NOK 50 million for new 5-year period for the Centre for Digital Life Norway

The Research Council of Norway has granted the Centre for Digital Life Norway (DLN) funding for 5 more years. The centre aims to transform Norwegian biotechnology research to increase innovation and value creation for society. 

The Centre for Digital Life Norway (DLN) promotes research, innovation and training in transdisciplinary biotechnology to foster convergence and in that way contribute to responsible and sustainable creation of value for Norwegian society. DLN 2.0 starts in February 2021 with NTNU, UiO, UiB, NMBU, UiT, SINTEF and OUS as partners.  

 In the next period we expect the centre to anchor its activities even better in the host institutions to make sure that the knowledge and experience created in the centre, will have a greater impact on Norwegian biotechnology in the contexts of challenges and opportunities in the life sciences. To approach young researchers that represent the future, address the innovation potential and link up with the industry, are also important tasks for the centre, says Anne Kjersti Fahlvik, Executive Director for Business development and innovation in the Research Council of Norway.  

 The centre’s first 5-year period runs till February 2021. Based on a two-stage application process including evaluation and guidance by an international expert panel, the Research Council of Norway portfolio board for enabling technologies has granted the centre NOK 50 million for a new period 2021–2026 designated DLN 2.0.  

Guides research projects  

The Centre for Digital Life Norway currently includes 35 research projects all over the country that receive guidance and support from a network project to develop with regard to data management, collaboration across disciplines and projects, commercialisation, innovation, industry collaboration and responsible research and innovation (RRI). It is the network project that now has been funded for 5 new years to further develop and implement its methodology.  

 New partners strengthen the centre  

Until now the network project consisting of NTNU, the University of Oslo (UiO) and the University of Bergen (UiB) has been responsible for running the centre activities and supporting the 35 research projects. In the next funding period NMBU, SINTEF, Oslo University Hospital and UiT The Arctic University of Norway, that has been centre nodes until now, become full partners in the DLN 2.0 network project.  

Centre director Trygve Brautaset from the official opening of the Center for Digital Life Norway in 2016. Now he is ready to lead the centre for five more years from February 2021. Photo: Jacob Storgaard Jensen, Storgaard Design.

  – The new partners will strengthen this unique and important national collaboration. We are very much looking forward to collaborate with all partner organisations and other actors both nationally and internationally in the next five years to deliver the gearshift for Norwegian biotechnology that we have promised, says centre director Trygve Brautaset who is professor at NTNU.  

 Contact at the Centre for Digital Life Norway 

Professor Trygve Brautaset
E-mail:  trygve.brautaset@ntnu.no
Phone: 98283977 

FACTS More about DLN 2.0 as described in the application 

The overall goal of the centre initiative is to transform research, innovation and training in Norwegian biotechnology to foster transdisciplinary convergence and so contribute to responsible and sustainable creation of value for Norwegian society. DLN shall support open science and enable convergence of biotechnology and life sciences with computer science, engineering, mathematics, physics and statistics as well as with social sciences and the humanities in order to develop anticipatory, reflexive and communicative competences and agencies regarding the societal impact of its activities and outcomes. Through these ambitions DLN aims to become a national lighthouse for transdisciplinary biotechnology, also recognised and visible internationally. This necessitates developing a strong anchoring at the host institutions, DLN has made major progress towards this overall goal already. The primary objective of the DLN2.0 competence hub is to strengthen and extend our efforts to enable, support and guide research projects, in order to drive the transformation of Norwegian biotechnology in tight interplay with the host institutions and other relevant actors including the RCN and industry.  

To realise DLN2.0’s transformative ambitions defined above, the centre will fulfil the following six secondary objectives, which are all in line with the conclusions from the DLN self-assessment process that was undertaken in November 2019 as a preparation for this call:  

  1. Make transdisciplinary convergence the norm for biotechnology projects by educating, training and guiding scientists from different disciplines and fields, including the next generation of project leaders, in collaborations that address the same research questions and thereby go beyond state-of-the-art disciplinary methods and approaches.  
  2. Ensure innovation and value creation from transdisciplinary biotechnology by establishing a culture of RRI within the DLN2.0 community. 4  
  3. Make FAIR sharing of data the norm for biotechnology projects by driving the further strengthening of national capacity for data handling, interpretation, management and sharing of research data.  
  4. Ensure that the experiences from DLN are anchored in host institutions and other research and innovation organisations in Norway by promoting and catalysing processes of learning within and across the DLN host organisations.  
  5. Maximise the creation of societal value and future commercial successes by introducing basic knowledge and making educated strategic decisions of innovation and commercialisation processes.  
  6. Increase visibility and impact of DLN2.0 as a lighthouse in transdisciplinary biotechnology by communication and collaboration with relevant organisations both nationally and internationally.