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

Some hightlights from the report:

1. Resources for R&D and innovation

  • Norwegian expenditure on research and experimental development (R&D) in nominal terms amounted to 27.3 billion NOK in 2003.  As a proportion of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2003 R&D expenditures amounted to 1.73 percent; in 2002 the percentage of GDP was 1.67 percent and in 2001, 1.60 percent. 
  • In Sweden, R&D expenditures were 4.0 percent of GDP in 2003, in Finland 3.5 percent, Iceland 3.0 percent and Denmark2.6 percent.  The OECD average was 2.3 percent. 
  • Norway spent 6 000 NOK per capita on R&D in 2003, the lowest level in the Nordic area: Sweden spent 10 600 NOK per capita, Finland, 9 100 NOK, Iceland, 8 700 NOK, and Denmark, 7 400 NOK.  Norwegian R&D spending per capita was however above the OECD average of 5 500 NOK
  • The Norwegian Industrial sector accounted for 13.5 billion NOK in R&D in 2003.  The equivalents for the Higher Education sector and the Institute sector were 7.5 billion NOK and 6.4 billion NOK respectively. 
  • From 2001 to 2003, total R&D expenditures in Norwayincreased at an annual rate of 3.6 percent in real terms.  In the Industrial sector the annual growth rate was 1.3 percent; in the Higher Education sector 7.9 percent, and in the Institute sector 4.6 percent.
  • In 2003, 12.8 billion NOK of Norwegian R&D expenditures was funded by Industry, 11.4 billion NOK by Government and 3.1 billion NOK from the Private non-profit sector and abroad.
  • In 2003, Government funding on R&D amounted to 0.72 percent as a percentage of GDP, while Industry and other sources made up 1.03 percent.
  • In 2003 approximately 3 500 new projects received funding from the recently introduced scheme (2001) for tax deduction of R&D expenses, SkatteFUNN.  Total funding was 1.25 billion NOK.
  • For 2005, the Norwegian Government Budget Appropriation or outlays for R&D (GBAORD) was estimated at 14 billion NOK.  In real terms the annual growth in expenditures during 20032005 was 3 percent. 

2.  Human resources

  • In 2003, 51 000 persons were involved in R&D in Norway, an increase of 2 500 from 2001.  Of these 36 000 were defined as researchers, up from 35 000 in 2001.  The increase occurred in all three performing sectors, with the greatest rise taking place in the Higher Education sector. 
  • The overall percentage of female researchers in 2003 was 29 percent, one percent more than in 2001.  Women made up 36 percent of the academic staff in the Higher Education sector, 32 percent in the Institute sector and 18 percent in the Industrial sector.  A comparison with figures for 2001 shows that the proportion of female researchers declined in the Industrial sector, while the opposite was true for the Higher Education and Institute sectors.
  • In 2003, total personnel accounted for 29 000 person years, of which 21 000 were performed by researchers and 8 000 by technicians or auxiliary personnel. 
  • The largest proportion of personnel with 5 years or more of higher education were employed in Oil and Gas Extraction. 
  • From 2002 to 2003 the mobility rate among employees with 5 years of higher education or more was 18 percent, the lowest among the Nordic countries. 
  • In 2003, there were 210 000 students in Norway.  In addition, 21 000 Norwegian students were studying abroad. 
  • A total of 7 300 candidates received their Masters degree from Norwegian institutions of higher education in 2003. 
  • Norwegian institutions awarded 800 doctoral degrees in 2002.  This represents a two-fold increase during the last 15 years.

3.  Cooperation in R&D

  • Half of the Norwegian firms performing R&D reported cooperating with other firms in 2003.  In some branches more than 75 percent had such cooperation.  The most common partners are other firms, while collaboration with research institutes was the second most common form of cooperation. 
  • In 2003 more than 1 000 persons had positions as adjunct professors at university departments including university hospitals and state university colleges.  Of these 40 percent were in medicine, 24 percent in social sciences and 24 percent in natural sciences and technology.  The rest were adjunct professors in humanities and agriculture. 
  • In 2004, Norwayparticipated in 1 480 applications for the 6th European Framework programme on R&D.  Of these 390 or 26 percent were granted compared to an average of 17 percent for all countries in the Framework programme.
  • Of all articles written by Norwegians and published in international scientific journals, more than half were co-authored with foreigners in 2004.  International collaboration has increased involving more countries each year.

4.  Results from R&D and innovation

  • In 2004, Norwegian researchers published 5 500 articles in international journals, equivalent to only 0.6 percent of the world output of articles and corresponding to 1.20 articles per 1 000 inhabitants.  Among the Nordic countries Swedenis the largest research nation with 15 000 scientific articles in international journals, corresponding to 1.99 articles per 1 000 inhabitants
  • The Norwegian publication profile in marine and fishery biology is highly specialised.  Norwegian articles within this field accounted for 2.6 percent of the world scientific international production during the period 2003 2004. 
  • In 2003, a total of 6 000 patent applications were registered in Norway.  Norwegians were involved in 20 percent of the applications. 
  • Of all manufacturing enterprises in Norwayin 2003, 25 percent introduced new or significantly changed products or processes between 2001 and 2003. 
  • In industry, 38 percent of the enterprises in 2003 were innovative, while 24 percent were innovative in the service sector. 
  • During the period 2001 to 2004, the number of new enterprises rose from 38 000 to 47 000.  In 2004, new establishments accounted for 90 percent and change in ownership accounted for 10 percent.  Most of the new enterprises were within telecommunications and computing
  • The number of new enterprises in 2003 identified with researchers was 59, with an average of 4.8 employees. 
  • In general, enterprises focusing on R&D are more profitable than other enterprises measured by income per employee, turnover, capital and own capital funds. 
  • More than 60 percent of total industrial exports from Norway were in sectors with low or medium low R&D intensity in 2003.  Only Greece had a larger share of exports from these sectors than Norway.  The import figures from the same sector were relatively high in Norwaycompared to other countries.
  • Public understanding of science and technology among Norwegians is shown to be more positive in 2003 compared with 1999.  This is especially true for biotechnology.  The balance of the opinion shows an increase of 21 percentage points for the expression: in general, the positive effects of research exceed the harmful effects.
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