration across sectors or across fields and disciplines.

From the time when the new call opens for the submission of grant applications, the existing call will be open for the submission of grant applications for 6 weeks before it closes in mid-March. The new, revised call will also have an open-ended deadline.


The objective of this call is to enhance research efforts in the thematic priority area “Ubiquitous data and services”. Research activities must seek to move the research front, promote essential competence-building and create new opportunities in the short and long term.

About the call for proposals

The objective of this call is to strengthen ICT research within priority areas related to innovation and value creation.

The production, management and use of increasing amounts of electronic data and digital content play a critical role in many societal challenges. In addition, new knowledge and expertise are in great demand in both the business and the public sectors.

The research areas within “Ubiquitous data and services” are grouped as follows:

  • the Internet of things, mobility and wireless infrastructure;
  • artificial intelligence, autonomous and cognitive systems;
  • digital interfaces, robotics and virtual environments.

It is also crucial to promote greater understanding of the cross-cutting, transformational effects of ICT and to give adequate consideration to societal needs, sustainability perspectives and accountability. The research areas are open to interdisciplinary approaches and activity from multiple subject areas and actors.

Types of projects encompassed by this call:

Under this call for proposals, funding is available for projects that address challenges within one of three time horizons.

  • Short-term time horizon: The initiative is seeking projects that lead to innovations in trade and industry, the public sector and other socially beneficial organisations. An example may be solutions in which digitalisation can restructure existing branches of industry or create new ones through advanced production processes.
  • Medium-term time horizon: The initiative is seeking projects that move the research front and develop subjects and specialist groups within one or more of the research areas stated in this call. Funding is also available for projects in new areas that are an extension of these.  
  • Long-term time horizon: The programme is seeking bold projects that may entail great uncertainty but that have the potential to yield major gains and radical breakthroughs. Here the initiative would like to see new research areas that follow up the thematic priority area “Ubiquitous data and services” as described in this call. 

The figure illustrates the main objectives of the various time horizons.

It must be clearly stated in the grant application which of the three time horizons the project addresses.

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

Who is eligible to apply?

The call is open to approved research organisations. See here for the list of approved Norwegian research organisations.

Who can participate in the project?

Requirements relating to partners

Only research organisations are eligible to be partners in research projects and to receive Research Council funding.

Other types of organisations, such as companies and other undertakings, may not be partners in Researcher Projects and are not eligible to receive support, but they may serve as suppliers of R&D services to the project. In such cases, the intellectual property rights related to the result of the supplier’s work activities will become the property of the institution procuring the services.

Applicants are encouraged to include cooperation across subject areas and disciplines in their projects, when this is relevant for achieving the objectives.

What can you seek funding for?

Under this call, the Research Council may cover up to 100 per cent of the costs that are incurred by participating research organisations and are necessary for the execution of the project.

In order for the Research Council to calculate its amount of support, the grant application must include an overall budget based on the following types of approved project costs:

  • Payroll and indirect expenses relating to researcher time (including research fellowships) at the research institutions participating in the project. See here for guidelines for calculating payroll and indirect expenses in grant applications to the Research Council.
  • Procurement of R&D services. The Project Owner and Norwegian partners may jointly or individually procure R&D services from R&D-performing companies. Suppliers of R&D services for the project may not have the role of partner or be granted any rights to project results developed in the project.
  • Costs relating to procurement and use of scientific equipment. See here for Research Council guidelines for calculating costs of equipment.
  • Other operating expenses, including support for research stays abroad and travel expenses and other project-related costs not covered under the categories above.

Personal Overseas Research Grants are generally not to be included in the grant application, but may be sought for the project after start-up when relevant.

If the project is to encompass doctoral or post-doctoral fellows and there are specific plans for research stays abroad for these, an application for Overseas Research Grants may be included in the application. The Research Council also has a separate scheme for Personal Overseas Research Grant for Doctoral and Post-doctoral Fellows. Doctoral or post-doctoral fellows involved in the project may apply through this scheme for support for a research stay abroad during the project period.

Conditions for funding
Support from the Research Council is to go to the non-economic activity of research organisations. Companies are not eligible to receive support to cover project costs and may not receive indirect support through the granting of any rights to project results. Support allocated under this call therefore does not constitute state aid.

The Research Council’s allocation for the first year and any pledges for subsequent years will be disbursed in accordance with the conditions set out in this agreement and the General Terms and Conditions for R&D Projects.

Scientific articles and research data

The Project Owner (R&D organisation) 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.

Relevant thematic areas for this call

Enabling technologies

Research on ICT development

Practical information

Requirements for this application type

Please note that it is not possible to revise and resubmit grant applications multiple times for programmes and activities operating with open-ended submission deadlines. It is therefore important that your application is completely finished before you submit it.

  • The grant application, including all attachments, must be submitted in English.
  • All attachments must be in PDF format.

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

Mandatory attachments

  • A project description of maximum 10 pages using the designated template;
  • A CV of maximum four pages, including the list of publications, for the project manager;
  • CVs for the key researchers participating in the project (maximum four pages, including the list of publications).

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

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 these criteria:


The extent to which the proposed work is ambitious, novel, and goes beyond the-state-of-the-art
• Scientific creativity and originality.
• Novelty and boldness of hypotheses or research questions.
• Potential for development of new knowledge beyond the current state-of-the-art, including significant theoretical, methodological, experimental or empirical advancement.

The quality of the proposed R&D activities
• Quality of the research questions, hypotheses and project objectives, and the extent to which they are clearly and adequately specified.
• Credibility and appropriateness of the theoretical approach, research design and use of scientific methods. Appropriate consideration of interdisciplinary approaches.
• Where relevant, the extent to which appropriate consideration has been given to ethical issues, safety issues, gender dimension in research content, and appropriate use of stakeholder/user knowledge.


The quality of the project manager and project group
• The extent to which the project manager has relevant expertise and experience, and demonstrated ability to perform high-quality research (as appropriate to the career stage).
• The degree of complementarity of the participants and the extent to which the project group as a whole assembles the necessary expertise needed to undertake the research effectively, and provides added value.

The quality of the project organisation and management
• Effectiveness of the work plan, including the extent to which resources assigned to work packages are aligned with project objectives and deliverables.
• Appropriateness of the allocation of tasks, ensuring that all participants have a valid role and adequate resources in the project to fulfil that role.
• Appropriateness of the proposed management structures and governance.


Potential impact of the proposed research
• The extent to which the planned outputs of the project address important present and/or future scientific challenges.
• If relevant with respect to the project objectives, the extent to which the planned outputs will address UN Sustainable Development Goals or other important present and/or future societal challenges.
• The extent to which the potential impacts are clearly formulated and plausible.

Communication and exploitation
• Quality and scope of communication and engagement activities with different target audiences, including relevant stakeholders/users.

Overall assessment of the referee/panel

Overall assessment of the referee/panel based, on the criteria Excellence, Impact and Implementation.

Administrative procedures

All grant applications that fall within the thematic framework of the call will be assessed by international referee panels. Grant applications that do not fall within the thematic framework of the call will not be assessed.

Grant proposals that have received an overall mark of 6 or 7 will be awarded funding. Applications with a lower overall mark will not be eligible for funding.

The Research Council may make exceptions for applications with an overall mark of 5 provided that they serve to strengthen and balance the project portfolio.

The final decision regarding grant allocations will be taken by the portfolio board for enabling technologies.

Project proposals not awarded funding will not be permitted to reapply for funding for a period of six months from the date the proposal was submitted, but may reapply after that. During this period, no applicants may submit a grant application with the same project proposal to this call.

Grant application processing will start immediately after submission. Notification of the funding decision can be expected 8–12 weeks after this date. Please note that this may take longer during holiday periods.

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