Completed

Joint Call for Proposals with Brazil for Research and Technology Development in the Industrial Sector

Due to delays in publishing the Brazilian part of the joint announcement, the application deadline has been postponed to 24 April at 13:00.

This call may be amended up to six weeks before the application submission deadline, when the call for proposals is open.

Important dates

13 Mar 2024

Open for applications

24 Apr 2024

Application deadline

22 Oct 2024

Decision on award

Applicants will be notified of whether they will receive support consecutively after this date.

01 Nov 2024

Earliest permitted project start

01 Mar 2025

Latest permitted project start

29 Feb 2028

Latest permitted project completion date

Important dates

Purpose

The purpose of this joint call is to stimulate closer cooperation between Norwegian and Brazilian companies to develop new technologies and services within environment-friendly energy and offshore petroleum activities. 

About the call for proposals

Up to NOK 30 million in research and development (R&D) funding is available for projects for the industrial sector. The funding is intended to encourage Norwegian companies to cooperate with Brazilian companies to solve knowledge and technology needs in the areas of environment-friendly energy and offshore petroleum activities. 

Funding from the Research Council is only intended to cover parts of the Norwegian project participants' costs. The Brazilian participants will have a share of their costs covered by the Brazilian research and technology council Finep. 

This call for proposals constitutes a funding scheme that is notified to the EFTA Surveillance Authority, ESA, and is to be practised in accordance with the EEA state aid rules. 

The call is available in both Norwegian and English. The Norwegian call text is legally binding. If we change the call for proposals significantly, we will give three months' notice. 

Characteristics of projects seeking support from us

The project is based on a unique innovation idea from one or more companies collaborating in the project. The expected results can add value in the form of a new product, service, production process or new way of delivering products and services. Innovation in this context may also be in the form of significant improvements or new characteristics of existing products, services or processes at the companies. 

The companies collaborating in the project will need new knowledge or technology to succeed with the project's innovation. The knowledge and technology are developed through R&D activities using recognised methodology. It may also be that the companies' needs are aimed at demonstrating and verifying the technology/innovation before market introduction and further commercialisation. The R&D activities must satisfy the definition of 'industrial research' or 'experimental development' as defined in the state aid rules. 

The project must have access to expertise that is necessary to carry out the R&D activities. The Project Owner (company) or companies that are partners in the project may hire suppliers of R&D services to carry out R&D activities. R&D providers may be research organisations (universities, university colleges, research institutes, health trusts) or other independent suppliers of R&D services. The project may use R&D suppliers outside the Norway when this is deemed necessary and efficient. PhD candidates may be linked to the project through a separate agreement with the degree-conferring institution. 

The scope and risk profile of the project is such that the companies participating in the project will not be able to carry out the project without Research Council funding. This means that the support is a trigger for implementing the R&D activities. Project funding may also be crucial to triggering further private investment in companies for further development and utilisation of the results. 

The project incorporates clear objectives and a concrete plan for its R&D activities and for utilising the R&D results. Results and knowledge that do not need to be protected on account of planned commercial utilisation by the companies participating in the project are to be disseminated through publications and other relevant dissemination channels.

Link the the Brazilian call for proposal

Who is eligible to apply?

The applicant must be registered in the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises and have economic activity in Norway. The applicant must either be a private company or a public enterprise that carries out activities of an industrial or business nature. In the rest of the call, we use the collective term "company". 

The applicant company will be the Project Owner in the contract with the Research Council. 

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

Who can participate in the project?

Requirements relating to the Project Owner 

The Project Owner must secure project funding (in addition to Research Council funding) and implement other measures necessary to utilise the project results for innovation purposes in its own activities. 

Requirements relating to collaboration and roles in the project 

The Project Owner (company) must carry out the project together with a Brazilian company. This partner must be listed as a partner in the application form submitted to the Research Council (the Brazilian partner will be registered in the application as a "task-performing" partner). The Brazilian partner must be the applicant for funding from Finep. In the application form to the Research Council, you should not list any other participants on the Brazilian side as partners. This information will be provided in the mandatory attachment to the application. 

The Project Owner (company) may carry out the project in effective collaboration with other companies (company partners) in Norway. These will have parts of their project costs covered through our support and will become recipients of state aid. As a rule, such business partners must fulfil the criteria listed under 'Who is eligible to apply?' in order to be eligible to receive support. 

Norwegian and international expert communities and research organisations may participate in the project as R&D providers responsible for performing R&D work commissioned by the companies participating in the project. R&D providers are not required to contribute to project funding, and therefore do not normally have any rights to the project results. They deliver work on assignment, and get paid for this work at market price. If an R&D supplier nevertheless retains rights to the project results, the price of the agreed assignment may be adjusted by deducting the market value of the relevant rights from the price. Here you can read more about partners and R&D providers. 

Other international and public sector actors may participate in the project but will not receive support from the Research Council. These must not be entered as partners in the application form. This type of collaboration can be described in the project description under section 3.3 "Other collaboration". 

Project partners must be defined as either "funding and task-performing" (company partners that contribute in-kind contributions) or "task-performing" (fully funded research organisation or company that is the provider of R&D services to participate in the project). 

The Project Owner or partners may not be dependent on an R&D provider in the project. The Project Owner and partners must also be independent of each other. This means that one cannot have controlling influence over the other. This applies both between the Project Owner and partners and between all partners. Read more about such dependencies here. 

The collaboration constellation in the project is expected to provide a basis for long-term cooperation, development and dissemination of knowledge and effective mutual utilisation of the results. 

What can you seek funding for?

The Research Council can provide funding for project costs related to R&D activities performed under the project. The Research Council does not provide funding for operational activities and measures to exploit the R&D results, such as protection of intellectual property rights, market surveys and marketing, testing and completion of new products and services. Therefore, you must not include such costs in the project budget. 

The Research Council can provide funding to cover some of the costs incurred by companies for R&D activities performed under the project. This applies to support for costs associated with R&D activities carried out by the company itself, and to costs incurred in connection with the purchase of R&D services from R&D suppliers. 

Project costs are actual costs of the project and can include: 

  • direct project costs, which are costs associated with the implementation of the project, such as payroll expenses for project staff 
  • indirect project costs, which are costs associated with the project's share of the rent for offices, IT/telephone and joint administrative services for personnel and finances 

In the grant application form, the project budget must be broken down into the following cost categories: 

  • payroll and indirect expenses, which are costs associated with the company's own R&D activities under the project. See our policy for Budgeting of payroll and indirect expenses
  • procurement of R&D services, which are costs associated with engaging R&D providers 
  • equipment, which are operating and depreciation costs for scientific equipment that the project is dependent on using 
  • other operating expenses, which is associated with other activities that are necessary to carry out the project's R&D activities 

The budgeted project costs must be in accordance with the description in Article 25 (3) of the General Block Exemption Regulation. 

Scope of funding 

You can apply for funding to cover up to 50 per cent of the costs of each of the companies in the project. The level of support available for a company's project costs within the framework of 50 per cent depends on the size of the company and the type of R&D activities as defined in The state aid rules. Bonuses are only given for company size, pursuant to Article 25 (6) a. Please note that we do not make full use of the room for manoeuvre in the state aid rules. In this way, we canallocate funding for more projects. This means that you can also receive support for the project from other public schemes, such as Innovation Norway and Hoards. 

Do you also intend to apply for support from SkatteFUNN for your project? Read more here about this opportunity and assumptions on the website: Incentive effect and combination of instruments (in Norwegian). 

Please note that you cannot apply for innovation funding for a project that has already started. 

Conditions for funding 

This call for proposals constitutes a funding scheme that is notified to the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) with the reference: GBER 31/2024/R&D&I. 

Funding under the scheme is awarded in accordance with Article 25 of the General Block Exemption Regulation for state aid (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 for state aid in a consolidated version with amendments from July 2023 (the page opens in a new window). The scheme is to be practised in accordance with the EEA state aid rules. Conditions and concepts are to be interpreted in keeping with corresponding conditions and concepts in the state aid rules. In the event of conflict between the text of the call and the state aid rules, the latter shall take precedence. For the same reason, the call may also be adjusted. 

State aid may not be awarded to an undertaking that has not fulfilled the repayment requirement pursuant to a prior decision by the EFTA Surveillance Authority/the European Commission where the aid has been declared to be illegal and incompatible with the internal market. Nor may aid be awarded to undertakings in difficulties under EEA law. 

If the project is awarded funding, you must revise the application. The revised grant application must include updated and supplementary information about the project and the partners, including documentation of implementation capacity and own financing. The companies participating in the project must also submit a declaration confirming that they are eligible to receive state aid. 

In addition, you must be aware of the following if you should receive a grant from us: 

Reporting and disbursement of funding

Funding will be disbursed in arrears on the basis of an EHF invoice sent by the Project Owner. You will receive more information about this if the project should receive funding from us. 

All reporting shall be done electronically. 

Relevant thematic areas for this call

This call only covers the thematic areas Environment-friendly energy and low emissions, and Petroleum. We can provide support for industrial research and experimental development within the priorities set out in the call text and the agreement document "Joint Call Finep RCN 2024" between the Research Council and Finep. 

Petroleum

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

Energy, transport and low emissions

Environment-friendly energyLow and zero emissions

Practical information

Requirements for this application type

Support from the Research Council is to cover parts of the costs incurred only by the Project Owner and the Norwegian partners in the project. In the budgets in the application form, you must therefore only include costs and funding for the Norwegian part of the collaborative project. The cost and financing amounts on the Brazilian side will be included in the mandatory attachment to the application. 

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

  • An application describing the same project must be submitted to Finep by the Brazilian company responsible for the Brazilian part of the collaborative project. An application submitted only in one of the countries will be rejected. 
  • The grant application and all attachments must be submitted in English. 
  • All attachments must be in PDF format and uploaded as attachments in the application form. You will find all application templates at the end of this call. 
  • The project description must follow a designated template and all points must be answered. 
  • Project costs are to be budgeted in accordance with the Research Council's budgeting guidelines

Mandatory attachments 

  • Project description of 10 pages. Use the default template. 
  • Partner information for the applicant company (Project Owner) and for each of the partner companies (company partners). Use the default template. 
  • "Joint call Finep RCN mandatory attachment (2023)" which you can download at the bottom of the page. 
  • CVs for project managers and key project staff. Use the default template. 

All requirements set out in the call must be met. Applications that do not satisfy the formal requirements, requirements relating to the Project Owner and requirements relating to collaboration and roles in the project, will be rejected. 

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

We will not consider attachments other than those specified above, or documents and websites linked to in the application. The system does not perform any technical validation on the contents of the attachments you upload, so be sure to upload the correct file for the correct attachment type. 

Excellence

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

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

Impact

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

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

Implementation

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

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

Relevance to the call for proposals

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

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

Administrative procedures

Applications from the Norwegian applicants will be evaluated by the Research Council in cooperation with external referees. In addition to this, an overall portfolio assessment will form the basis for the ranked list of project applications approved by the portfolio board committee for energy and transport.    The final funding decision will be made in a dialogue between the Research Council and Finep. Preliminary results from the dialogue between Finep and the Research Council will be published at the end of September 2024. The final results will come at the end of October 2024. See The Joint Call Finep RCN 2024 document for more information.

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