Researcher Project for Technological Convergence Related to Enabling Technologies
05 Oct 2022
Date call is made active
Matchmaking – technological convergence
Webinar for applicants
16 Nov 2022
Application submission deadline
01 Jul 2023
Earliest permitted project start
01 Jul 2024
Latest permitted project start
30 Jun 2030
Latest permitted project completion
A new and amended template for project description is added to the call. Be sure to download the latest version of the template. In addition, changes have been made to the call for proposals on the following points: the assessment criteria and the text for the administrative procedures has been published.
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 up to NOK 115 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.
About the call for proposals
The UN Sustainable Development Goals and major societal challenges dominate the political agenda, and new technology is expected to contribute solutions. Enabling technologies are key drivers behind change and transformation, and the 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 surrounding the effects of technology development and innovation. In addition to solving societal challenges, using new technology can also play a part in reinforcing challenges or creating new ones. 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.
Read more about how you can incorporate Responsible Research and Innovation in the grant application.
Also see the portfolio plan for Enabling Technologies.
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. We therefore make efforts through our administrative procedure to increase opportunities to identify groundbreaking projects.
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.
The Norwegian-language call for proposals is the legally binding version.
Aase Marie Hundere
André Fossen Mlonyeni
Jacob Edward Wang
Who is eligible to apply?
Only approved Norwegian research organisations may apply. See the list of approved Norwegian research organisations.
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 either under this call or the call “Collaborative Project for Technological Convergence related to Enabling Technologies”; the submission deadline is 16 November 2022 for both calls. Project managers of a Researcher Project for Technological Convergence or a Collaborative Project for Technological Convergence already under way (funding granted in January 2022), cannot be project managers under this call for proposals.
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.
Read more about partners.
Use of subcontractors
As the Project Owner and/or a project partner, you may hire subcontractors to provide services and contribute to individual tasks in the project. You cannot however grant subcontractors rights to the project results. Organisations that are subject to the regulations governing public procurements must select subcontractors in accordance with these regulations. R&D providers cannot be included in the project.
A project participant may not be assigned two different roles in the project. This means that a subcontractor for the project may not have the role of Project Owner or partner in the same project.
What can you seek funding for?
You may apply for funding to cover actual costs 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.
Funding 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. Procurements from subcontractors that exceed NOK 100,000 must be specified.
Do not use the item Procurement of R&D services.
You will find detailed and important information about What to enter in the project budget on our website.
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 apply for 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 12–15 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, you must cover this through own funding.
Conditions for funding
The project must start between 1 July 2023 and 1 July 2024. You must apply for funding from the Research Council for the start-up year. The latest permitted completion date for the project is 30 June 2030.
The Research Council will not award funding that constitutes state aid under this call. This means that the 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. Our requirements relating to allocations 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 on the information page What the contract involves.
If your project is granted funding, the following must be in place when you revise the application:
- From 2022, all grant recipients that are research organisations or public sector bodies (Project Owners and partners) must have a Gender Equality Plan (GEP) available on their website. This must be in place when they sign the grant agreement for projects we have awarded funding. The requirement does not apply to the business sector, special interest organisations or the non-governmental sector.
- The Research Council requires full and immediate open access to scientific publications; see Plan S – open access to publications.
- You must prepare a data processing plan for any research data that will be processed in the project. Research data must be made available in accordance with the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable).
- The Project Owner is responsible for selecting which archiving solution(s) to use for storing research data generated during the project.
- For medical and health-related studies involving human participants, the Research Council stipulates special requirements and guidelines for prospective registration of studies and disclosure of results.
Relevant thematic areas for this call
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 grant 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 July 2023 and 1 July 2024.
- You must apply for funding from the Research Council for the year the project starts.
Applications that do not satisfy the requirements listed above may be rejected.
The designated template found at the end of the call for proposals must be used for all attachments.
- A project description, maximum 15 pages.
- A CV for the project manager, maximum four pages.
- The CVs of key researchers participating in the project, not exceeding four pages each.
Applicants themselves are to decide which project participants are most important and in which cases it will be of significance to the review process to assess these participants’ qualifications.
Applicants are free to enclose a brief description of qualifications or propose up to three referees who are presumed to be qualified to review their grant proposal. The Research Council is not under any obligation to use the proposed referees, but may use them as needed.
All attachments must be submitted together with the grant application. We will not accept attachments submitted after the deadline for applications unless we have requested further information.
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.
We assess applications in light of the objectives of the application type in question and on the basis of the following criteria:
Excellence – potential for advancing the state-of-the-art art and creating radical technology development
• Technological and 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.
Excellence – quality of 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 and gender dimensions in the research content. The extent to which the use of stakeholder/user knowledge is appropriate and the extent to which Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has been incorporated.
• Potential for academic impact:
The extent to which the planned outputs of the project address important present and future technological and 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).
• 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.
• 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.
We will assess the version of your grant application that you submit and will not take into account how an identical or almost identical application has been assessed in the past.
Please note that the evaluation process used for this call deviates from the process that was used to review applications for Researcher Projects submitted to the deadline 2 February 2022.
Preliminary administrative review
Once we have received the grant applications, 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 will go through a two-step evaluation process
During the first step of the process, applications will be assessed solely on the criterium Excellence – potential for advancing the state-of-the-art and creating radical technology development. Referees participating in this step will combined have broad state-of-the-art competence within enabling technologies but may not have specialist competence in relation to each application. During this step, the referee panels will identify applications with potential to advance the research front and deliver radical new technologies. During this step we will ensure that only applications that meet a minimum requirement based on the objective of the call, will move to the next step and be subject to further assessment.
The threshold mark for this criterium is set to 5. This means that applications that receive the mark 4 or lower for this criterium will not be subject to further assessment and will not be eligible for funding.
During the second step of the evaluation process, the applications that are above the threshold mark will be assigned to referee panels based on the research content of the applications. During this step, the experts will evaluate the applications on the three criteria Excellence - quality of R&D activities, Impact and Implementation.
The peer review process described above will be used for all applications submitted to this call and applications submitted to the call Collaborative Project for Technological Convergence related to Enabling Technologies. Applications submitted to these two calls will all compete for the total budget of NOK 115 million.
Prioritising applications for grants
When considering which projects should be funded, the mark for the criterium Excellence – potential for advancing the state-of-the-art and creating radical technology development will be given most weight. The three remaining criteria will be weighted equally. We will use so-called randomised selection to distinguish between applications in intervals where the applications are considered to have the same level of quality. Applications with women project managers will be prioritised among applications where randomised selection is performed.
Please note that the amount available for funding in the call is an estimate, and the final amount granted may deviate somewhat from this estimate. We will take into account any changes in the financial or scientific framework set by the ministries.
The plan is for the portfolio board for Enabling Technologies to take their final funding decision in a meeting in June 2023. The application results will be published on our website after the meeting.
Messages at time of print 1 June 2023, 11:46 CEST
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