Pilot-T: New Mobility Solutions 2023

04 Oct 2023

Open for applications

15 Nov 2023

Application deadline

March 2024:

Expected publication of application results


The purpose of this call for proposals for Pilot-T projects is to accelerate the application of new, smart mobility solutions by developing and testing and/or piloting technologies, services and business models with the potential to influence the transport system of the future to make it efficient, safe and environmentally friendly. In a Pilot-T project, a company cooperates with other entities to generate new knowledge or use existing knowledge in new ways or areas. The Pilot-T scheme is a collaborative effort between the Research Council and Innovation Norway, commissioned by the Ministry of Transport. 

About the call for proposals

Pilot-T is part of the Government’s innovation initiative, presented in Report No 33 to the Storting (2016–2017) National Transport Plan 2018–2029 (NTP) and continued in Report No 20 to the Storting (2020–2021)National Transport Plan 2022-2033 (link opens in a new window). The aim of the initiative is to exploit the potential for business development and innovation related to new mobility solutions. NTP outlines a large international market for smart mobility solutions. The Pilot-T scheme seeks to enhance Norwegian trade and industry’s ability to compete in this market, facilitate knowledge transfer between R&D organisations and trade and industry and contribute to competence-building in the sector. 

New technology is expected to help achieve the goal of an efficient, environmentally friendly and safe transport system. Through Pilot-T, new technological solutions will be developed and/or tested on Norwegian conditions and help industry and the public sector to adopt new technology more quickly to achieve transport policy goals. To be able to halve transport emissions by 2030, it is important to develop solutions that contribute to the green transition, for example in relation to services and technology that facilitate the use of low and zero-emission solutions for the transport sector. 

The Research Council requires companies that apply for funding under the Pilot-T scheme to acquire R&D services from a research organisation. You can find more information about this under ‘Who can participate in the project?’. 

A Pilot-T project must: 

  • contribute to the transport policy goal of an efficient, environmentally friendly and safe transport system. 
  • contribute to industrial development and new knowledge in Norway, and that Norwegian business and industry can take part in the value creation potential associated with the restructuring in the transport sector. 
  • be a collaboration between several actors. 
  • have a need for new knowledge in order to be realised. 
  • include piloting or testing or end up in a solution that is applied in the market. The Research Council may provide funding for activities up to commercialisation.  It is a prerequisite that the product, process or service is not fully developed or is in the market. 

See the definition of 'experimental development' and 'industrial research' on our website for a description of the types of pilot testing and demonstration activities that we can support. More information about which activities may be included in the project is available under ‘What can you seek funding for?’ below. 

Which projects will be eligible to receive funding? 

We are looking for projects that contribute to achieving the goals of an efficient, environmentally friendly and safe transport system in 2050. This call is targeted towards both commercial and passenger transport within all four modes of transport – road, rail, air and sea. However, there are two delimitations: 

  • If your projects are related to efficient, environmentally friendly and safe maritime commercial and/or passenger transport you may apply. However, this call does not apply to offshore operations, including the transport of goods or persons to offshore installations. Nor does the call apply to fisheries or general technology development related to the maritime sector. 
  • If your projects are related to the use of environment-friendly energy in transport, you may apply. This applies in particular, but not exclusively, to the development of solutions relating to charging infrastructure. Projects involving the development of environmentally friendly energy carriers, such as batteries, hydrogen and biofuels, will not receive funding under this call. Nor are mere investments in charging infrastructure eligible. 

The call is available in both Norwegian and English. The Norwegian call text is legally binding 

Do you also intend to apply for funding from SkatteFunn for the project? Read more here about this possibility and the requirements (in Norwegian only): Insentiveffekt og kombinasjon av virkemidler (, link opens in new window). 

Please note that you cannot apply for Pilot-T funding for a project that has already started.

Who is eligible to apply?

The Project Owner must be registered under the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises and that carry out economic activity in Norway. The project owner 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. 

Groups of companies, e.g. industry organisations, sole proprietorships, research organisations and other organisations, are not eligible to apply for funding.

Who can participate in the project?

Requirements relating to the Project Owner 

The Project Owner must secure funding for the project (in addition to the Research Council’s funding) and implement other measures necessary to utilise the project results. 

Requirements relating to R&D providers 

The Project Owner must procure services from at least one R&D provider. 

  • Norwegian and/or foreign research organisations must participate in the project as R&D providers with responsibility for performing R&D work on assignment for the company or companies participating in the project. Norwegian research organisations must be on the list of approved research organisations: Approved research organisations ( The international research organisations must be institutes, university college, universities or equivalent. 
  • R&D providers are not required to contribute to project funding, and in general have no rights to the project results. They deliver work on assignment and are paid for this work at market price. If an R&D provider nevertheless wishes to acquire rights to the project results, the price of the agreed assignment can be adjusted by deducting the market value of the rights from the price. 
  • The scope of the R&D provider’s role in the project is based on the Project Owner’s and partners’ needs. Therefore, no requirements apply to the scope of work. The R&D provider’s role in the project must be clearly described in the grant application. 
  • You can also procure research services from international or Norwegian expert environments that are not research organisations (cf. the first bullet point), but this in itself does not fulfil the requirements relating to R&D providers. 

Other collaborations 

  • The Project Owner may carry out the project in cooperation with other companies where these companies will either cover their own costs in full or benefit from Pilot-T project funding. Partners must fulfil the criteria listed under ‘Who is eligible to apply?’ in order to be able eligible to receive funding. Partners is 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. The Project Owner is not required to collaborate with other companies on the project, but such collaboration may trigger additional state aid if the requirements set out in the state aid rules are met. 
  • Public sector actors may participate in the project but will not be eligible to receive funding from the Research Council. Partners from the public sector are also to be included in effective collaboration with the Project Owner and any other partners. 

Please note that Norwegian research organisations cannot be partners (they must be R&D providers, cf. the previous heading). Other international partners that are not suppliers of R&D services may participate in the project provided that this promotes value creation in Norway, but their costs will not be eligible for support from Pilot-T and the international partner must cover all of its own costs. Any international partners must be registered in the grant application form as a collaborating partner, but their costs should be NOK 0 in all the budget tables. However, their costs and how these are to be financed should be described in the specification field below the relevant budget tables. 

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. 

The application with relevant partners and R&D providers at the time the application is submitted forms the basis for grant allocation. Any changes to the composition of a project before a contract has been entered into must be approved by the Research Council. The changes may result in the Research Council withdrawing its offer of funding. 

Roles in the project 

The number of partners in the project will not determine whether it is successful. A good project, on the other hand, is characterised by each partner having defined tasks and a clear role in the project. 

The Project Owner or partners cannot be in a situation where they can exert a controlling influence on an R&D provider. Nor can an R&D provider exert a controlling influence on the Project Owner or partners. By controlling influence is meant majority ownership or other concrete judicial or actual circumstances that mean that one company can control the other. An R&D provider must be an external source that delivers its services in accordance with the arm’s length principle. See more here.  

What can you seek funding for?

Funding for Pilot-T projects is awarded in accordance with the EEA state aid rules, more specifically Article 25 of the General Block Exemption Regulation for state aid (Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014). Among other things, this means that: 

  • Funding is only awarded for project costs relating to R&D activities. Activities that are eligible for funding include, but are not limited to, applied research, prototyping, demonstration and pilot testing. 
  • Costs for other types of activities and measures to exploit R&D results, such as filing for patents, market surveys and marketing, testing and completion of new products and services are not approved for funding. 
  • The level of funding (aid intensity) is subject to limitations and will depend on the project’s R&D content. Activities classified as 'industrial research' are eligible for a higher aid intensity than 'experimental development' activities. 
  • Other public funding of the costs eligible for funding will affect the amount of Pilot-T funding that can be granted.  
  • Notification of all state aid allocated to the project will be published on the Research Council’s website, and allocated state aid of EUR 500,000 or more will be listed in a public registry. 

The call for proposals has been approved as an aid scheme by the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) with the reference: GBER XXXX (riktig referanse kommer etter hvert). 

Parts of the companies’ costs pertaining to R&D activities under the project qualify for funding. Funding can be provided for both direct and indirect project costs to the extent they can be categorised as costs pertaining to industrial research or experimental development. This applies to costs associated with R&D activities carried out by the project partners, and to costs incurred in connection with purchase of R&D services from R&D providers. 

You will find detailed and important information about what to enter in the project budget on our website

Scope of funding 

The amount of funding that may be applied for is limited to a minimum of NOK 2 million and a maximum of NOK 13 million for a project period between one and three years. 

The scope of funding for the company’s project costs depends on the size of the company and the type of R&D activities to be carried out: 

Type of company/type of activity 

Industrial research 

Experimental development 

Small company 

70 % 

45 % 

Medium-sized company 

60 % 

35 % 

Large company 

50 % 

25 % 

A higher aid than shown in the table above will not be granted. 

Conditions for funding 

The projects must start between 1 April 2024 and 1 September 2024. The latest permitted project completion date is 31 August 2027. 

Support for "undertakings" constitutes state aid. In this context, an "undertaking" means any actor that carries out an economic activity involving the provision of goods and/or services on a given market. When an undertaking receives support to cover a portion of its project costs, either as a Project Owner or as a partner in the project, this support must be awarded in accordance with Article 1 of the General Block Exemption Regulation. 25 (Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014). 

The Research Council's requirements relating to allocation and disbursement of support for the first year, and any pledges and payments for subsequent years, are set out in our General Terms and Conditions for R&D Projects, which can be found in their entirety on the page What the contract involves

If you are granted the project, the following must be in place before you enter a contract with us: 

The Project Owner organisation is responsible for selecting which archiving solution(s) to use for storing research data generated during the project. This must be specified in the project's data management plan. 

Where should you apply?  

The Research Council of Norway 

The Research Council provides funding for projects where new knowledge and testing and/or piloting are needed to implement new technology and new services and business models. Pilot-T projects funded by the Research Council must include procurement of research and development services from an R&D organisation. 

Innovation Norway 

Innovation Norway provides funding for market-based innovation projects that generate value creation in Norway. This may involve new use of existing knowledge as well as projects that comprise development, demonstration and/or testing solutions on the market. The innovation must have a high degree of novelty. Innovation Norway's call for proposals can be found here.  

If you are not sure where to apply, contact us for information and guidance. 

Contact person (Research Council)  

Marie Knutsdotter Sollien Haugå, tel.: +47 994 16 628, 

Contact person (Innovasjon Norge) 

Marianne Tonning Kinnari, tel.: +47 977 49 892,   

Please note that the Research Council and Innovation Norway will process the applications they receive, respectively, but that applications may be made available to case officers in both organisations when this is appropriate and in consultation with the applicant. If a company submits an application to both organisations, the applications will be checked to determine whether they are identical. 

Relevant thematic areas for this call

Energy, transport and low emissions

Transport and mobility

Practical information

Requirements for this application type

You may revise and resubmit your application form multiple times up to the submission deadline for applications. 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 and all attachments must be written in Norwegian or English. 
  • All attachments must be uploaded in PDF format.  
  • At least one R&D provider must be included the grant application form. 
  • Any other R&D providers or Norwegian partners must also be registered in the grant application form. 

Mandatory attachments  

  • A project description, maximum 10 pages. Use the designated template found at the bottom of the page. 
  • The CV of the project manager. Use the designated template found at the bottom of the page. 
  • The CVs of key project participants who will perform important R&D activities for the project. Use the designated template found at the bottom of the page. 

Applications that do not meet the requirements listed above will be rejected.  

Optional attachments 

  • We encourage you to submit a proposal for up to three (Scandinavian) referees who are considered impartial and qualified to assess the application. 

All attachments must be submitted together with the application. We will not accept attachments submitted after the deadline for applications unless we have requested further documentation. 

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

Be careful to upload the correct attachment type, as there are no technical restrictions on what kind of templates it is possible to upload in the application form.   

Please note that you are not to enclose letters of intent. 

Assessment criteria

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

Forskning og innovasjon | IP-Pilot-T

I hvilken grad representerer prosjektet en ambisiøs innovasjon som understøttes av relevante FoU-aktiviteter av god kvalitet?

• I hvilken grad representerer innovasjonen noe nytt?
• I hvilken grad retter innovasjonen seg mot tydelige behov eller nye markedsmuligheter for prosjektansvarlig og bedriftene som er samarbeidspartnere i prosjektet?
• I hvilken grad bygger prosjektet på relevant og oppdatert kunnskap?
• I hvilken grad benytter prosjektet relevante og anerkjente FoU-metoder?
• I hvilken grad er FoU-aktivitetene ambisiøse og nødvendige for å lykkes med innovasjonen?
• Hvis relevant: i hvilken grad tar prosjektet hensyn til forskningsetiske problemstillinger og/eller kjønnsperspektivet i forskningen?

Virkninger og effekter | IP-Pilot-T

I hvilken grad legger prosjektet til rette for betydelige gevinster for prosjektpartnerne, bærekraftig utvikling og grunnlag for øvrige positive samfunnsmessige effekter? Og i hvilken grad er dette godt beskrevet og sannsynliggjort?

• I hvilken grad vil prosjektet gi betydelige bedriftsøkonomiske gevinster for prosjektansvarlig og bedriftene som er samarbeidspartnere?
• I hvilken grad kan prosjektet gi positive eksterne effekter for næringslivet, offentlig sektor og samfunnet generelt?
• I hvilken grad bidrar prosjektet inn mot FNs bærekraftsmål?
• I hvilken grad er planen for implementering av FoU-resultatene og realisering av gevinster relevant og dekkende?

Gjennomføring | IP-Pilot-T

I hvilken grad gir prosjektplanen et godt grunnlag for å gjennomføre FoU-aktivitetene?

• I hvilken grad har prosjektplanen solide og gjennomarbeidede mål, arbeidspakker, milepæler, ressursinnsats og relevante risikovurderinger?
• I hvilken grad vil prosjektet ha tilgang til nødvendig FoU-kompetanse og tilstrekkelig kapasitet til å gjennomføre FoU-oppgavene?
• I hvilken grad har prosjektleder egnet kompetanse og erfaring for å lede FoU- prosjektet?
• I hvilken grad har prosjektet en egnet prosjektorganisering med tydelig og relevant fordeling av budsjett, roller og ansvar?
• I hvilken grad fremtrer prosjektet som strategisk forankret hos prosjektansvarlig og bedriftene som er samarbeidspartnere?
• I hvilken grad er budsjettet og finansieringsplanen realistiske og gjennomførbare?

Relevans for utlysningen | IP-Pilot-T

I hvilken grad er prosjektet i samsvar med krav og føringer i utlysningen?

• I hvilken grad støtter prosjektet opp om Pilot-Ts formål?
• I hvilken grad oppfyller prosjektet krav og føringer gitt under "Et Pilot-T-prosjekt skal" i utlysningsteksten?

We will prioritise projects that 

  • have a high degree of innovation 
  • have a female project manager when the applications are otherwise considered to be on a par 

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’. The referees will convene in a panel meeting to reach a consensus-based assessment of the grant application for each of these three criteria. 

If the mark awarded by the referee panel for all of the criteria is 4 or higher on a scale where 7 is the highest mark, the application will be assessed by the Research Council’s case officers also on the basis of the criterion “Relevance to the call for proposals”. In assessing this criterion, we attach importance to the project's contribution to making the transport system of the future safer, more navigable and with reduced emissions, by enabling good solutions to be implemented more quickly. 

The assessment and marks for all four criteria will be consolidated into a single, overall mark that indicates the merit of the application. 

We will then draw up a recommendation based on an overall assessment of the project portfolio, which will then form the basis for the portfolio board’s funding decisions. The Portfolio board will emphasise achieving a balanced portfolio of projects within their area of responsibility, including in relation to ongoing projects. 

See also: Processing grant applications

We expect to publish which applications have been awarded funding in March 2024.Projects recommended for funding will be required to provide further information about the project and project partners. 

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