Knowledge-building Project for Industry
Download the call
20 Dec 2022
Date call is made active
15 Feb 2023
Application submission deadline
01 Jul 2023
Earliest permitted project start
01 Dec 2023
Latest permitted project start
30 Nov 2027
Latest permitted project completion
The purpose of this call is to develop new knowledge and generate competence in the research organisations needed by society or the industry sector to address important societal challenges.
The projects are to encourage and support collaboration between research organisations and stakeholders from outside the research sector that represent societal and/or industry-related needs for knowledge and research competence.
About the call for proposals
Up to NOK 270 million for Knowledge-building Projects for Industry is available for both basic and applied research activities. The research topics for which funding can be applied are described further down in the call. Please tick the topic your application concerns in the grant application form.
Please note that the funding available within each topic may be reduced due to changes in the state budget. This means that we cannot allocated as much funds as mentioned above.
If you applied for funding in 2022, you should pay special attention to the following changes:
- Maximum project length has been reduced from five to four years.
- The template for project description has been updated and the new template must be used.
Applicants are advised to consult our Guide for Applicants for answers to key questions.
Please note that you may not be the project manager for more than one application submitted for either a Knowledge-building Project for Industry (this call), a Collaborative Project to meet Societal and Industry-related Challenges (deadline of 15 February 2023), a Researcher Project for Scientific Renewal or a Researcher Project for Young Talents (thematic priority calls with application deadline of 8 February 2023) or Researcher Project for Young Talents (FRIPRO) (deadline 15 March 2023).
It will be possible to create and fill in an application form from 20 December (date postponed from 14 December). See our video tutorial that tells you how to fill in the application form (in Norwegian).
The Norwegian-language call for proposals is the legally binding version.
We reserve the right to make possible changes to the call after we have received our letter of allocation from the Norwegian government for 2023.
Who is eligible to apply?
The call is open to approved Norwegian research organisations in effective cooperation with relevant actors from public sector entities, non-governmental organisations, the industry sector and/or other private organisations.
See the list of approved Norwegian research organisations.
Who can participate in the project?
Requirements relating to the Project Owner
The Project Owner must be a Norwegian research organisation approved by the Research Council (see above).
The organisation listed as the Project Owner in the application form must have approved the submission of the grant application to the Research Council. The application must be aligned with the Project Owner’s strategies.
Requirements relating to project managers
There are no formal requirements of the project manager’s qualifications, but the project manager must be able to document knowledge and expertise in the relevant field and in project management. Peer reviewers will assess the project manager’s professional expertise and suitability.
Please note that you can only be the project manager for one application submitted for either a Collaborative Project to meet Societal and Industry-related Challenges (deadline of 15 February 2023), a Researcher Project for Scientific Renewal or a Researcher Project for Young Talents (application deadline of 8 February 2023 for the two latter).
Requirements relating to partners
Projects are to be carried out by one or more research organisations in effective cooperation with relevant actors from the industry sector and, if relevant, partners from other sectors.
- The project must have at least two Norwegian partners from the industry sector (see the guide for a definition). The minimum requirement is only met if both partners provide cash contributions to the project. The cash contributions must be confirmed in the Letters of Intent.
- The combined cash contribution from the Norwegian partners from the industry sector forms the basis for the maximum amount of funding that the Research Council can provide for the project.
- The project must be carried out in effective collaboration, which means that all partners must actively contribute to the planning and follow-up of the project. Everyone must also contribute to spreading the results and ensuring that new knowledge is used.
- Projects are to have a steering committee or reference group comprising representatives of the project partners.
- The grant application must describe how the project incorporates the strategic objectives of all the partners. This must be confirmed in the Letters of Intent.
- The project must not involve contract research. The project proposal must describe how the knowledge developed in the project will be of benefit to wider user groups.
Roles in the project
One and the same project participant may not be assigned more than one role in the project, e.g. as Project Owner and partner or subcontractor.
The Project Owner and collaborating partners cannot be in a position where they can exercise so-called controlling influence over other collaborating partners or subcontractors in the project. Nor can a subcontractor exercise controlling influence over the Project Owner or collaborating partners. By controlling influence, we mean majority ownership or other specific legal or factual conditions which result in one actor being able to control the other.
What can you seek funding for?
The Research Council will not award funding that constitutes state aid under this call. This means that funding from the Research Council can only be used to fund project costs for research organisations.
The costs of Norwegian and international partners that are not research organisations should be excluded from the budget tables. However, the activities these partners will perform, as well as any self-funded activities, should be described in the project description (under section 3.2).
The task-performing role of partners that are not research organisations cannot entail project management or the management of major tasks in the project.
Scope of funding
- The minimum amounts of funding that may be sought is NOK 4 million. Any maximum amounts are described under the respective topics. The projects may last from two to four years.
- The amount of funding awarded by the Research Council may be up to four times the total cash contribution from the Norwegian partners from the industry sector. You should strive to fulfil this requirement for each of the years for which you apply for funding.
- Please note that if any international partners from the industry sector (including Norwegian-registered foreign companies) provide cash contributions, this contribution will not form a basis for funding from the Research Council. The same applies to any cash funding from public bodies
The following cost categories must be used:
Payroll and indirect expenses related to researcher time (including research fellowship positions) at the research organisations. For doctoral research fellowships, funding is limited to a maximum of three full-time equivalents. Funding for two to four years may be granted for post-doctoral research fellowships.
Equipment, encompassing operating and depreciation costs for scientific equipment and research infrastructure necessary for the implementation of the project.
Other operating expenses, which comprise costs for other activities that are necessary to implement the project. Procurements from subcontractors must be specified.
Do not use the item Procurement of R&D services.
You will find important and more detailed information about what to enter in the project budget on the Research Council’s website.
Conditions for funding
- Funding allocated to the research organisations is only to go to their non-economic activity in the form of independent research. It does not therefore constitute state aid. The Research Council requires a clear separation of accounts for the organisation’s economic and noneconomic activities.
- Partner companies will not be eligible to receive support to cover project costs.
- We assume that the research will be carried out in effective collaboration as defined in our General Terms and Conditions for R&D Projects.
- You are required to submit an annual project account report documenting incurred project costs and their financing. The Research Council’s requirements relating to allocation and disbursement of funding are set out in the General Terms and Conditions for R&D Projects.
If your project is granted funding, the following must be in place when you revise your grant application:
- The Project Owner is to draw up collaboration agreements with all Norwegian and international partners in the project. The collaboration agreement is to regulate the reciprocal rights and obligations of the Project Owner and partners in the project and ensure the integrity and independence of the research. It is also to ensure that no participating undertaking receives indirect state aid from a research organisation serving as Project Owner or partner. The agreement must therefore include conditions for the collaboration which ensure compliance with Section 28 of the EFTA Surveillance Authority’s guidelines for state aid for research and development and innovation.
- If the project involves PhD- and postdoctoral fellows whose responsible university/university college institution is not participating in the application, you must also have a collaboration agreement with the responsible/degree-conferring institution.
- 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 awarded funding from the Research Council. The requirement does not apply to the industry sector, special interest organisations or the non-profit sector.
- The Research Council requires full and immediate open access to scientific publications; see Plan S – open access to publications.
- For all projects that manage research data, the Project Owner must ensure that a data management plan is drawn up and uploaded when the grant application is being revised. You will find more information about what the data management plan must contain here.
- The Project Owner 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 topics encompassed under this call are grouped into the thematic areas below. Special requirements and guidelines are detailed under each topic and will be emphasised when assessing the applications.
Energy, transport and low emissions
Funding is available for projects that can demonstrate that they support long-term and sustainable development of the energy system and contribute to the transition to a zero-emission society and promote a competitive Norwegian industry.
The recommended amount is NOK 8–14 million in funding per project.
The application may be rejected if you apply for more than four times the confirmed cash contributions, because in such cases we would consider the real project scope to be too uncertain for the project to receive funding.
The project must concern at least one of the following eight areas:
- energy transitions and impacts on society, the climate and environment
- new renewable electricity based on solar energy, wind power, hydropower, bioenergy or other thermal energy
- infrastructures for energy distribution, including an integrated and digital power grid
- solutions for energy use in buildings and built-up areas
- energy efficiency and decarbonisation of industrial processes
- batteries and electrification of transport
- hydrogen and other hydrogen-based energy carriers, as well as biofuels
The areas are defined in section 4.1 of the Portfolio plan for Energy, transport and low emissions (see Relevant plans below).
The call is open to both short-term, targeted projects and long-term, larger-scale projects that are necessary to achieve a cross-cutting societal transition.
When we award a mark for the application’s relevance, we will place emphasis on whether the project
- will contribute significantly to at least one of the thematic areas described above
- involves a doctoral degree programme (for long-term, large projects)
- has several partners that provide funding, whereof a number of the partners contribute significant parts of the funding, and where all are well integrated in the project
- has funding from businesses in competitive sectors
- involves collaboration with relevant international research groups
- applies for funding within the recommended amount
To ensure beneficial knowledge-building and recruitment to energy research, we encourage you to assign the role of project manager to younger researchers. We recommend that you combine this with a mentor scheme and that you describe this in section 3.1 of the project description. We also encourage the involvement of master’s degree students in the research.
Portfolio assessment and areas given particular priority in 2023
We strive to achieve a balanced overall portfolio of projects that covers the breadth of the areas described above and that contributes to the implementation of the R&D strategy Energi21.
The marks awarded for the four main criteria will determine which projects will succeed in the competition.
When choosing among projects of approximately equal quality, we will in 2023 give priority to projects that help to generate new knowledge about incentives, instruments, regulations and business models, in addition to new technological solutions that may support or advance the development towards more efficient and sustainable energy use to meet current and future challenges.
Infrastructures for energy distribution, including an integrated and digital power grid
Other relevant calls with the same topic
Funding is available for projects that generate knowledge in the field of carbon capture and storage. You can apply for funding for the following research areas:
- challenges and issues related to the storage of gigatons of CO2
- biomass combined with carbon capture and storage, often referred to as BECCS (Bio Energy with CO2Capture and Storage)
- social science research on the prerequisites for the development and implementation of carbon capture and storage, DAC (Direct air capture) or BECCS
The grant applications must fall under the topics described in CLIMIT’s programme plan.
Applications must include a doctoral degree.
You can apply for NOK 7–10 million in funding per project.
When we award a mark for the application's relevance, we will place emphasis on whether the project:
- contributes to the realisation of the Norwegian Longship project for carbon capture and storage
- includes the use of ECCSEL's research infrastructure
- has several funding partners that are well integrated into the project
has funding from businesses in competitive sectors
- has a scope that it is realistic to implement within the amount sought
Portfolio assessment and areas given particular priority in 2023
We will strive for a balanced project portfolio that covers the breadth of the areas described above and that contributes to the implementation of the R&D strategy Energi21.
The marks awarded for the four main criteria will determine which projects succeed in the competition.
When choosing among projects of approximately the same quality, priority will be given to projects that contribute to the development of new knowledge about incentives, instruments, regulations and business models in 2023, in addition to new technological solutions that can accelerate the development towards the green shift.
Funding will go to projects that encompass basic research and/or applied research on issues relating to petroleum activities in open areas on the Norwegian continental shelf. For issues related to safety, land-based facilities may also be relevant.
You can apply for NOK 8–16 million in funding per project.
Projects eligible for funding under this topic must fall under at least one of the following five areas:
- reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency and the environment
- subsurface understanding
- drilling, completion, intervention and permanent plug and abandonment of wells (P&A)
- production, processing and transport
- major accidents and working environment
The areas are described in more detail in the Portfolio plan for Petroleum.
Across the calls for proposals Knowledge-building Project for Industry (this call), Innovation Project for the Industrial Sector and Demonstration Project for the Industrial Sector (new calls will be issued in 2023 for both of these) we wish to give special priority in 2023 to projects targeting energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions related to petroleum activities on the Norwegian continental shelf. In the application, you must give an account of the total emissions reduction envisaged for the technology/technologies the project intends to develop, including quantitative greenhouse gas accounts. You must also include a time perspective and framework conditions for implementing the knowledge/technology and see this in the context of the industry’s new climate goals for 2030 and 2050.
Priority will be given to applications that
- include researcher education for doctoral and/or post-doctoral research fellows and that contribute to research-based teaching at master’s level
- entail collaboration with another research organisation in addition to the minimum requirement for participation by industry
- have concrete plans for international collaboration
To ensure beneficial knowledge-building and recruitment to petroleum research, we encourage you to assign the role of project manager to younger researchers, given that this can be combined with a mentor scheme so that experience and expertise are well addressed in the project team.
We strive to achieve a balanced overall portfolio of projects that covers the breadth of the areas described above and that contributes to the implementation of the Portfolio plan for Petroleum and the R&D strategy OG21.
Limitations on who can apply
All applications must clearly target the petroleum industry. The Portfolio plan for Petroleum will exclusively prioritise projects where the technology is directly applied in Norwegian petroleum operations and linked to the thematic priorities set out in the Portfolio plan for Petroleum. Applications mainly targeting the renewable energy sector, including CCS, geothermal energy, offshore wind and hydrogen etc. must not apply under the thematic area petroleum.
You should avoid activities that duplicate other large ongoing projects and centres. In addition, any adjacent activities must be coordinated.
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 grant application form and included all mandatory attachments. After the deadline, it is the most recently submitted version that will be processed.
- The application and all attachments must be submitted in English.
- All mandatory attachments must be included. Attachments must be uploaded in PDF format.
- Requirements relating to the Project Owner (research organisation) and project manager must be satisfied.
- Requirements relating to the partners must be satisfied.
- The project must start between 1 July 2023 and 1 December 2023. Projects approved for funding that have not started within this period may lose their allocation.
- A project description of maximum 11 pages using the designated template found at the end of this call. You must use the template for 2023.
- CVs of the project manager and key project participants not exceeding four pages each. The CV template at the end of the call must be used. 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. Project participants who are researchers should use the CV template called "Template for CV researchers". Other project participants should use the CV template called "Template for CV".
- Letters of Intent from all registered research organisations participating as partners.
- Letters of Intent from all registered partners that contribute from the perspective of the industry sector or other part of society.
- Please see an example of a letter of intent in our Guide for Applicants.
Grant applications that do not satisfy the above requirements will be rejected.
Applicants are free to enclose a short 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. We encourage gender balance in the proposals.
Attachments other than the mandatory attachments specified above, as well as any links to websites in the grant application, will not be included in the application review process.
All attachments to grant applications must be submitted together with the application form. We do not accept attachments submitted after the application submission deadline unless we have requested additional documentation.
We assess applications in light of the objectives of the application type in question and 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 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.
• 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 are openly accessible to ensure reusability of the research outputs and enhance reproducibility.
• 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
• The extent to which the appropriate open science practices are implemented as an integral part of the proposed project to ensure open sharing and wide distribution of research outputs.
• 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 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.
• Appropriateness of the partners' contribution to the governance and execution of the project.
Relevance to the call for proposals
The extent to which the project satisfies the guidelines and priorities of the thematic area
• The extent to which the project satisfies the thematic guidelines and delimitations.
Requirements and characteristics of the call
The extent to which the project satisfies the requirements and characteristics of the call and the thematic area
• The extent to which the project satisfies the requirements for partners in the project.
• The extent to which the project satisfies the purpose of competence-building in the research environments.
Your grant application will be assessed as submitted. We cannot take into account how an identical or similar grant application has been assessed previously.
You can read more about the application review process for Collaborative and Knowledge-building Project on the Research Council’s website.
In summary, the process is as follows: 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 will then be distributed to thematic referee panels to be assessed in relation to the criteria Excellence, Impact and Implementation. After the panel has completed its assessment, the Research Council will conduct an assessment of the application’s relevance to the call.
From 2023, the referees will assess applications for Collaborative and Knowledge-building Project for open science as part of the criterion Impact. Here you will find more information about assessment of open science in grant applications.
The portfolio boards’ decisions are also based on an overall assessment of the project portfolio. The portfolio assessment takes the following factors into account:
- The applications’ assigned marks based on the assessments.
- The distribution of projects in relation to priorities set out for the specific topic.
- Connections between grant applications received under other calls within the same
- thematic area.
- Any changes in the financial or scientific framework set by the ministries.
- Priority will be given to projects led by women project managers when the applications are otherwise considered to be on a par.
The decision meetings of the portfolio boards will be held in the last half of June 2023. The outcome of the application processing will be published after these meetings.
Applications for Knowledge-building Project for Industry should be created on My RCN Web. Application templates should be filled and uploaded in the application.
Messages at time of print 3 February 2023, 14:30 CET
For the application deadline 8 February, we manage our hotline +47 22 03 72 00 from Thursday 2 February till Tuesday 7 February at CET 08.00–15.45 and Wednesday 8 February at CET 08.00-13.00.