Porteføljeanalysen for Global utvikling og internasjonale relasjoner

Statistics of relevant projects in the portfolio

The figures in this analysis holds considerable uncertainty as the portfolio is so new that it requires considerable manual effort to estimate different baseline figures, especially in relation to national effort within the portfolio's area.

National R&D-investment

The research within the portfolio is for the most part interdisciplinary and the portfolio's thematic areas are not included in NIFU's annual collection of R&D statistics. Consequently, we do not have an exact knowledge base on the entire national research effort on the portfolio's theme. By combining information from the budget propositions from the Ministry of foreign affairs and the Ministry of defence in addition to other relevant documents we do however get an idea of total available national allocations to foreign, security and development research.

The Ministry of foreign affairs allocated 1,7 billion kroner to R&D in 2019. However, there is some uncertainty about the size of the total research grants, as the Ministry finances activities that do not fall within the R&D concept in the narrow sense. Among other things, NIFU considers the Ministry's assistance to strengthen the capacity for research and higher education in developing countries as R&D. In addition, the Ministry funds research through a wide range of national, international and multinational organisations, both directly from the Ministry and via the foreign service stations.

The corresponding figure for the Ministry of defence is 1,3 billion kroner, although only a minor part of this, appr. 75 million kroner, is related to the thematic areas of the portfolio. In addition, the Ministry of education and research allocated 64 million kroner to basic funding for the research institutes on foreign and development issues. The funding from the Ministry of foreign affairs holds conditions related to specific geographical and/or thematic perspectives aligned with the ministry's internal organisation. The funding from the Ministry of defence holds similar conditions in addition to having very specific operational ends. Most of this research is carried out within the defence sector's own research institutes, most importantly the Institute for Defence Studies.

One area that is being monitored by NIFU is development research, and in 2017 the R&D expenditures for this area was 738 million kroner, of which 407 million kroner was in universities and 331 million in research institutes.

The Research Council's investment

The Research Council's total portfolio in Global development and international relations amounts to 398 million kroner in 2019. The portfolio consist of 241 projects of which 120 projects are from the targeted programmes and 121 from other efforts. The dominant project type is researcher projects. In addition to thematic targeted programmes, there are co-funding mechanisms for research cooperation with India and China whose funds originates from the Ministry of foreign affair's development budget and are being channelled to projects via thematic programmes. There is also a South Africa-Norway Research Cooperation Programme on Blue Economy, Climate Change, the Environment and Sustainable Energy which is funded over the development budget.

Targeted programmes are in their entirety dedicated to thematic priorities within the Portfolio plan for Global Development and International Relations. The portfolio's distribution on targeted programmes for 2019 are as follows:

  • NORGLOBAL – Norway – Global Partner – 40 projects for a total amount of 63 million kroner.
  • UTENRIKS – Research Programme on International relations, foreign and security policy and Norwegian interests – 20 projects, 22 million kroner.
  • GLOBVAC – Programme for Global Health and Vaccination Research – 37 projects, 34 million kroner.
  • VISION2030 – Funding mechanism for education and health innovation – 5 projects, 17 million kroner.

Important other efforts, which are not specifically dedicated to thematic priorities for this portfolio, are:

  • Funding scheme for independent projects – 43 projects for a total amount of 44 million kroner.
  • Basic funding for internationally oriented research institutes – 8 institutions, 78 million kroner.
  • Research Programme on Better Health and Quality of Life – 8 projects, 16 million kroner.
  • Norwegian Centres of Excellence scheme – 2 projects, 36 million kroner.

The research institutions with the most projects in the portfolio are located in Oslo, followed by the counties Vestland, Viken, Trøndelag and Troms and Finnmark. There are also a few projects in Agder, Rogaland, Nordland, Møre and Romsdal and Innlandet.

The research institutes accounts for 119 projects for a total amount of 230 million kroner. The universities and university colleges accounts for 113 projects for a total amount of 152 million kroner. The regional health authorities account for 5 projects, NGO's 2 projects and business only 1.

International cooperation

With its international thematic orientation, most projects within the portfolio have a formalised cooperation with researchers and/or research institutions in other countries. For projects funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affair's development budget the NORGLOBAL2 programme encouraged that the research focuses on one of the 16 priority countries for Norwegian development aid. Three funding schemes, INDNOR, CHINOR and SANCOOP, are bilateral cooperation mechanisms requiring research cooperation with respectively India, China and South-Africa.

In total the portfolio's projects have formalised cooperation with 75 different countries over the last three years (2017–2019). The most important partner countries for the projects in the portfolio are United Kingdom, USA, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, India, Malawi and Russia, of which South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, India and Malawi are ODA-eligible partner countries.

Project types

The prevailing application type is Researcher projects (113 projects), however there are Young researcher projects (14 projects), Other support projects (31 projects) in addition to Other institutional projects, Innovation projects and Coordination and support projects. There is a sound balance regarding Research institutes and Universities as contract partners for projects within the portfolio. The Research institutes counts for 91 projects for the total amount of 201 million kroner, whilst the Universities counts for 89 projects for the total amount of 125 million kroner. Business is only contract partner in one project but is partner in several more.


There has been a shift in balance between disciplines over the last few years, as the funding of global health research has declined significantly and at the same time there has been an increase in funding relating to foreign and development research. To a great extent, the topics in the portfolio require interdisciplinary research. More than half of the projects within the portfolio are in the social sciences, mainly interdisciplinary research but also including some monodisciplinary projects within political science, economy and jurisprudence. One fifth of the projects are within health and medicine, about ten percent each within natural sciences and technology and only three percent each within humanities and agriculture and fisheries. The distribution of different disciplines throughout the targeted and other efforts are more or less even, however the natural sciences are dominant within other efforts.

Thematic areas

The portfolio covers a broad range of thematic areas, as both development, foreign, security and international relations cut across many sectors and policy areas. Important topics are health, environment and biodiversity, welfare, climate, development, energy, foreign policy and international relations, culture, food and food security and marine research. Other topics within the portfolio are urban development, agriculture, bioeconomics and polar research.

EU funded projects

Within the portfolio there are 54 projects funded from the EU framework programme Horizon 2020 at the total amount of 133 million kroner in 2019. The EU-funded projects are mainly funded from the framework programme section Societal Challenges, but also includes projects funded from the sections Excellent Science and Industrial Leadership; within the thematic areas of Society, Food, Health, European Research Council – ERC, Marie Sklodowska Curie Action – MSCA and Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies – LEIT. There are further a few projects in the areas Environment, Energy, Advanced Materials, ICT and Security. Research institutes accounts for 24 EU-projects, universities for 21 projects and business for 3 projects. 37 projects are Research and innovation action followed by 4 Starting grants and 4 Innovation action.