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Demonstration Project for the Industrial Sector 2022

This call for proposals has an open-ednded deadline. Grant applications that will included in the second application processing of 2022, must be submitted by 14 September.

We estimate that up to NOK 82 million will be available for the next allocation, but this limit may change following a decision by the Research Council's Executive Board. The specified sums in the thematic area texts will not aligned according to the new frame. If you have any questions about available funding per topic, please contact the contact persons listed in the thematic area texts.

Important dates

09 Mar 2022

Last submission deadline, first application period (midnight)

JUNE 2022

Decision, first application period

01 Jul 2022

Earliest possible project start-up after the first application period

01 Jul 2022

Tidligste tillatte prosjektstart

14 Sep 2022

Last submission deadline, second application period (midnight)

DECEMBER 2022

Decision, second application period

01 Jan 2023

Earliest possible project start-up after the second application period

Important dates

Purpose

A Demonstration Project for the Industrial Sector should strengthen companies’ own efforts to demonstrate new technology for applications with major socio-economic benefits. Projects are to ensure expertise, job creation, value creation and a competitive industrial sector. 

 

About the call for proposals

Demonstration Project for the Industrial Sector 2022 covers topics relating to the Maritime industry (green shipping), Petroleum, and Land-based food, the environment and bioresources.

Funding will be awarded to projects that promote collaboration to ensure that new innovations are developed and taken into use – whether they are products, services or processes – and that have a need for pilot testing and demonstration of new technology for use nationally or to sell in international markets.

We expect you to carry out a significant part of the work on developing the technology in Norway, thereby ensuring Norwegian value creation and jobs. However, the pilot testing activities themselves may be conducted abroad.

Industrial projects that require more extensive research activity may be more relevant to the call Innovation Project for the Industrial Sector 2022.

You may submit your grant application at any time, up to and including 14 September 2022, 23:59 CEST. We process applications twice a year. Read more under the section ‘Expected funding decision’ (under ‘Administrative procedures’ towards the end of the call).

This call for proposals constitutes a funding scheme that is notified to the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA), and must be practised in compliance with the EEA state aid rules. Read more about state aid under the section ‘Conditions for funding’.

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

We will provide three months’ notification of any significant revisions to the call.

Who is eligible to apply?

This call is open to companies that have been issued an enterprise number under the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises and that carry out economic activity in Norway. The applicant must either be a private company or a public enterprise that carries out activities of an industrial or business nature. We will use the collective term ‘company’ in the rest of the call for proposals.

Requirements apply for collaboration with other companies/actors in the value chain. You can read more about this in the section ‘Relevant thematic areas’ below.

Sole proprietorships and research organisations are not eligible to serve as a formal applicant.

Who can participate in the project?

Requirements relating to the Project Owner

The Project Owner must secure funding for the project (over and above the Research Council’s funding) and make provisions for utilisation of the project results in the company.

Requirements relating to partners

  • The Project Owner must carry out the project in collaboration with at least one other company/actor in the value chain. Requirements and expectations of the collaboration are described in more detail under the topic you select for your grant application. The partners must normally contribute financial and scientific commitments to the project. Read more about project partners and R&D providers here. All partners and R&D providers must be registered in the grant application form.
  • Partners must also fulfil the criteria listed under the section ‘Who is eligible to apply?’ to be able to participate in the project and receive funding. Partners must be involved in what is known as an effective collaboration with the Project Owner, which entails sharing both the risk associated with the project and the results it generates. Partners whose project costs are covered in part by Research Council funding are recipients of state aid.
  • Norwegian and foreign expert environments and research organisations may participate in the project as R&D providers with responsibility for performing R&D work on assignment for the partner companies. R&D providers may not contribute to project funding and in general have no rights to the project results. They deliver on assignment and should receive the market price for their work. If they are nonetheless to maintain the rights to results, this should be reflected in the assignment’s pricing.
  • Other international and public sector bodies may participate in the project, but they must not be entered as partners in the application form. This type of collaboration can be described under ‘Other collaboration’ under section 3.3. of the project description.
  • The Project Owner or one of the partners may not be in an interdependent relationship with any of the R&D providers in the project, e.g., where both entities are part of the same corporation. The ‘arm’s length principle’ must be observed when engaging R&D providers.
  • The Project Owner and partners participating in the project that are interdependent will be considered as one entity and as a single recipient of funding in accordance with the state aid rules.
  • The application with relevant partners and R&D providers at the time the application is submitted forms the basis and is a stringent condition for funding. Changes made to the composition of a project before a contract has been entered into may result in the Research Council withdrawing its offer of funding.

Typical characteristics of a funded project

  • Demonstration Projects build on a specific innovation produced by the companies participating in the project. The innovation can be in the form of a new product, service or production process, or a new means of delivering products and services. The innovation may also entail significant improvements in or new characteristics of existing products, processes or services.
  • The companies depend on R&D activities to demonstrate and verify the innovation in order to successfully introduce their product on the market and move forward with commercialisation. R&D activities primarily concern experimental development, as defined in the state aid rules.
  • You can demonstrate that the project will have a likely and significant positive impact for one or more sustainable development goals. We expect the project to have a positive impact without causing harm to other areas. Examples include emission reductions, climate adaptation, resource efficiency, well-functioning ecosystems or social/societal improvements.
  • The project partners have defined tasks and a clear role in the project’s implementation.
  • Demonstration and qualification activities are to be carried out under realistic conditions. The project description must include a clear plan for these activities.
  • The scope and risk profile of the project is such that the companies would not be able to carry out the project without public funding. This means that support from the Research Council will be essential to reducing risk sufficiently for the participants to implement the necessary R&D activities. Project funding should also be crucial to obtaining private investment in the company for the development and realisation of the innovation.
  • The project must incorporate clear targets and a concrete plan for carrying out the project and for utilising the results.

What can you seek funding for?

Parts of the partner companies’ costs pertaining to R&D activities under the project qualify for funding. This encompasses both a company’s own expenses for performing R&D activities itself and costs for procurement of R&D services

You will find detailed information about what to enter in the project budget here.

The Research Council does not provide funding for operational business activities including activities associated with the commercial exploitation of the R&D results, such as protection of intellectual property rights, market surveys and marketing. Nor is funding provided for costs that will not be recorded in the Project Owner or partners’ official accounts, such as own unpaid work effort. Nor are commercial rates for infrastructure owned by a partner or equipment/datasets donated to the project free of charge approved project costs and should not be included in the budget tables in the grant application form.

Scope of funding

The minimum amount of funding that may be sought is NOK 1 million and the maximum is NOK 16 million. The limits to the amount of funding that can be granted vary somewhat between the different thematic areas. See the section ‘Relevant thematic areas’ below for more details. The projects may last from one to three years.

The project activities are defined under the category ‘Experimental development’. Effective collaboration does not qualify for additional funding. The aid intensity in such cases varies from 25 per cent to maximum 45 per cent depending on the size of the company as defined in the state aid rules.

Type of company/type of activity

Experimental development

Small business

45 %

Medium-sized business

35 %

Large business

25 %

Please note that the aid intensity is calculated for each partner and their specific costs in the project rather than the project’s overall costs. The final grant amount for applications awarded funding will be determined in conjunction with contract negotiations.

Conditions for funding

This call for proposals constitutes a funding scheme that is notified to the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA). 

Funding awarded under this scheme is granted in accordance with Article 25 of the General Block Exemption Regulation for state aid (Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014). The general terms and conditions in Chapter I of the Regulation must also be satisfied. See the consolidated version of the General Block Exemption Regulation for state aid (page opens in a new window). This funding scheme must be practised in compliance with the EEA state aid rules. Conditions and concepts are to be interpreted in keeping with corresponding conditions and concepts in the state aid rules. In the event of conflict between the text of the call and the state aid rules, the latter will have precedence. The text of the call may be adjusted for the same reason.

State aid may not be given to an undertaking that is subject to an outstanding recovery order following a formal decision by the EFTA Surveillance Authority or the European Commission stating that state aid received is illegal and incompatible with the internal market. Nor can the Research Council award state aid to an enterprise that is defined as an undertaking in difficulty under the state aid rules, unless the undertaking was not in difficulty as of 31 December 2019, but became an undertaking in difficulty in the period 1 January 2020– 31December 2021. It may in such case receive funding.

The call for proposals has been approved as an aid scheme by the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) with the reference: GBER 16/2022/R&D&I. 

If your project is granted funding, you will have to revise the application. The revised application must incorporate updated and supplementary information about the project and participating partners, including documentation of implementation capacity and own funding. The participating companies must also submit a declaration confirming that they are qualified to receive state aid.

If your application is awarded funding, you should also note that:

  • The project must commence no later than six months after the awarded grant was announced. Projects approved for funding that have not started within this date may lose their grant.
  • You must submit accounting reports annually documenting incurred project costs and their financing.
  • Other public funding allocated to the project, or to activities under the project, will affect the amount of funding that the Research Council can provide.
  • If the Research Council allocates your project EUR 500,000 or more, this will be listed in a public registry.
  • You must inform any partners listed on the stock exchange or that have applied to be admitted to trading as quickly as possible to give them an opportunity to assess whether the allocation of funding is sensitive inside information.

The Research Council’s requirements relating to allocations can be found in our General Terms and Conditions for R&D Projects on the page ‘What the contract involves’.

Relevant thematic areas for this call

In the grant application form, you must select the thematic area and topic that are most relevant to your project. 

Petroleum

Reducing greenhouse gases, energy efficiency and the environmentSubsurface knowledgeDrilling, completion and interventionProduction, processing and transportMajor accidents and the working environment

Oceans

Maritime sector

Land-based food, the environment and bioresources

Practical information

Requirements for this application type

Applications must be created and submitted via My RCN Web. The application and all attachments must be written in Norwegian or English. This call has an open-ended deadline. A unique grant application may only be submitted once (whereas calls with a fixed deadline may be submitted and resubmitted multiple times up to the submission deadline). It is nonetheless possible to create a new application, e.g., by submitting a copy of the one you have already submitted and thus submit a new version by the deadline. You can then decide which version you would like us to assess. 

  • All attachments to the online grant application form must be uploaded in PDF format. The templates for attachments can be found at the end of the call for proposals.
  • The project description must be written using the designated template, and all sections must be completed.
  • If the applicant has submitted the same or similar grant proposals to other Research Council calls for proposals, this must be stated in the grant application.
  • All project costs must be budgeted in accordance with the Research Council's guidelines.

Mandatory attachments

  • Project description of up to 10 pages in length using the designated template.
  • Information about partners for the company submitting the grant application (Project Owner) and each of the participating companies (company partners) using the designated template.
  • CVs for the project manager and other key project participants using the designated template. A maximum of five CVs can be attached per application.
  • A Letter of Intent from all registered partners. The Letter of Intent should explain why the project is important to them and describe their financial and/or scientific commitments to the project.

Note that the templates are new for 2022.

All requirements set out in the call must be met. Applications that do not meet the formal requirements will not be considered. The application must comply with the framework for funding and duration set out under the relevant thematic area.

We will not assess documents and websites linked to in the application, or other attachments than those specified above.

Assessment criteria

We assess applications in light of the objectives of the application type in question and on the basis of the following criteria:

Excellence

To what extent does the project represent an ambitious innovation that is supported by relevant R&D activities of high quality?

• To what extent does the innovation represent something new?
• To what extent is the innovation targeted towards clear needs or new market opportunities for the Project Owner and the companies that are partners in the project?
• To what extent does the project build on relevant and updated knowledge?
• To what extent does the project employ relevant and recognised R&D methods?
• To what extent are the R&D activities ambitious and essential for the success of the innovation?
• To what extent does the project give appropriate consideration to ethical issues and/or gender perspectives in the research?

Impact

To what extent does the project facilitate sustainable development and positive impacts for society and the project partners, and to what extent has this been adequately described and substantiated?

• To what extent does the project contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals?
• To what extent can the project have positive external impacts for trade and industry, the public sector and society at large?
• To what extent will the project have significant financial benefits for the Project Owner and the companies that are partners?
• To what extent is the plan for implementation of the R&D results and realisation of benefits relevant and appropriate?

Implementation

To what extent does the R&D project plan provide a good basis for implementing the activities?

• To what extent does the R&D project plan incorporate appropriate and effective objectives, work packages, milestones, resources and relevant risk assessments?
• To what extent does the project have a clear and distinct plan for demonstration/piloting?
• To what extent will the project have access to the necessary R&D expertise and adequate capacity to carry out the R&D tasks?
• To what extent does the project manager have appropriate expertise and experience to lead the R&D project?
• To what extent does the project have an appropriate project organisation with a clearly defined and relevant distribution of the budget, roles and responsibilities?
• To what extent does the project reflect the strategic priorities of the Project Owner and the companies that are partners?
• To what extent is the budget and funding plan realistic and feasible?

Relevance to the call for proposals

To what extent does the project meet the requirements and guidelines set out in the call for proposals?

• To what extent have the conditions set out in the call for proposals with regard to collaboration and specification of roles been met?
• To what extent can support from the Research Council be expected to trigger increased R&D investment among the Project Owner and the companies that are partners in the project and provide added value to the project beyond the financial support?
• To what extent does the project meet the topic’s guidelines and priorities?

Administrative procedures

The application and mandatory attachments will be made available in a digital portal for referees who will perform an assessment of the criteria ‘Excellence’, ‘Impact’ and ‘Implementation’. Each application will be assessed by a referee panel comprising at least three experts. The referee panel will submit a consensus-based assessment for each of the three criteria.

After the panel has completed its assessment, a Research Council case officer will conduct an assessment of the criterion ‘Relevance to the call for proposals’. The assessment and marks for the four above-mentioned criteria will be consolidated into a single, overall mark that indicates the merit of the application.

The Research Council administration will then present the projects to the relevant Research Council portfolio boards for the final funding decision. The portfolio boards will attach importance to achieving a balanced project portfolio in the areas under their purview and in relation to ongoing projects and applications submitted under other calls for proposals. These assessments will be based on the budgetary framework, the text of the call for proposals and documents referred to in the description of the respective thematic areas.

Each portfolio board will also act in accordance with the Research Council’s general policy for allocation of funding:

  • prioritisation of projects based on the impact on sustainability and the environment, assuming all other quality-related factors are essentially equal;
  • prioritisation of projects led by women project managers, assuming all other quality-related factors are essentially equal;
  • research ethics perspectives. 

Expected funding decision

Applications will be processed in groups. The expected funding decision dates are presented in the table below. The Research Council will have two periods in 2022 during which applications will be received and processed. Some thematic areas may allocate all available funding by June 2022. In such case, we will post a notification of this at the top of the call for proposals. Applications received for topics that do not have available funding will be rejected. 

Please note that rejected applications that are resubmitted without significant changes to the project and grant application will be considered on the basis of the original assessment by the portfolio board. If a previously unsuccessful grant application is resubmitted, but with significant changes to the project and the grant application itself, the application may be assessed again and by a panel comprised wholly or in part by the same referees who assessed the previous version. Applicants who are re-submitting a previously unsuccessful grant application must provide an account of the relevant changes and their significance to the project in section 4.3 of the project description.

Applications submitted from

Normal reply date

First possible start-up date

Last possible start-up date (approx.)

18 January to 9 March 2022

No later than by the end of June 2022

1 July 2022

31 December 2022

10 March to 14 September 2022

No later than mid-December 2022

1 January 2023

30 June 2023

 

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