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R&D- The Key to Innovative Solutions

In several areas, Norway can offer unique competence and research opportunities. Its strengths are largely related to the country´s geography, economic specialization patterns and institutional characteristics.

The Norwegian R&D Puzzle

In 2007, the OECD review board visited Norway for their usual country economic survey report. What they found perplexed them. Norway spent less on research and development than most OECD countries, yet was higher in productivity. They called the phenomena the “Norwegian puzzle.”



Renewable Energy- Norway’s next great adventure
When Åslaug Haga served as Norway’s oil and energy minister during 2007-2008, she felt there wasn’t enough focus on renewable energy in the country. But the Norwegian oil industry was booming and the EU hadn’t yet established the 2020 environmental goals. Now she is the leader for a newly created renewable energy project for the Federation of Norwegian Industries that will prepare the oil nation for this next great industrial adventure.



From oil to medicine & beyond
Norway is known for its groundbreaking technology within the field of petroleum research. Less known is that this very same technology has been transferred to the car and aerospace industries and can be used in the future to monitor patients wirelessly and map geohazards for subsea commuter tunnels in deep waters.



Building Chinese relations
Students from China attending Norwegian universities and Norwegian students in China are an untapped resource for Norway. Starting September 2010, they will be eligible to become members of a newly created alumni association, followed by one in November for Japanese students. The hope is that these will serve as the future model for similar networking efforts by Norway with even more countries.



ICT breakthroughs
Half of the Norwegian companies that report R&D activities have the Research Council’s User-driven Research-based Innovation (BIA) as their only programme. Since it was launched four years ago, BIA has funded 371 projects, 139 of which are related to ICT research. One of the recipients is Geir Førre, a Norwegian entrepreneur who helped revolutionize wireless communication with his first company Chipcon and is now making breakthroughs in microcontroller technology.



Medicines from the sea
For the first time, Norwegian scientists have managed to produce completely new antibiotics from bacteria found in the sea.



Clusters as the drivers of innovation & growth - The Norwegian Centres of Expertise programme
Clusters are defined as regional concentrations of specialized companies and institutions, with multiple linkages and mutual cooperative interests. Knowing that dynamic clusters are key drivers of innovation and growth, Innovation Norway, together with SIVA and the Research Council of Norway, established the Norwegian Centres of Expertise (NCE) Programme in 2006 with the goal of building unique strengths out of specialized capabilities.


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