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Innovation and infrastructure dominate October proposals

A total of 874 grant applications were received, of which 459 were for innovation projects. Eight programmes had a combined total of NOK 900 million available for these projects. The applications were distributed as follows:

  • The BIA programme: 202
  • The BIONÆR programme: 38
  • The CLIMIT programme: 4
  • The ENERGIX programme: 83
  • The HAVBRUK2 programme: 42
  • The MAROFF programme: 41
  • The NANO2021 programme: 12
  • The PETROMAKS 2 programme: 37

“These applicants realise that not only are innovation activities profitable for the companies themselves, they also promote a more innovative Norway as a whole,” says Director General of the Research Council Arvid Hallén. “These Norwegian companies and their research partners are signalling that they are on the offensive. We are seeing a willingness to restructure using new technology and new services.”

Innovation activities are profitable for companies, and they also promote a more innovative Norway as a whole, says Arvid Hallén. (Photo: Sverre Jarild)

Widespread interest in industrial innovation

The largest number of grant applications was submitted to the Programme for User-driven Research-based Innovation (BIA), which encompasses digitisation, health, the processing and manufacturing industries, the service sector and the construction sector. The over 200 applications received showed a clear trend towards digitisation, robotisation, sensors, big data and artificial intelligence.

The Research Council’s thematic industry-oriented programmes received more than 250 grant applications altogether. The Large-scale Programme for Energy Research (ENERGIX) set a record with over 80 applications received, including applications under the new PILOT-E scheme, which provides companies with assistance throughout the entire technology development pathway from research to commercialisation.

Still a major need for infrastructure

Ninety-two grant applications were submitted for the establishment and development of research infrastructure for the October deadline. The call for proposals had a funding pot of up to NOK 1 billion, while the applications submitted sought a total of NOK 5 billion.

“When it comes to the number of applications submitted, four areas stand out: environment-friendly energy, petroleum technology, climate and the environment, and health. In the thematic area of climate and the environment, many of applications deal with marine research,” says Programme Coordinator Solveig Flock of the National Financing Initiative for Research Infrastructure (INFRASTRUKTUR) at the Research Council.

“The majority of applications are for continued financing of previously funded infrastructure projects or financing for projects that did not receive a grant in previous rounds.”

Applicants who have sought funding from the INFRASTRUKTUR initiative can expect notification of the outcome of the application assessment process in June 2017.

Complete overview of grant applications received for the 12 October 2016 deadline

Acronym Programme/activity name Funding presumed available (in NOK million)* Total number of applications
BEHANDLING Research Programme on High-quality and Reliable Diagnostics, Treatment and Rehabilitation 60 21
BIA Programme for User-driven Research-based Innovation 400 202
BIONÆR Sustainable Innovation in Food and Bio-based Industries 14 18



Sustainable Innovation in Food and Bio-based Industries/Research Funding for Agriculture and the Food Industry 135 35
BIOTEK2021 Biotechnology for Innovation 100 34
CLIMIT The Norwegian RD&D CCS programme 90 4
DEMO2000 The DEMO2000 programme 125 62

Large-scale Programme for Energy Research

250 103
FRIHUMSAM Funding scheme for independent projects – Humanities and Social Sciences Not available 10
HAVBRUK2 Large-scale Programme on Aquaculture Research 59 42
HELSE-EU Funding to encourage increased participation in EU health research 6 15
HELSEVEL Programme on Health, Care and Welfare Services Research 100 75
INCF National Node for International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility 5 1
INFRASTRUKTUR National Financing Initiative for Research Infrastructure 1 000 92
MAROFF Innovation Programme for Maritime Activities and Offshore Operations 120 41
NANO2021 Research Programme on Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials 35 10
NANO2021/BIONÆR Research Programme on Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials/Sustainable Innovation in Food and Bio-based Industries 20 2
PETROMAKS 2 Large-scale Programme for Petroleum Research  60 37
SSF Arctic Field Grant 2.5 71
Total:   2 581.5 874


* See the individual calls for proposals for further details.

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