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Health Pilot

Update 15 November 2023: We expect to publish which applications will be awarded funding in February 2024.

Important dates

02 Aug 2023

Date call is made active

13 Sep 2023

Application submission deadline

February 2024

Expected date for funding decision

01 Jan 2024

Earliest permitted project start

15 Aug 2024

Latest permitted project start

14 Aug 2028

Latest permitted project completion

Important dates

Purpose

Through the Health Pilot initiative, we will finance innovation processes that can increase sustainability in health and care services and stimulate value creation in Norwegian trade and industry, cf. Report No 18 to the Storting (2018–2019) The health industry – working together on value creation and better services. The innovation processes must be based on the needs of patients, citizens or the public health services.

About the call for proposals

Through effective collaboration, public and private actors will work together to develop good solutions that reach patients and citizens more quickly. At the same time, the growth potential of new and existing business and industry will be strengthened. 

What characterises a Health Pilot project?

A Health Pilot project should

  • be based on acknowledged and specific needs in the specialist health service and/or the municipal health and care services that are either rooted in patients'/residents' needs or in the service itself
  • be an ambitious innovation process with a high probability for future implementation and scaling of solutions nationally and internationally
  • have collaboration between several actors across the public, private and possibly voluntary sectors that take care of the users' perspective in a good way

A Health Pilot project must

  • include R&D activities that contribute to the development of innovative technologies, processes, products or services that respond to identified and clarified needs
  • include R&D activities that help ensure that these solutions can be implemented, commercialised and scaled retrospectively or in parallel with the R&D project
  • have the potential to provide quantifiable gains in both the public and private sectors

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

Who is eligible to apply?

The proposed project must involve several partners. The application must be submitted by the Project Owner on behalf of all the partners in the partnership constellation. The Project Owner must be either

  • an enterprise in the public sector with an organisation number in Norway and representing the health and care sector (including municipalities). See the definition of public sector body.

or

  • a company that is registered in the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises and carries out economic activity in Norway

Universities and university colleges are not eligible to apply, i.e. be the Project Owner.

Sole proprietorships, clusters, industry organisations and technology transfer offices are not eligible to apply, i.e. be the Project Owner.

Who can participate in the project?

Requirements relating to partners and roles

If the Project Owner submitting the application is a company, collaboration with at least one public entity registered with an organisation number in Norway is required. This entity must represent the health and care sector (municipalities are included).

If the Project Owner is a public entity, collaboration with at least one company registered in the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises and whose economic activity in Norway is required. Sole proprietorships, clusters, trade associations and technology transfer offices cannot be partners.

Partners are involved in effective collaboration with the Project Owner, which means that they share both the risk in the project and the results that emerge from it. They will also contribute with own financing. The partners and Project Owner are to enter into a consortium agreement. This agreement must regulate the rights to use and commercial exploitation of the results.

Norwegian and international research organisations, expert communities or R&D performing companies may participate in the project as R&D providers with responsibility for performing R&D work on behalf of the Project Owner and the partners. R&D providers are not to contribute to project funding and do not normally have rights to project results. They deliver work on assignment and will receive a market price for this. If they are to retain rights to project results, the market value of the rights they retain must be deducted from the price of the services they provide.

Relevant user organisations, clusters, non-governmental sectors, sole proprietorships and/or other relevant actors may participate in the project as sub-contractors. The sub-contractors' roles in the project are to be described in the project description, and the costs must be entered in the grant application for either the Project Owner or the partner.

Please note that the Project Owner and partners must be independent of each other, which means that one cannot have controlling influence over the other. This follows from the definition of partner in our General Terms and Conditions for R&D Projects (see link below), compared with the definition of effective collaboration. Nor may suppliers of R&D have controlling influence over or be controlled by the Project Owner or partners. By controlling influence, we mean that one has a majority shareholding or can otherwise control the other.

The application with the relevant partners and R&D providers at the time of application submission is the starting point for – and a crucial condition for – the allocation of funding. If you make changes to the project composition prior to entering into a contract, our funding commitment may be withdrawn.

Requirements relating to the project manager

It will benefit the project if the project manager has previous experience from public-private innovation cooperation. The project manager's professional competence and suitability to carry out the project will be assessed by the referee panel.

Requirements relating to user participation

User participation and user knowledge are usually important to succeed in innovation work. In this context, by users we mean patients and/or citizens, professional users/user organisations and/or those who will provide the service (employees). In Health Pilot projects, we expect you to plan for user participation, and the user perspective should be clearly stated in the project description. If user participation is not included in the project, you must clearly state in the application why this is not relevant to your project.

What can you seek funding for?

The Research Council's support for Pilot Health projects is only to be used for R&D activities. The project description must outline a plan for implementation, scaling and commercialisation, but we do not provide funding to cover the costs for these activities.

Support awarded to companies and other undertakings (either as Project Owner or partner) constitutes state aid, and the R&D activities awarded funding must be industrial research or experimental development as defined in the state aid rules (see "Article 25: Important definitions" of our page Conditions for awarding state aid). In the application form's progress plan, you must categorise R&D activities by selecting either "Industrial research" or "Experimental development" from the drop-down menu.

The Research Council does not provide support for activities of an operational nature and for measures to exploit the R&D results, such as protection of intellectual property rights, market surveys and marketing and production/completion of products and services to be marketed.

Funding awarded to public actors is to be used for R&D activities and activities that are necessary to adapt the organisation, systems and work processes so that the solution(s) developed in the project can be procured and implemented after completion of the R&D project. In the application form's progress plan, you must mark the R&D activities as "Main activity".

You can apply for funding to cover the following project costs that are actual costs and that are necessary to carry out the project:

  • Payroll and indirect expenses
  • Procurement of R&D services from expert communities/research organisations
  • Equipment (rental/depreciation for instruments and equipment)
  • Other operating expenses

You will find detailed and important information about what the budget should contain on the website. All project costs are to be budgeted in accordance with the Research Council's guidelines. You can also read more about this on that page.

Type of company/type of activity

Industrial research

Experimental development

Small Business

70 %

45 %

Between companies

60 %

35 %

Large Business

50 %

25 %

For applications awarded funding, the final funding amount will be determined when we enter into a contract with you. You will be offered a conditional allocation with the condition of preparing a revised application in accordance with the award decision, cf. the bullet points below.

Conditions for funding

Our prerequisites for the award can be found in General terms and conditions for R&D projects. For projects awarded funding under this call, this includes the requirement for an annual project account report documenting incurred project costs and their financing.

The Research Council requires that the project is carried out in effective collaboration between the Project Owner and the partners. The Project Owner and the partners must enter into a consortium agreement that regulates the distribution of the rights to use and commercial utilisation of the results.

The call for proposals has been approved as an aid scheme by the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) and has the reference: GBER 72/2023/R&D&I.

  • The scheme is to be practised in accordance with the EEA state aid rules. Conditions and concepts are to be interpreted in accordance with corresponding conditions and concepts in the state aid rules. In the event of conflict between the call for proposals and the state aid rules, the latter will take precedence. For the same reason, the call for proposals may be adjusted.
  • Funding awarded to undertakings is awarded in accordance with Article 25 of the General Block Exemption Regulation (Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014). In addition, the general conditions set out in Chapter I of the Regulation must be met. See the General Block Exemption Regulation in a consolidated version as amended up to and including July 2020.
  • State aid may not be awarded to undertakings that have not met the repayment requirements pursuant to a prior decision by the EFTA Surveillance Authority/the European Commission declaring aid illegal and incompatible with the internal market. Nor may aid be awarded to undertakings in difficulty under EEA law.
  • The companies participating in the project must submit a declaration confirming that they are eligible to receive state aid.
  • Allocated state aid of EUR 500 000 or more will be published in the Register of State Aid.
  • Other public funding to cover the same eligible costs may affect the amount of support from the Research Council.
  • When the Project Owner knows that the project will be awarded funding, any partners that are listed or have applied to be admitted to trading on the stock exchange must be informed of the funding, so that they can assess whether the allocation of project funds is sensitive information.

Please contact us if you have any questions

The contact persons below constitute the reference group for the Health Pilot scheme. The individuals represent the specialist and primary health services throughout the country. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about whether your project fits the purpose of the call or if you need help getting in touch with the right professional environment/service level in the health service.

Name

Location

Email

Telephone

Tine Thorbjørnsen

The Research Council of Norway

tth@forskningsradet.no

41611585

Anila Nauni

The Research Council of Norway

ann@forskningsradet.no

 

Pernille Thingstad

KSF region middle

pernille.thingstad@trondheim.kommune.no

95761041

Marit S. Bratlie

Central Norway Regional Health Authority

marit.bratlie@helse-midt.no

90727296

Francis Odeh

KSF Region North

Francis.Odeh@bodo.kommune.no

95155539

Sture Pettersen

Northern Norway Regional Health Authority

sture.pettersen@helse-nord.no

91703299

Cille Haglans Sevild

KSF Region West

cille.sevild@stavanger.kommune.no

51508014

Lena Forgaard

Western Norway Regional Health Authority

lena.forgaard@helse-vest.no

48124019

Elisabeth Holen-Rabbersvik

KSF Region South

Elisabeth.Holen-Rabbersvik@kristiansand.kommune.no

93248992

Christian Skattum

Oslo University Hospital

Christian.Skattum@ous-hf.no

40000920

Otto Christian Dahl

KS

otto.christian.dahl@ks.no

98643249

Relevant thematic areas for this call

The call is open to all projects aimed at meeting clear needs in the specialist health service and/or the municipal health and care services that are either anchored in patients'/residents' needs or in the service itself. The needs must be based on a concrete clarification of needs with broad involvement of stakeholders. We are looking for projects that aim to develop innovations that meet the needs while at the same time contributing to sustainability in the health service and society in addition to value creation for the business sector.

By sustainability in the health service, we mean that in the future, the health services should still be able to offer safe, equal and adapted services of high quality to all citizens without increasing the total burden on either the services or society.

By innovations we mean new or significantly improved solutions, services, processes, organisational forms or marketing models that are used to achieve value creation and social benefit. In order for the projects to contribute to value creation in Norwegian trade and industry, the solutions developed should have a market both in Norway and abroad.

Through stakeholder dialogue prior to the call for proposals, we have come up with some examples of challenges that Health Pilot projects can address:

  • Digital and decentralised health follow-up: Innovations for digital and decentralised diagnostics, treatment (including clinical trials) and rehabilitation as well as new solutions for digital collaboration between patient and health services, including self-service solutions.
  • Interaction between services: Innovations for interaction between different parts of the health, care and welfare services that safeguard the needs of patients, residents and relatives in a safe and equal manner.
  • Health competence and coping: Innovations that increase citizens', patients', and relatives' knowledge and competence about their own health, prevention and coping with illness, with a focus on mental health.
  • Health data: Innovations for safe and efficient collection, storage and sharing of health data that will be used to provide better and more efficient diagnostics, treatment and rehabilitation as well as contribute to safe and high-quality services.
  • A robust health sector: Innovations that help the health sector meet current and future challenges, including strengthened preparedness and better conditions for dealing with crises, such as epidemics and refugee flows. This can include innovations that contribute to increased self-sufficiency of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, diagnostics and medical devices.

Other challenges rooted in specific needs may also be relevant for Health Pilot projects.

Health

Health, care and welfare services

Practical information

Requirements for this application type

The application must be created and submitted via "My RCN web". You can change and submit your application several times up to the application deadline. We recommend that you submit your application as soon as you have completed the application form and uploaded the mandatory attachments. When the application deadline expires, we will process the most recently submitted version of the application.

  • Grant applications and all attachments must be submitted in Norwegian or English. You will find all application templates at the end of the call.
  • All attachments must be in PDF format.
  • Enter the ES number of any application for a pre-project in the field "Other relevant programmes/activities/projects" (numbers both for applications that were granted and those that were not granted must be entered).

Mandatory attachments

The mandatory attachments must be written in designated templates that you will find at the end of the call.

  • Project description, maximum 15 pages (to come later)
  • Partner data (for businesses only)
  • CV for the project manager and other key participants in the project, maximum four pages per CV

Applications that do not meet the above requirements may be rejected.

All attachments to the application must be submitted together with the application. We do not accept attachments submitted after the application deadline unless we have requested additional documentation.

Documents and websites linked to in the application, or attachments other than those specified above will not be considered.

There is no technical validation for the content of the attachments you upload, so be sure to upload the correct file for the correct attachment type.

Assessment criteria

We assess applications in light of the objectives of the call and on the basis of the following criteria:

Excellence

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

• To what extent does the innovation represent something novel?
• To what extent will the innovation help to resolve a challenge and/or meet a recognised need in the health services?
• To what extent is the innovation targeted towards new market opportunities for 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 essential for the success of the innovation?

Impact

To what extent does the project pave the way for benefits and value creation in public sector bodies and the Norwegian business sector, and form the basis for other positive impacts in society? To what extent are the potential impacts of the project clearly formulated and plausible?

• To what extent will the project entail a potential for sustainable value creation in the Norwegian business sector with significant economic benefits for companies?
• To what extent will the project form the basis for benefits and value creation in the health sector in the form of more sustainable health and care services?
• To what extent can the project generate other positive external effects for patients, inhabitants and society or in the form of knowledge dissemination?

• To what extent does the plan for implementation of the R&D results and realisation of benefits give reason to indicate that the project can achieve the impacts described? Is the plan relevant and appropriate, for example in relation to
- needs and plans for adapting the organisation, systems and/or work processes;
- needs and plans for investments and allocation of resources;
- management of IPR and regulatory approvals;
- development of business models and/or commercialisation plans incl. partnerships;
- risk assessments in relation to e.g. implementation and/or market access;
- dissemination and communication.

Implementation

To what extent do the project plan and the project group provide a good basis for implementing the R&D activities and utilising the results?

• 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 are the plans for user participation relevant and appropriate?

• To what extent does the project group have the competence and expertise necessary to ensure efficient implementation of the R&D project and with sufficient capacity?
• To what extent is the project strategically aligned with the partners and is the distribution of the budget, roles and responsibilities clearly defined and relevant?
• To what extent does the project manager have relevant expertise and experience to lead an R&D project targeted towards innovation and value creation through public-private collaboration?

• To what extent does the project group have the competence and capacity necessary to ensure utilisation of the R&D results and realisation of the benefits?

Relevance to the call for proposals

To what extent does the project comply with the requirements and guidelines set out in the call?

• To what extent does the application meet the requirements set out in the call and expectations with regard to the Project Owner and partnership constellations?
• To what extent does the application meet the expectations and characteristics of the projects set out in the call?
• To what extent is the project in keeping with thematic priorities set out in the call?

Administrative procedures

Once the applications have been received, we will first carry out a preliminary assessment to check that all formal requirements have been met. Grant applications that do not satisfy the formal requirements may be rejected.

Step 1

Following a preliminary assessment, grant applications will be assessed on the basis of the criterion "Relevance to the call for proposals" by the Research Council's case officers. The assessment is presented to a reference group with representatives from the regional health authorities, KS and SIVA. Applications with clearly weak relevance for Health Pilot will not proceed to Step 2.

Step 2

Grant applications that are considered relevant to Health Pilot and that satisfy the formal requirements and guidelines set out in the call will be distributed to referees with relevant expertise.

For each application, we check that the referees are impartial and have sufficient expertise in the application's thematic area. The referees assess the criteria "Research and innovation", "Impact" and "Implementation". The referees' assessments are of decisive importance for whether the project can be awarded funding.

Decisions of the portfolio board

The Research Council administration will then submit the grant applications and assessments for decision by the Research Council's portfolio board for Health. The portfolio board will attach importance to achieving a balanced project portfolio within its areas of responsibility and the thematic priorities set out in the call, also in light of ongoing projects and any applications submitted for other calls for proposals. These assessments will be based on the budget framework, the call text, the portfolio plan and the letter of allocation from the Ministry of Health and Care Services. In particular, the ministry has asked the Research Council to prioritise implementation and impact research.

The portfolio board will also apply the Research Council's general policy for allocation of funding, i.e. we will assess the grant applications on the basis of

  • research ethics requirements;
  • prioritisation of projects on the basis of their impact on sustainability and the environment, assuming all other quality-related factors are essentially equal.

We expect to publish which applications will be awarded funding in February 2024.

Messages at time of print 2 March 2024, 05:13 CET

Important message

For the application deadline 6 March, we manage our hotline +47 22 03 72 00 from Thursday 29 February till Tuesday 5 March at CET 08.00–15.45 and Wednesday 6 March at CET 08.00-13.00.