Researcher Project for Technological Convergence Related to Enabling Technologies
Published 08 Jun 2021
Download the call
We received substantially more applications than expected, and the evaluation process has been somewhat delayed compared to the estimates given in the call text. We expect to publish the results at the end of January/beginning of February 2022.
The objective of the call is to achieve radical new technological development across the enabling technologies. Examples of enabling technologies are biotechnology, ICT and nanotechnology.
A total of NOK 195 million is available, distributed between two calls for proposals; the call you are currently reading and the call for Collaborative Project for Technological Convergence related to Enabling Technologies.
04 Aug 2021
Date call is made active
15 Sep 2021
Application submission deadline
01 Feb 2022
Earliest permitted project start
01 Jul 2022
Latest permitted project start
30 Jun 2028
Latest permitted project completion
About the call for proposals
A total of NOK 195 million is available for projects that aim to achieve radical new technological development through groundbreaking research across the enabling technologies. Read more about what kinds of projects we envisage under ‘Relevant thematic areas’ further down in the call. The contact persons for the call are also listed here.
The Norwegian-language call for proposals is the legally binding version.
Who is eligible to apply?
Who can participate in the project?
Requirements relating to the Project Owner
The research organisation listed as the Project Owner in the grant application must have approved the submission of the grant application to the Research Council.
Requirements relating to project managers
You must have an approved doctorate or similar qualifications before the date of the application submission deadline.
If you do not have an approved doctorate but are qualified at associate professorship level or have current or previous employment in a position as forsker 1 (research professor), forsker 2 (senior researcher) or seniorforsker (senior researcher) in the institute sector or a health trust, you are also qualified.
You can only be the project manager for one application submitted under this call or the call ‘Collaborative Project for Technological Convergence related to Enabling Technologies’; the submission deadline is 15 September 2021 for both calls.
Requirements relating to partners
Only approved Norwegian research organisations (see a list of such organisations under ‘Who is eligible to apply?’ above) and corresponding research organisations in other countries are eligible to be partners and to receive Researcher Project funding.
Other types of organisations, such as companies and other undertakings, may not be project partners in Researcher Projects.
The Project Owner and/or project partners may hire subcontractors to provide services and carry out R&D services and contribute to individual tasks in the project.
Read more about partners.
A project participant may not be assigned two different roles in the project. This means that a sub-contractor for the project may not have the role of Project Owner or partner in the same project.
What can you seek funding for?
You will find detailed and important information about what to enter in the project budget on our website.
You may seek funding to cover actual costs that are necessary to execute the project. The Project Owner is to obtain information about costs from each project partner. These costs are to be entered in the cost plan under the relevant category.
Support may be granted for the following costs:
- Payroll and indirect expenses, related to researcher time (including research fellowship positions) at the research organisations participating in the project. For doctoral and post-doctoral research fellowships, this funding is limited to maximum three person-years.
- Equipment. This encompasses operating and depreciation costs for scientific equipment and research infrastructure necessary for the execution of the project.
- Operating expenses, which comprise costs for other activities that are necessary to carry out R&D efforts under the project.
If the project includes doctoral and post-doctoral research fellowships and there are concrete plans in place for research stays abroad for the fellowship holders, the costs of such stays may be included in the grant application. The Research Council has also issued a separate call for funding for Research Stays Abroad for Doctoral and Post-doctoral Fellows. The project manager may seek funding under that call in the course of the project period for research stays abroad for research fellows affiliated to the project.
Scope of funding
The Research Council may provide NOK 12–20 million in funding per project under this call. There are no requirements for own funding, but if our rates for research time in the university and university college sector do not cover all costs associated with a researcher or recruitment position, this must be covered through own funding.
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. We require 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 through the granting of any rights to project results.
The Research Council’s requirements relating to the allocation and disbursement of funding for the first year, and any pledges and payments for subsequent years, are set out in the General Terms and Conditions for R&D Projects.
Scientific articles and research data
The Research Council requires full and immediate open access to scientific articles; see Plan S – open access to publications.
Research data must be made available in accordance with the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable). The Project Owner organisation of projects that process data must prepare a data management plan in connection with the revised application.
The Project Owner organisation is responsible for selecting which archiving solution(s) to use for storing research data generated during the project.
Relevant thematic areas for this call
The UN Sustainable Development Goals and major societal challenges dominate the political agenda, and new technology is expected to contribute to solutions. Enabling technologies are key drivers behind change and transformation, and the newly established technological convergence initiative aims to develop groundbreaking technology and radical innovations related to sustainability and societal challenges.
Funding is available for projects that will lead to radical new technologies based on collaboration between established technological areas in the enabling technologies. Biotechnology, ICT and nanotechnology are typical examples of enabling technologies. The projects’ objective must be to find solutions that can be implemented. The projects can be high risk/high gain, meaning there can be a high risk of not fully achieving the project’s radical goals if the technological level of novelty is high and the technologies that are developed have a high potential. However, you must describe how you plan to handle various risk elements relating to the implementation of the project in the grant application.
There is uncertainty associated with the impact of technological development and innovation, and in addition to solving societal challenges, using new technology can also play a part in creating or reinforcing them. Both the technological development and the solutions must implement Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). In the grant application, describe the processes and management structure for project participants’ reflection on and discussion of intentional and unintentional applications and the impact of the technology you are developing. We expect you to involve relevant social actors in these discussions.
Challenges relating to health, safety and the environment must be clearly described where relevant.
Research on ethical, societal and political dimensions of the technological development can be included in the project.
Show that you want to engage in groundbreaking research
We want projects that are ambitious, advance the research front and are capable of radical technological development, and we take steps to increase the possibilities of identifying groundbreaking projects. In addition to the applicants’ previous merits in the field the call concerns, we will take any merits from other fields into account. We accept that the plans for implementation of the projects may reflect a need for flexibility.
Own funds for networks and learning arenas
Projects that are granted funding by the Research Council must be willing to participate in networks and learning arenas across projects. Separate funds will be earmarked for this purpose. These funds will be advertised in 2022.
Other relevant calls with the same topic
Requirements for this application type
Applications 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 must meet the following requirements:
- The application and all attachments must be submitted in English.
- All attachments must be uploaded in PDF format.
- All mandatory attachments must be included.
- Requirements relating to the project manager and Project Owner (research organisation) must be satisfied.
- The project must start between 1 February 2022 and 1 July 2022.
Applications that do not satisfy the requirements listed above may be rejected.
The designated template found at the end of the call for proposals (the project description template will soon be available) must be used for all attachments.
- A project description, maximum 15 pages.
- A CV for the project manager, maximum four pages.
- CVs of key researchers participating in the project, not exceeding four pages each.
Applicants are free to propose up to three referees who are presumed to be impartial and qualified to review the grant proposal. The Research Council is not under any obligation to use the proposed referees, but may use them as needed.
We will not assess documents and websites linked to in the application, or other attachments than those specified above. 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.
Grant applications will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:
• 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 ethical issues, safety issues, gender dimension in research content, and use of stakeholder/user knowledge if appropriate.
When determining the mark for the Excellence criterion, the extent to which the project is ambitious, novel, and goes beyond the state-of-the-art will count for 2/3 of the mark, and the quality of the proposed R&D activities will count for 1/3 of the mark.
• Potential for academic impact:
The extent to which the planned outputs of the project address important present and/or future scientific challenges.
• Potential for societal impact
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 with different target audiences, including relevant stakeholders/users.
• 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). In addition to the project manager's merits within the field relevant to the call, merits in other fields will also be taken into account.
• 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 project organisation and management
• Effectiveness of the project organisation, including the extent to which resources assigned to work packages are aligned with project objectives and deliverables. The project's plans for implementation may reflect whether there is a need for flexibility.
• 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.
Overall assessment of the referee/panel
Preliminary administrative review
Once the grant applications have been received, the Research Council will conduct a preliminary administrative review to ensure that they satisfy all the stipulated formal requirements. Applications that do not meet the formal requirements will be rejected.
The applications are divided between referee panels, and for each individual application, the Research Council will check that the panel is impartial and has sufficient expertise to assess the research topic in question. Extra assessments from external specialists will be obtained in connection with some applications to support the panel in reaching a consensus-based assessment.
The referee panel has a meeting to reach a final consensus-based mark for the assessment criteria and overall assessment, and prepare consensus-based written assessments. The referees will also be given the calls for proposals, and the referee panel will assess the relevance to the call as an integrated part of the evaluation of the applications.
The administration will then write a recommendation to the granting authority, which is the Portfolio Board for Enabling Technologies.
Prioritising applications for grants
All applications that are awarded a mark of 7 in the referee panel’s overall assessment will receive funding.
If there are any remaining funds available for distribution, we will give priority to applications awarded a mark of 6 in the overall assessment. For these applications, the mark awarded for Excellence will be given more weight than the marks for Impact and Implementation. If the remaining available funds are not sufficient to fund all applications awarded an overall mark of 6, we will use randomised selection among the applications that have been awarded equal marks.
If there are still funds available after applications awarded an overall mark of 7 and 6 have been recommended, it will be considered whether applications with an overall mark of 5 will be recommended, in accordance with the same principles.
Applications with a woman project manager will be prioritised in the category in question before a randomised selection process is used.
Please note that the amount announced in the call is an estimate of available funding. The final amount of funding granted may therefore deviate somewhat from this estimate. We will take account of any changes in the financial or scientific framework set by the ministries.
We aim to review the applications in a meeting of the portfolio board in December. The outcome of the review process will be published on our website after this meeting.
See also: Processing applications.
Messages at time of print 19 January 2022, 09:07 CET