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Increasingly relevant to society

The past decade has seen an ICT revolution that affects all areas of society. Activities under the VERDIKT programme show that Norway has been successful in keeping pace with developments.

Our lives are filled with many new, important and exciting products and services developed through the efforts of Norwegian ICT groups. (Photo: iStockphoto)
The following is an extract from the final report of the VERDIKT programme.

The VERDIKT programme was established in 2005 to cultivate long-term knowledge-building and innovation within ICT. Over the past ten years, the field of ICT has been changing at a rapid pace. Social media, tablets and apps hardly conceivable in 2005 now play an important role in everyday life, both at home and in the workplace. 

The Future Internet

Activities under the VERDIKT programme have been targeted towards innovative approaches and strategic actions underway as a means of navigating optimally towards the future. This is why the programme board decided in 2010 to focus on the Future Internet and the three thematic priority areas of Social Networks, Mobile Internet and the Internet of Things. This replaced the four original thematic priority areas of seamless infrastructures, multimodal systems and rich media, digital environments and communicating organisations.

Over the ten-year programme period, approximately NOK 1.2 billion has been allocated to 290 different projects. This has given Norwegian ICT research a boost, enhanced ICT expertise and contributed to innovation in the public and private sectors.

In line with overall societal trends, investments under the VERDIKT programme have undergone a steady shift towards thematic areas of relevance in a societal context. This is reflected both in the programme’s project portfolio and in the research environments awarded funding, with fewer and fewer pure technology projects and an increasing representation of “softer” groups working with media and user interfaces.

A new paradigm

Social networks have emerged as by far and away the largest research area in the past four years. This area is relevant in a broad societal context and research has produced results in areas ranging from democratisation and learning to welfare and cooperation in the public sector.

Together with Mobile Internet and the Internet of Things, this represents the emergence of a new paradigm in the field of ICT, also in the wider international perspective, over the course of the past decade.

ICT is everywhere

Research on the Future Internet has been particularly productive in health, culture and security.

Viewed in terms of needs and challenges to society, the area of greatest focus under the VERDIKT programme has been the health and welfare sector. Nearly one in every five projects is related to health. Research findings range from the use of sensor technology in patient monitoring to assistive services via smartphone designed for elderly who wish to continue living at home.

New experiences in art and culture

Other areas of importance under the VERDIKT project portfolio include culture and design, the public sector and security and protection of personal privacy.

In the cultural sphere, research on social networks in particular has increased the project portfolio. A total of NOK 137 million in funding has been allocated to projects related to culture. Technology is being applied to create, disseminate or share art and cultural experiences in new ways. Innovative solutions for optimising video streaming via mobile networks, augmented reality and making it possible to play resource-intensive computer games on the Facebook platform are among the innovations developed.  

Public sector renewal

Many projects have focused on the need for renewal in the public sector, with a focus on ICT solutions for the health service (eHealth), public administration, services  and security. Over NOK 200 million of the funding allocated under the VERDIKT programme has been targeted towards the public sector. For example, researchers have developed improved systems for carrying out risk analyses and for identifying computer vulnerability. 

Results from VERDIKT projects are also of importance in the areas of energy, climate and the environment. For instance, new simulation technology can be used to calculate flooding and thus reduce the extent of the accompanying damage. More energy-efficient microchips, greener cloud services, as well as automobiles and traffic systems connected to the Internet are other examples of VERDIKT projects.

Written by:
Nora Clausen
Published:
21.11.2014
Last updated:
24.11.2014