Ffty-three independent research institutes receive their basic funding via the Research Council of Norway. The Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU) was commissioned by the Research Council to compile an annual report for this segment of the institute sector for 2010. Combined, the institutes had operating revenues to the tune of over NOK 8 billion.
Growth across the board
Grouped by subject area, the NIFU study shows that the largest increase in turnover of the institute groups has been within the. The operating revenues they generated in 2010 amounted to more than one-half (51 per cent) of the total turnover of all the institutes with basic funding from the Research Council. The technical-industrial research institutes in this group displayed a nominal growth in overall revenues of 44 per cent in the period from 2006 to 2010.
The social science research institutes and environmental research institutes exhibited even stronger nominal growth in operating revenues – 50 per cent in the 2006-2010 period.
The total operating revenues for the institute groups funded by the Research Council have risen steadily from NOK 7.2 billion in 2006 to NOK 10.1 billion in 2010.
The operating profits are climbing steadily as well. The research institutes that receive their basic funding via the Research Council presented an overall operating profit of nearly NOK 250 million – the best result yet. There is, however, substantial variation between the institutes.
In 2010 the research institutes employed some 2 000 individuals with a doctoral degree, representing 50 per cent of the full-time equivalents carried out by researchers or other scientific personnel. The number of full-time equivalents filled by individuals with a doctoral degree has increased steadily in the past five years.
Seeking out more international funding
Norway’s independent research institutes are obtaining more and more funding from abroad. In 2010 international funding amounted to over NOK 1 billion. NOK 308 million of the international funding was allocated by the EU.
“One of our aims is to encourage independent research institutes to get more of their funding under the EU Framework Programmes,” says Department Director Hege Torp at the Research Council.
“In the input for the 2012 national budget, NOK 26 million is proposed used for measures to strengthen Norwegian research institutes’ participation in the EU Framework Programmes, particularly as regards cooperation between the institutes and trade and industry,” she says.