Planned

Research and Innovation to Strengthen the Sustainability of Municipal Health and Care Services

Important dates

BEFORE EASTER

Full call text

16 Apr 2024

Webinar about the call

07 Aug 2024

Open for applications

18 Sep 2024

Application deadline

DECEMBER

Time of assignment

01 Feb 2025

Earliest permitted project start

01 Jul 2025

Latest permitted project start

30 Jun 2029

Latest permitted project completion date

Important dates

Purpose

The purpose of this call is to stimulate research and innovation based on the need to strengthen the sustainability of the municipal health and care services. 

About the call for proposals

Based on the municipalities' need for knowledge and new solutions, municipalities, county authorities and research organisations may apply for funding for research and innovation. Projects must be carried out through effective collaboration between several municipalities and at least one research organisation. 

It is a requirement that at least 30 per cent of the project's total costs are consumed by municipalities, and correspondingly that at least 30 per cent is consumed by research organisations. 

NOK 10-15 million comes from the Norwegian Cancer Society and is earmarked for projects with direct relevance to cancer in the municipal health and care services. 

Support from the Norwegian Cancer Society is conditional on neither the Project Owner nor the project manager having received or expected to receive support from the tobacco industry during the last 10 years. Here you will find detailed information about the Norwegian Cancer Society's ethical guidelines.  

The Research Council of Norway has entered into a contract with the Norwegian Cancer Society that states they will contribute up to NOK 15 million to fund one cancer-relevant project or to co-finance two projects. The Research Council will share information about relevant projects with the Norwegian Cancer Society and a reference group (see the discussion of the reference group later in the call). The reference group and the Norwegian Cancer Society will have the opportunity to provide input on the projects' relevance to the call, but it is the portfolio board for Health that allocates funding to the projects. 

In the event that funding is awarded, the Norwegian Cancer Society will promote that the project(s) are funded by the Norwegian Cancer Society, and the Research Council will give the Norwegian Cancer Society access to approved reports. The Norwegian Cancer Society will have the right to disseminate and publish information about funding, results and findings on an equal footing with the Research Council. 

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

Who is eligible to apply?

Municipalities/county authorities and approved Norwegian research organisations. See here for the list of approved Norwegian research organisations

Who can participate in the project?

Requirements relating to the Project Owner 

Grant applications where the municipality/county authorities are listed as the Project Owner must be approved by the senior administrative management. 

The research organisation listed as the Project Owner in the application form must have approved the submission of the grant application to the Research Council. 

The Project Owner (organisation) submits the grant application on behalf of all partners. 

A project participant may not have multiple roles in the project, for example as partner or subcontractor. 

Requirements relating to the project manager 

The project manager's professional competence and suitability to carry out the project will be assessed by peers. There are no formal requirements for the project manager's qualifications. 

The Project Manager must be employed by the Project Owner or one of the partners. 

You can be the project manager for a maximum of one grant application under this call. 

Requirements relating to partners 

Municipalities/county authorities and/or approved Norwegian research organisations are required to participate as partners. 

If the Project Owner submitting the grant application is a municipality/county municipality, collaboration with at least one approved Norwegian research organisation is required.  

If the Project Owner is an approved Norwegian research organisation, collaboration is required with at least two municipalities/county authorities (registered with the registration number in Norway).  

The project must have a steering group or reference group comprising the partners. 

The grant application must reflect the strategic objectives of all partners. This must be confirmed in the letters of intent. 

The project must not be commissioned research. In the grant application, you must describe how the expertise developed under the project can be of benefit to larger user groups. 

Effective collaboration requirement 

The project must be carried out through effective collaboration between several municipalities/county authorities and at least one approved Norwegian research organisation. It is a requirement that at least 30 per cent of the project's total costs are consumed by municipalities, and correspondingly that at least 30 per cent is consumed by research organisations. 

The Research Council requires that the project is carried out through effective collaboration between the Project Owner and the project partners, which means that all partners are to contribute actively to the planning and follow-up of the project. Everyone must also contribute to disseminating results and ensuring that new knowledge and innovation are put to use. 

The project is to be carried out through effective collaboration between all the partners as defined in the state aid rules: 

Collaboration between at least two independent parties to exchange knowledge or technology, or to achieve a common objective based on the division of labour, where the parties jointly define the scope of the collaborative project, contribute to its implementation and share its risks, as well as its results. One or more parties may bear all the costs of the project, thereby relieving other parties of financial risk. Contract research and provision of research services are not considered forms of collaboration. 

Please note that the Project Owner and partners must be independent of each other, which means that one cannot have a controlling influence over the other. This follows from the definition of partner in our General Terms and Conditions for R&D Projects, in conjunction with the definition of "Mere collaboration". The same applies to the partners between them.  

Expectations of other cooperation 

To ensure sharing and dissemination of results, we encourage more actors to participate as partners in the project. Trade and industry, non-governmental organisations and other actors of relevance to the project may participate as partners in the project and receive funding. Other actors mean, for example, general practitioners, the specialist health service, governmental organisations, service providers and international research organisations. 

Sole proprietorships may be partners 

Sole proprietorships may be partners, but support to cover payroll and indirect expenses is only provided for company employees. Both salary costs and other costs incurred by the sole proprietorship in connection with participation in a project must be stated in the enterprise's accounts. 

International partners 

The Research Council's allocation may cover costs incurred by international research organisations. See Recording of payroll and indirect expenses in the university and university college sector.  

We cannot cover the costs of other international partners. Foreign companies or other foreign public entities that are to participate in a project must therefore either cover their own expenses or be linked to the project as a subcontractor. 

Subcontractors 

Subcontractors are not project partners and do not need to be stated in the application or agreement documents. Subcontractors may not be granted rights to project results. In principle, the Project Owner and the partners are free to engage and, if necessary, change subcontractors within the framework of the contract. Organisations that are subject to the regulations for public procurement must in the normal manner carry out the selection of subcontractors in accordance with these regulations. 

Requirements relating to user participation 

It is a requirement that the project has a clearly described user involvement that involves end-users. End users must be involved in the planning and implementation of the project, and in the utilisation of the results. End users may, for example, be those who will receive the service, professional users/user organizations and/or those who will deliver the service (employees).

What can you seek funding for?

You can apply for funding to cover actual costs necessary to carry out the project. The Project Owner is to obtain information about costs from the project partners. These costs are to be entered in the cost plan under the relevant cost category. 

The grant application requires you to break down the project budget into the following cost categories: 

  • Payroll and indirect expenses: costs incurred by the Project Owner (company) and partners in the project. It is possible to apply for funding for PhD and postdoctoral fellowships. Research fellows may be employed by both municipalities and R&D organisations.    
  • other project costs: costs for other activities that are necessary to carry out the project's R&D activities. Any purchases from subcontractors must be entered here. All costs entered as "other operating expenses" must be specified in the application.  
  • equipment, which includes operating and depreciation costs for scientific equipment necessary to implement the project;  

The post procurement of R&D services should not be used.  

If the project includes doctoral and post-doctoral research fellowships and there are specific plans for research stays abroad for these, this may be included in the application. The Research Council has also issued a separate call for Funding for Research Stays Abroad for Doctoral and Post-doctoral Research Fellows. Here, the project manager can apply for funding for research stays abroad for research fellows participating in the project during the project period.  

If the research fellow is to be employed by a municipality, a maximum of 50 per cent of the costs of the research fellowship may be included in the participation requirement for the municipality. The participation requirement for the municipal sector is at least 30 per cent of the project's total costs (discussed under Requirement relating to effective collaboration). 

Cost contributions from GPs can be included in the municipal share of at least 30 %, but there should be a good balance between costs for GPs and other contributions on the municipal side. GPs who are sole proprietorships are covered by the state aid rules, which entail, among other things, that we cannot cover personnel and indirect costs for GPs who have sole proprietorships, but only for employees of the GP. 

You will find detailed and important information about what the budget should contain on the website.   

Scope of funding 

The Research Council may provide NOK 6-16 million in funding per project under this call.  There are no requirements for own financing of actors other than those covered by the state aid rules. 

Conditions for funding 

Funding is only to go to the organisations' non-economic activity. Thus, it does not constitute state aid. The Research Council requires that the necessary accounting separation is in place. 

Support for "undertakings" constitutes state aid. In this context, "undertaking" means any actor that carries out an economic activity involving the provision of goods and/or services on a given market. Support for undertakings is granted pursuant to Article 25 of the General Block Exemption Regulation for state aid (Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014). Read more about state aid.  

For enterprises that are undertakings in the sense of state aid law, the level of support available for the enterprise's project costs will depend on the size of the enterprise and the type of R&D activities. The aid intensity may thus vary from 25 to 70 per cent; Article 25: Support for research and development projects. In the application form's progress plan, you must categorise the R&D activities by selecting industrial research and/or experimental development from the drop-down menu.   

The Research Council does not provide funding for operational activities and measures to exploit the R&D results, such as protection of intangible activities. 

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. 

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. 

If we grant you state aid equivalent to EUR 100 000 or more, we will publish this in the Norwegian Register of State Aid (the page opens in a new window).  

The companies participating in the project must submit a declaration confirming that they are eligible to receive state aid. 

The call for proposals has been approved as an aid scheme by the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA), and the reference will be published later. 

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

  • The Research Council's requirements relating to awards can be found in our General Terms and Conditions for R&D Projects on the information page What the contract involves.  
  • The Project Owner is to establish Consortium agreement with all partners in the project. This agreement shall govern mutual rights and obligations. It is also to ensure that no partner undertaking receives indirect state aid from the Project Owner or partners. This means that it must contain conditions that ensure compliance with Section 29 of the EFTA Surveillance Authority's guidelines on state aid for research and development and development. 
  • If the project involves PhD and post-doctoral research fellowships where the responsible university and 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. The requirement does not apply to private businesses, special interest organisations or the voluntary sector.  
  • The Research Council requires full and immediate open access for scientific articles; see Plan S - open access to publications.  
  • For all projects that handle data, the Project Owner must prepare a data management plan in connection with the revised grant application. Here you will find more information about requirements for data management plans in projects that receive funding from the Research Council.  
  • For medical and health-related studies involving human participants, the Research Council stipulates special requirements and guidelines for prospective registration of studies and publication of results.  
  • There is a requirement for an annual project account report documenting incurred project costs and their financing. The Research Council's requirements relating to allocation and disbursement of support are set out in the General Terms and Conditions for R&D Projects

Relevant thematic areas for this call

Health

Practical information

Requirements for this application type

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 your 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. 

  • Grant applications must satisfy the thematic area, guidelines and formal requirements set out in the call. 
  • Requirements relating to the Project Owner organisation and project manager must be satisfied. 
  • Requirements relating to partners must be met 
  • Requirements for effective collaboration must be met 
  • The grant application and all attachments must be submitted in Norwegian or English. 
  • All attachments must be in PDF format. 

Mandatory attachments 

  • Project description. Use a template at the bottom of the page (coming later).    
  • CVs for project managers and partners. Use a template at the bottom of the page. 
  • Letters of intent from all partners. Use a template at the bottom of the page. 
  • Partner data (for companies/businesses only). Use a template at the bottom of the page. Please note that in applications where companies/companies are not included as partners, you must upload a blank template to this field (page 6 Attachments Partner information* in the application form). 

Applications that do not satisfy the above requirements will be rejected. 

Optional attachments 

  • CVs of other key participants in the project. 
  • Proposal for up to three Nordic referees who are presumed to be impartial to assess the application. 

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 documents and websites linked to in the application, or attachments other 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. 

Assessment criteria

Grant applications will be assessed in light of the objective of the call and the following criteria:

Excellence

The extent to which the project represents research and innovation that can help to solve a challenge and/or meet a specific need in the municipal health and care services.
• The extent to which the project has the potential to generate new knowledge that provides the basis for changed practices, new measures or services or other innovation.
• The extent to which the project builds on relevant and updated knowledge.
• The extent to which the project uses relevant and recognised R&D methods.
• To what extent the project uses an interdisciplinary approach, if relevant.
• The extent to which the project has the necessary R&D activities to succeed.
• The extent to which the project satisfactorily addresses users/stakeholders' knowledge.
• The extent to which the project satisfactorily takes social responsibility, ethical issues and the gender dimension of research into account.

Impact

The extent to which the project responds to recognised needs and facilitates sustainability in the municipal health and care services.

Value creation and realisation of benefits
• The extent to which the potential impacts and impacts of the project are clearly formulated and credible.
• The extent to which the project facilitates the realisation of benefits in the municipal health and care services.
• The extent to which the planned results shall be made openly available to ensure reuse of the research results and enhance reproducibility.
• The extent to which the project has a relevant and comprehensive plan for benefit realisation, including risk assessments, methods, resource needs, partners, anchoring and roles.
• The extent to which the project can have other positive effects for users, e.g. patients, relatives, employees, citizens, public administration and society in general.

Communication, sharing and dissemination
• The extent to which dissemination and communication activities are clearly formulated and aimed at relevant stakeholders/users.
• The extent to which the project has formulated and highlighted the potential for sharing and disseminating the results, including to other municipalities.

Implementation

The extent to which the project plan provides a good basis for implementing the R&D activities and for utilising the results.

Assessment of the quality of project organisation and management
• The extent to which the project has an appropriate work plan, including whether the resources for the various work packages are adequate and in line with the individual work package.
• The extent to which tasks in the project are distributed in a way that ensures that all partners, project participants, including end-users, have a clear role and sufficient resources to fulfil this role.
• The extent to which governance, management and anchoring of the project are safeguarded.

Assessment of the quality of the project manager and project group
• The extent to which the project manager has expertise and experience relevant to the role and the project.
• The extent to which the project group ensures the necessary expertise and expertise to implement the project effectively.

Relevance

Objectives and guidelines of the call
• The extent to which the project complies with the thematic priorities set out in the call.
• The extent to which the project satisfies the requirements and expectations set out in the call.
• The extent to which the project satisfies the other requirements and characteristics set out in the call.

Administrative procedures

Once we have received the applications and the deadline has expired, we will first carry out a preliminary check to see whether the applications satisfy the topic, guidelines and formal requirements set out in the call. Grant applications that do not satisfy the thematic area, guidelines and formal requirements set out in the call will be rejected. 

After preliminary assessment, applications that satisfy the formal requirements will be distributed to referee panels with peers/experts with relevant expertise. 

For each grant application, we check that the referees/referees are impartial and have sufficient expertise in the application's thematic area. The panel assesses the criteria 'Research and innovation', 'Impact and 'Implementation'. A consensus mark is awarded for each of these criteria. 

The panel's assessment is of decisive importance for whether the project can be awarded funding. 

After the Research Council will be assessed for applications that exceed a certain threshold value for the criterion 'Relevance to the call for proposals'. A reference group consisting of people with experience from the municipal health and care services will provide input to the work on the relevance assessment. The Norwegian Cancer Society will also participate in the reference group and will provide input to the assessment of applications with cancer relevance. The assessment and marks for all four criteria will be consolidated into a single, overall mark that indicates the merit of the application. 

The Research Council's administration will submit applications and marks assessed for relevance to the Research Council's Portfolio Board for Health. The portfolio board will attach importance to achieving a balanced portfolio of projects. These assessments will be based on the budget framework, the text of the call for proposals and the letter of allocation from the Ministry of Education and Research. 

We expect to publish which applications will receive funding in December 2024. 

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