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The objective of the National Financing Initiative for Research Infrastructure (INFRASTRUKTUR)

The objective of the initiative is to;

  • give Norwegian research communities access to relevant, up-to-date infrastructure that supports high-quality research and innovation, which in turn will help to solve the knowledge challenges facing society;
  • enhance and coordinate national research infrastructure in areas in which Norway has dynamic research communities;
  • optimise utilisation of infrastructures and make them accessible for external users;
  • provide Norwegian research communities with outstanding research infrastructure that will help to make them attractive as partners in international research and innovation projects, ensure recruitment of top researchers and motivate students to pursue a career as a researcher;
  • provide support for Norwegian participation in future international research infrastructures.

The National Financing Initiative for Research Infrastructure was launched as part of the follow-up to the government white paper on research, Climate for Research (2009), and Norway’s national strategy for research infrastructure, Tools for Research (2008-2017). The strategy document establishes a clear division of responsibility for investment in research infrastructure, distinguishing between basic equipment and research infrastructure of national character. Under the infrastructure initiative, funding may be sought for research infrastructure of national character with investment costs of more than NOK 2 million. The maximum amount of funding that may be sought from the Research Council is NOK 200 million.

The types of research infrastructure encompassed under the initiative are defined in Tools for Research – Part I, Norway’s national strategy for research infrastructure 2012-2017: advanced scientific equipment, electronic infrastructure (eInfrastructure), scientific databases and collections, and large-scale research facilities. Funding may be sought to cover establishment costs for new or costs for upgrading existing research infrastructure of national importance. In certain cases, funding may be sought to cover the operating costs for such infrastructure.

Funding is also provided under this initiative for Norwegian participation in Nordic, European and other international cooperation on research infrastructure, including Norwegian participation in the implementation phase of projects on the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures’ (ESFRI) Roadmap. For distributed international research infrastructures, funding can be provided under this initiative for building-up and operation of the Norwegian contribution of the research infrastructure. Decisions regarding international research infrastructure cooperation involving major, long-term commitments in the form of investments and membership fees will be taken at the ministerial level.

Funding for research infrastructure involving external investments that exceed NOK 200 million will be decided at the ministerial or government level, in compliance with the strategy document Tools for Research. Institutions seeking to establish research facilities with investment costs over NOK 200 million are asked to contact the Research Council directly. Please refer to the attachments to this call for proposals.

The Research Council has implemented the initiative to ensure an adequate interface between the funding of research infrastructure and other research funding, as well as to facilitate an integrated assessment of the balance between national investment and participation in international research infrastructures. 

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