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Close to NOK 1 billion for health research in 2013

Cancer research and mental health research received NOK 155 million and NOK 106 million, respectively, of the Research Council of Norway’s overall investment of almost NOK 1 billion in health-related research in 2013.

One-fourth of the research activity focused on aetiology, the study of causation of disease. Research on the development of treatments and therapeutic interventions was the next largest category.

The figures come from a portfolio analysis based on the Health Research Classification System (HRCS), which builds on WHO’s International Classification of Diseases. The Research Council has used the HRCS since 2011 in its statistics and analysis activities.

The analysis from 2013 encompasses both the Research Council’s active health-related projects and the efforts involved in establishing research centres in this area.


Cancer, mental health, infection and neurology on top

The HRCS analysis uses 21 health categories. Four of the largest categories in the Research Council’s health research portfolio are cancer (NOK 155 million), mental health (NOK 106 million), infection (NOK 93 million) and neurological research (NOK 88 million).

The largest category by far, however, is research with generic health relevance, which received about NOK 240 million in 2013. Public health research, epidemiology and health services research not targeted at a specific disease fall into this category, as do basic biological, psychosocial, economic or methodological studies not specific to an individual disease or condition.

Extensive research on the causation of disease

In addition to the health categories, the HRCS analysis uses eight categories of research activity to describe the type of research being conducted. These categories provide a more informative, detailed picture than the traditional way of categorising health research as either basic or applied. This is especially interesting with regard to applied research.   



Aetiology research comprises 25 per cent of the Research Council’s health research portfolio. The category encompasses research on the causes, risk and development of disease and poor health. The next largest research category is development of treatments and therapeutic interventions. This research is designed to develop new treatments and therapeutic methods, including testing in model systems and preclinical studies. 

Read more about the HRCS.

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