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The report is an abridged version of 2007 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 experimental development (R&D) in nominal terms amounted to NOK 29.3 billion in 2005. Compared to 2003 this is a real increase of 3.3 percent.
  • As a proportion of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2005 R&D expenditures amounted to 1.5 percent. In 2004 the percentage of GDP was 1.6 percent and in 2003 it was 1.7 percent.
  • In Sweden, R&D expenditures were 3.9 percent of GDP, in Finland 3.5 percent, in Iceland 2.8 percent and in Denmark it was 2.5 percent. The OECD average was 2.3 percent in 2005.
  • Norway spent NOK 6 410 per capita on R&D in 2005. This is the lowest level in the Nordic area: Sweden spent NOK 10 890, Finland spent NOK 9 400, Iceland spent NOK 8 870 and Denmark spent NOK 7 280 per capita on R&D in 2005. The OECD average was NOK 5 770 this year.
  • The Higher education sector accounted for NOK 9.1 billion in R&D in 2005. The equivalents for the Industrial sector and the Institute sector were NOK 13.6 billion and NOK 6.9 billion, respectively. The proportion of the Industrial sector of total R&D expenses has declined by 4 percentage points from 2003, to 46 percent. The Higher education sector has increased its share by 4 percentage points from 2005 and in 2005 it was 31 percent. The Institute sector’s proportion of total R&D expenses in 2005 remained the same as in 2003 at 23 percent.
  • In 2005, NOK 13.2 billion of Norwegian R&D expenditure was funded by Industry, NOK 12.9 billion by the Government and NOK 3.5 billion from other sources and abroad.
  • R&D funded by the Government amounted in 2005 to 0.67 percent of GDP. Industry and other sources made up 0.86 percent.
  • 26 percent of Norwegian industrial enterprises introduced new or considerably improved products or processes in the 2002–2004 period, and might thus be referred to as innovative. This proportion is somewhat lower than in the 1999–2001 period.
  • Norwegian enterprises spent almost NOK 22.2 billion on innovation in 2004. This corresponds to 1.1 percent of total turnover, and represents a decline from 2001 when the innovation costs amounted to 1.5 percent of total turnover in the Industrial sector.
  • The number of applications for tax deduction (SkatteFUNN) has declined since 2003 when 4 740 applications for tax deduction were filed. In 2006 the corresponding number was 2 600. In 2005, funding of R&D in the Industrial sector through SkatteFUNN was NOK 0.5 billion, while other Government funding of R&D was NOK 0.6 billion.
  • For 2007, the Norwegian Government Budget Appropriation or outlays for R&D (GBAORD) was estimated at NOK 16.6 billion. In real terms the annual growth in expenditures during 2005–2007 was estimated to 4.6 percent.


2.  Human resources

  • In 2005, over 54 000 persons were involved in R&D in Norway. Of these 37 000 were defined as researchers or persons with five years or more of higher education.
  • The overall percentage of female researchers in 2005 was 32 percent. In the Higher education sector the proportion was 39 percent, in the Institute sector it was 34 percent and in the Industrial sector 19 percent of the researchers were women. The overall increase from 2003 was 3 percentage points. The largest increase was in the Higher education sector.
  • In 2005, total personnel accounted for 30 500 person-years, of which 21 700 were performed by researchers and 8 800 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 has been declining.
  • In 2005 the overall number of higher degree candidates at Norwegian higher education institutions was 8 400. This represents an increase of 9 percentage points from 2003.
  • In total, Norwegian institutions have awarded 15 000 doctoral degrees over the years. This number is constantly increasing, and 900 new doctoral degrees were awarded in 2006. The increase is nevertheless lower than in the other Nordic countries. In Sweden the number of awarded doctoral degrees is twice as high as in Norway, adjusted for the number of inhabitants. Also Finland and Denmark have awarded considerably more doctoral degrees than Norway.
  • Most of the doctors find work within the Government sector, mainly at universities and university colleges.
  • The number of employees with a higher education, 5 years or more, increased in all industries. The largest proportion in 2006 was in oil and gas extraction, where 16 percent of a total of 38 000 employees had higher education.
  • Unemployment among employees with higher education in 2007 was 0.7 percent.


3.  Cooperation in R&D

  • Overall a total of NOK 10.7 billion was transferred in 2005 in order to buy and finance R&D across the R&D performing sectors in Norway and abroad.
  • Half of the Norwegian firms performing R&D reported cooperating with other firms in 2005. Contractors were the most important type of cooperation partner. As much as 93 percent of the cooperation partners in the Industrial sector were situated in Norway.
  • In 2004, 33 percent of the innovative firms were involved in cooperation in innovation. 72 percent reported that cooperation with contractors was important or very important.
  • Staff in the Higher education sector performs 87 person-years as adjunct professors in the Institute sector and the other way, staff from the Institute sector performs 46 person-years as adjunct professors in the Higher education sector. The use of adjunct professors is stable.
  • More than half of all Norwegian articles in international scientific journals in 2006 were co-authored with foreigners. International collaboration has increased, primarily with the EU.
  • At the start of 2007 Norway participated in 2 490 applications for the 6th European Framework programme on R&D, of which 30 percent were granted compared to an average of 20 percent for all countries in the Framework programme.
  • The number of applications with Norwegian contribution to the European Patent Organization (EPO) increased from 205 in 1996 to 430 in 2005. In the 1996–2005 period most EPO applications with a Norwegian contribution were to be found within chemicals/ pharmaceuticals.


4.  Results from R&D and innovation

  • In 2006, Norwegian researchers published nearly 7 200 articles, compared with 5 500 in 2004. Norway has strengthened its position within most of the scientific fields during the last decade.
  • There is high activity in Norwegian research particularly within biology and geology, while the activity is relatively low within fields like physics, chemistry and technology.
  • Norwegian articles are cited more often than before, and especially since the mid-1990s there has been a positive development. During the 2002–2006 period, Norwegian articles were cited 18 percent more often than the world average.
  • For the research institutes, reports represented the dominating publication form in 2006, but the production of scientific articles is increasing. Most articles are written by researchers at the primary industry institutes.
  • New or significantly improved products accounted for 5.9 percent of total turnover in the Industrial sector in 2004. This is a decline from 2001 when the proportion was 7.7 percent.
  • Innovative firms that cooperate with other firms are more successful in the innovation activity than other firms. 70 percent of the cooperating innovators reported that the innovation activity was successful. In the group of “converted innovators” the majority experienced the innovation effort as medium or not successful.
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