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The report is an abridged version of 2009 Science & Technology and presents a selection of science and technology indicators (S&T) in Norway. The data presented in the report is annotated in English, and the presentation is designed to provide useful information and perspectives on a range of S&T issues.

Some highlights from the report:

1. Resources for R&D and Innovation

  • Norwegian expenditure on research and development (R&D) amounted in nominal terms to NOK 37.4 billion in 2007. Compared to 2005 this represents a real increase of 17.1 percent, the largest increase in R&D expenditure since the mid-1980s.
  • As a proportion of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) R&D expenditures amounted to 1.6 percent in 2007. In 2005 and 2006 the corresponding GDP share was 1.5 percent.
  • R&D expenditures corresponded to 3.6 percent of GDP in Sweden, 3.5 percent in Finland, 2.8 percent in Iceland and in Denmark, 2.6 percent. The OECD average was 2.3 percent in 2007.
  • Norway spent NOK 7 950 per capita on R&D in 2007. This is the lowest level in the Nordic area: Sweden spent NOK 11 950, Finland NOK 10 910, Iceland NOK 8 870 and Denmark NOK 8 870 per capita on R&D in 2005. The OECD average was NOK 6 770, and the EU 15 average was NOK 5 750 for that year.
  • The Norwegian higher education sector accounted for NOK 11.7 billion in R&D in 2007. The equivalents for the industrial sector and the institute sector in Norway were NOK 17.4 billion and NOK 8.3 billion, respectively. The relative distribution between these sectors remained much as it was in 2005, with a minor increase in the industrial sector’s share and corresponding drop in the institute sector.
  • In 2007 the R&D performed within Norwegian health trusts were included for the first time in Norway’s official R&D statistics. R&D spending in the health trusts amounted to NOK 2 billion.
  • In 2007, NOK 16.6 billion of Norwegian R&D expenditure was funded by the government, NOK 16.4 billion by industry and NOK 4.4 billion from other sources and abroad.
  • R&D funded by the government amounted in 2007 to 0.73 percent of GDP. Industry and other sources made up 0.91 percent.
  • According to the latest innovation survey (2006), 21 percent of Norwegian industrial enterprises are innovative. This is a decline of one percent point compared to the previous survey (2004).
  • Budgeted R&D expenditure in the SkatteFUNN scheme has stayed fairly stable in recent years. Both in 2006 and in 2007, NOK 8.5 billion were allocated in budgeted R&D spending to approved projects. For 2008 there was a slight decline to
    NOK 8.3 billion.
  • For 2009, the Norwegian Government Budget Appropriation or outlays for R&D (GBAORD) was estimated at NOK 20.8 billion. In real terms the annual growth in expenditures during 2007–2009 was estimated to 2.9 percent.

2. Human Resources

  • In 2007, approximately 60 000 persons wereinvolved in R&D in Norway. Of these 42 000 were researchers, technicians or other employees with at least five years of higher education. The corresponding numbers for 2005 were 54 000 and
    37 000. The largest increase was related to PhD's and researcher positions at the health trusts.
  • The overall share of female researchers in 2007 was one third of all researchers in Norway. In the Norwegian higher education sector female researchers made up 42 percent of the total, in the institute sector 37 percent and in the industrial sector nearly 20 percent. The overall share increased by one percent from 2005.
  • In 2007, total R&D personnel accounted for 34 100 person-years, of which nearly 25 000 were performed by researchers and 9 300 by technicians and support staff.
  • The number of students in Norway has remained stable from 2002 at approximately 220 000. The number of students studying abroad declined in the same period before stabilizing in the past three years.
  • In 2007 the overall number of higher degree candidates at Norwegian higher education institutions was close to 10 000. This represents an increase of 18 percent from 2005.
  • Norwegian institutions of higher learning have awarded a total of 15 000 doctoral degrees over the years. This annual number has increased recently: 1 200 new doctoral degrees were awarded in 2007. Adjusted for the number of inhabitants a few more doctoral degrees were awarded in Norway than in Denmark, but far
    more doctoral degrees are awarded in Finland and particularly in Sweden.
  • Most of the doctoral degree holders find work within the Government sector, mainly at universities and university colleges. Women made up 45 percent of the doctoral graduates in 2008.
  • At the end of November 2008 the unemployment rate for Norwegian employees with a higher education (five years or more) was 0.7 percent. For employees with lower levels of education the unemployment rate was 0.8 percent. Although the
    financial crisis has led to increased unemployment among the more highly educated, the unemployment rate remains relatively low.

3. Cooperation in R&D and Innovation

  • In 2007, Norwegian R&D active actors purchased or otherwise financed a total of NOK 12.7 billion in external R&D activities. These transactions were distributed across R&D performing sectors in Norway and abroad.
  • More than 40 percent of the Norwegian firms that perform R&D reported cooperating with other firms in 2007. Contractors and research institutes were the most important collaborator type.
  • More than 90 percent of Norwegian enterprises with R&D cooperation reported having cooperation partners in Norway.
  • More than half of all Norwegian articles in international scientific journals in 2008 were co-authored by foreigners. International collaboration has increased, and there has been a marked increase in co-authorship with other countries in recent years.
  • Norwegian participation in the 6th European Union Framework Program (FP) included cooperation with researchers from 105 countries, mainly from the original EU 15 countries. Norway’s official contribution to the framework program amounted to roughly NOK 650 million in 2007.
  • At the start of 2008 Norway participated in 1 500 applications for the 7th Framework program, which corresponds to 9 percent of all applications.

4. Results from R&D and Innovation

  • The number of articles published by Norwegian researchers has increased by as much as 74 percent during the past decade, 1999-2008. In the same period the relative production of articles increased by 24 percent in Sweden, 34 percent in
    Finland and 39 percent in Denmark. Measured by scientific production, Norway is nevertheless smallest in comparison with its Nordic neighbours.
  • Norwegian articles are cited more often than before, especially within Mathematics, Clinical Medicine, Physics, Agricultural Sciences, and Geosciences. During the 2006–2007 period, Norwegian articles were cited 22 percent more often than the world average.
  • A total of 123 000 patent applications were received by the European Patent Office (EPO) in 2006. Almost 96 percent of the EPO applications involved applicants in the 30 OECD countries. Applicants from the Nordic countries made up 4 percent of the total applications. Swedish applicants accounted for 2 200 EPO patent applications,
    Finnish applicants for 1 400, Danish applicants for 970, and Norwegian applicants for
    430 applications. Norwegian applications amounted to under 0.4 percent of all EPO patent applications.
  • Reports represented the dominate publication form for Norway’s research institutes in 2006. Production of scientific articles is however on the increase. Most articles are written by researchers at primary industry institutes.
  • New or significantly improved products accounted for 5.9 percent of total turnover in the Industrial sector in 2006. This is the same share as in 2004. However it represents a decline from 2001 when the proportion was 7.7 percent.


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