Centre for Environment-friendly Energy Research on Wind Power (FME)

Important dates

30 Sep 2020

Date call is made active

11 Nov 2020

Application submission deadline

01 Jan 2021

Earliest permitted project start

01 Jul 2021

Latest permitted project start

30 Jun 2029

Latest permitted project completion

Important dates


The objective of this application type is targeted, long-term investment to strengthen and further develop outstanding and creative research and innovation groups, or to build up research groups in areas of key strategic importance.

The aim of the Centres for Environment-friendly Energy Research (FME) is to address climate and energy challenges and contribute to business development. We are now issuing a call to establish an FME in the field of wind power. The centre awarded funding will strengthen the knowledge base required to develop a competitive Norwegian wind-power industry.

About the call for proposals

The main emphasis of the centre we support should be related to offshore wind power, but it will also cover research on land-based wind power.
Applicants must carefully read the grounds for the call for proposals by reading the documents:

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

Who is eligible to apply?

Approved Norwegian research organisations may apply in cooperation with companies. See here for the list of approved Norwegian research organisations.

Private enterprises and, if relevant, public sector actors must participate as user partners. Other research organisations may participate as research partners.

Who can participate in the project?

Requirements relating to the Project Owner
The organisation listed as the Project Owner in the application form must have authorised the project manager to submit the grant application. The application must have the strategic support of the Project Owner.

Requirements relating to the project manager
A referee panel will assess the project manager’s professional expertise and suitability to carry out the project. Experience of managing large, complex projects must be documented.

Requirements relating to partners

  • The centre will be operated by one or more research organisation in effective collaboration with relevant Norwegian industry partners and potentially also partners from other sectors.
  • The application must have the strategic support of all the partners.
  • All partners must actively contribute to planning, following up and disseminating the results generated by the centre and ensure that the new knowledge is taken into use.
  • The centre must have three or more partners that are not research organisations and that provide funding to the project (user partners). The user partners’ funding must make up at least 50 per cent of the Research Council’s funding, and both cash contributions and in-kind contributions (i.e. work contributions or other services) can be included.
  • The board of the centre must have a majority of user partners.
  • The centre may have foreign partners. It must be documented how these will contribute to reaching the centre’s goals.

What can you seek funding for?

Scope of funding

  • You can apply for a maximum of NOK 120 million distributed over an eight-year period. The funding for the last three years will be decided on the basis of the outcome of a mid-term evaluation of the centre.
  • The user partners’ contribution must amount to at least 50 per cent of the Research Council’s funding. Both cash contributions and contributions in-kind are accepted.
  • The host institution and other research organisations’ funding contribution must be such that the Research Council’s overall contribution does not exceed around half of the centre’s budget.
  • State aid will not be granted through the centre schemes.
  • You can apply for funding to cover the actual costs necessary to carry out the project. Read more about what to enter in the project budget here.
  • Stays abroad for doctoral and post-doctoral fellows must be covered within the framework of the project. FMEs will therefore not be covered by the Research Council’s call for Funding for Research Stays Abroad for Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellows

Conditions for funding
The Research Council will not award support that constitutes state aid under this call. This means that the Research Council funding is only to go to the non-economic activity of the research organisations in the form of independent research. The Research Council requires a clear separation of accounts for the organisation’s economic and non-economic activities. Companies will not be eligible to receive support to cover projects costs and may not receive indirect support by being given rights to project results under favourable terms.

The project is to be implemented by means of effective collaboration as defined in the state aid rules. Effective collaboration is defined as follows:

‘Collaboration between at least two independent parties to exchange knowledge or technology, or to achieve a common objective based on the division of labour where the parties jointly define the scope of the collaborative project, contribute to its implementation and share its risks, as well as its results. One or several parties may bear the full costs of the project and thus relieve other parties of its financial risks. Contract research and provision of research services are not considered forms of collaboration.’

Please remember to carefully read the document ‘Centres for Environment-friendly Energy Research (FME) – Requirements and guidelines August 2020’. You will find the link under the section ‘About the call for proposals’ above.

Scientific articles and research data

The Project Owner (research 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

This call concerns environmentally-friendly energy and targets wind power.

Energy, transport and low emissions

Environment-friendly energy

Practical information

Requirements for this application type

The grant application form must be created and submitted via ‘My RCN Web’. 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.

  • The application and all attachments must be submitted in English.
  • All mandatory attachments must be included.
  • All attachments must be uploaded in PDF format.
  • Up to eight CVs can be attached.
  • Requirements relating to the Project Owner (research organisation) must be satisfied.
  • Requirements relating to the partners must be satisfied.

Mandatory attachments

  • Project description of up to 20 pages in length, using a designated template which is available for download at the end of the call.
  • CV of the project manager (centre director) and other key personnel/work package managers in the project of up to four pages each using the designated template at the end of the call. A maximum of eight CVs can be attached.
  • Letter of intent from the host institution.
  • Letter of intent from all registered partners.

Applications that do not meet the requirements listed above will be rejected.

Optional attachments

  • Proposals for up to five referees who are considered qualified to assess the application.

Attachments other than those specified above, as well as any links to websites in the grant application, 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

In the selection process, emphasis will be placed on the application’s relevance to the thematic guidelines set out in the call. The potential for innovation and sustainable business development is a key consideration, and the scientific quality of the research must be at a high international level.

The Research Council uses the three main criteria Excellence, Impact and Implementation. Furthermore, the Research Council will assess the applications’ relevance in relation to the requirements and guidelines set out in the call, including the centre’s national contribution and profile, its place in the host institution’s research strategies and how the centre builds on or complements other established centres or other major initiatives.


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.
• The extent to which appropriate consideration has been given to societal responsibility, ethical issues and gender dimensions in research content.
• The extent to which appropriate consideration has been given to the use of stakeholder/user knowledge.


Potential impact of the proposed research
• The extent to which the planned outputs of the project address important present and/or future scientific challenges.
• The extent to which the planned outputs of the project address important present and/or future challenges for the sector(s).
• The extent to which the competence developed and planned outputs of the project will provide the basis for value creation in Norwegian business and/or development of the public sector.
• The extent to which the planned outputs of the project 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 targeted towards relevant stakeholders/users.
• The extent to which the partners are involved in dissemination and utilisation of the project results.


The quality of the project manager (centre director) and project group
• The extent to which the project manager (centre director) has relevant expertise and experience and demonstrated ability to lead an initiative of this size.
• The degree of complementarity of the participants and the extent to which the project group has the necessary expertise needed to undertake the research effectively.

The quality of the centre organisation and management
• Effectiveness of the centre organisation, including the extent to which resources assigned to work packages are aligned with 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, including risk and innovation management.
• Appropriateness of the partners' contribution to the governance and execution of the centre.

The quality and extent of international cooperation
• The extent to which the level and quality of the international cooperation activities are in line with the objectives of the centre.

Gender balance in the centre group
• If the group consisting of the project manager (centre director) and the project group is characterised by gender imbalance, are the plans to support development of research talents of the under-represented gender towards qualification for senior-level positions appropriate?

Where applicants are otherwise equally qualified, the Research Council will prioritise applications with female centre directors and centres with good female representation in leading positions.

Administrative procedures

After receiving the applications, the Research Council will carry out a preliminary administrative review to check that all formal requirements have been satisfied. Applications that do not meet the formal requirements will be rejected.

Approved applications will be assessed by a referee panel comprising impartial scientific experts in the relevant thematic area and experts well acquainted with the field of wind power. For each individual application, the Research Council will check that the referee panel is impartial and has sufficient expertise to assess the research topic in question. Assessments can also be obtained from external referees in order to assist the panel in reaching a consensus-based assessment. The referee panel will assess the criteria Excellence, Impact and Implementation. An overall mark is awarded for each of these criteria.

After the panel has completed its assessment, the Research Council will conduct an assessment of the relevance criterion. 

The overall mark awarded to the application is based on the relevance criterion and the panel’s assessment. The overall mark is calculated on the basis of the average of the four criteria without weighting. 

The portfolio board for energy, transport and low emissions will make the final decision on allocation.

The funding decision is expected to be announced in December 2020.

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