Transcending boundaries - Strategy on international cooperation 2010-2020

Transcending boundaries - Strategy on international cooperation 2010-2020
Transcending boundaries

Strategy on international cooperation 2010–2020
Transcending boundaries - Strategy on international cooperation 2010-2020
At left: Roald Amundsen in his cabin onboard the Gjøa upon completion
of his expedition through the Northwest Passage in 1906. Photo: Harry
Randall. Photo owner: The National Library of Norway, bldsa_NPRA3119.
At right: From Fridtjof Nansen’s expedition to the North Pole onboard
the Fram (1893-1896). Celebrating Norway’s Constitution Day on
17 May. Photo: Sigurd Scott Hansen. Photo owner: The National Library
of Norway, bldsa_q3c108.

                                                                           Renowned polar explorers Fridtjof Nansen
                                                                           (1861-1930) and Roald Amundsen (1872-1928),
                                                                           and others who have followed in their footsteps,
                                                                           exemplify a deep-rooted need in the Norwegian
                                                                           character to explore the unknown, to help to
                                                                           expand the global knowledge pool.

Member of Roald Amundsen’s expedition to the South Pole (1893-1896)
Oscar Wisting and his dogsled. Photo: Unknown. Photo owner: The National
Library of Norway, bldsa_NPRA0525.

Transcending boundaries - Strategy on international cooperation 2010-2020
Transcending boundaries

                                              Norwegian Polar Institute
                        Photo: Shutterstock

                                                                                                               Photo: Shutterstock
                                              Photo: S. Gerland,
The international research landscape                                      The strategy describes how the Research
is rapidly changing. Global cooperation                                   Council plans to achieve greater inter-
is needed to solve today’s global chal-                                   nationalisation of Norwegian research.
lenges. While Norway continues to give                                    The strategy will be implemented in
priority to European cooperation as                                       close collaboration with researchers,
one of its main arenas for international                                  institutions, companies and the
collaboration, we are seeking to expand                                   government ministries.
bilateral partnerships with strong and
emerging research nations outside                                         Oslo, May 2011
Europe as well.

The Research Council’s strategy on
international cooperation from 2010-
2020 was adopted in November 2010.
                                                                          Arvid Hallén
                                                                          Director General

                                                                                                                                     Photo: Shutterstock

Transcending boundaries - Strategy on international cooperation 2010-2020
Objectives and action points

Research activities are increasingly taking the form of collaborative efforts
across national borders, involving both research institutions and private enterprises.

More and more, research institutions        > enhance the quality and capacity            > The Research Council will develop
and companies are turning to the              of Norwegian research.                        financial instruments to support
international labour market to recruit                                                      the establishment of long-term
their staffs, and investment in research    > secure Norway access to international         cooperation between Norwegian
infrastructure and knowledge-driven           knowledge production.                         institutions and corresponding
companies is being channelled towards                                                       institutions in other countries.
countries with dynamic research com-        > boost the competitiveness of
munities. Internationally-based funding       Norwegian trade and industry.               > The Research Council will strengthen
and partnerships for research projects                                                      stimulation measures to encourage
are becoming the new norm.                  > promote Norway as a leading research          Norwegian researchers, companies
                                              and innovation nation in selected             and research institutions to partici-
The internationalisation of research          research areas.                               pate more actively in international
entails both cooperation and com-                                                           collaborative and competitive arenas.
petition. On the one hand, countries        Action points
must work together to address major         The Research Council has defined a new        > The Research Council will focus greater
social challenges; on the other, they       set of action points for realising its          attention on international cooperation
find themselves competing with one          international cooperation objectives:           and researcher mobility in its grant
another to attract the best researchers                                                     application review processes.
and secure international research invest-   > All of the Research Council’s activities,
ments.                                        programmes, open competitive arenas,        Special measures to promote inter-
                                              special initiatives, institution-oriented   national research cooperation will still
Global challenges can only be resolved        measures and other forms of support         be needed. But the real key to Norway’s
if countries seek the answers together.       must include clearly-defined objectives     success in international research lies
This means that we all need to find           and plans for international cooperation.    in the ongoing ability of the Research
ways to better coordinate our research                                                    Council’s ordinary funding instruments
policies and share our funding.             > The Research Council will encourage         to sustain a sound, well-functioning
                                              Norwegian participation in joint            research and innovation system com-
Objectives                                    programmes across national bound-           prised of first-class knowledge-based
Through participation in international        aries when this is crucial to addressing    companies, skilled researchers and
research cooperation, Norway seeks to:        common challenges or strengthening          advanced infrastructure.
                                              Norwegian research and knowledge-
> help address global challenges              based trade and industry.
  to society.

Transcending boundaries - Strategy on international cooperation 2010-2020
Global challenges

Global challenges are being given priority on the national
and international research policy agendas.
                                        Photo: Trude Refsahl/Statoil

                                                                                                               Photo: UN Photo/M. Perret

                                                                                                                                                                                   Photo: Shutterstock
At the government level, Norway defines                                No country can deal with global chal-
                                                                                                                                           The Research Council will:
global challenges as those involving                                   lenges on its own; nations must work
changes in climate, energy, the environ-                               together if we are to succeed in finding
ment, marine resource and food security                                viable solutions. Thus, research comprises                          > contribute to international co-
issues, but focuses on issues such as                                  an integral part of the development of a                              operation and support coordinated
poverty, global health, migration, econom-                             shared international platform of action.                              efforts designed to address global
ic development, democracy-building,                                                                                                          challenges.
human rights and conflict resolution
as well.                                                                                                                                   > develop research cooperation with
                                                                                                                                             emerging economies and help to
                                                                                                                                             expand research capacity in
                                                                                                                                             developing countries by encour-
                                                                                                                                             aging reciprocal cooperation with
                                                                                                                                             high-quality researchers and
                                                                                                                                             research groups in these countries.

Enhanced quality and greater capacity

The Research Council is a driving force behind activities to boost the quality
and increase the capacity of Norwegian research.

We are taking steps to provide sufficient                                                 Infrastructure
                                             The Research Council will:
backing for researchers’ and institutions’                                                In many areas, innovative research is
efforts to increase international co-                                                     contingent upon access to advanced,
operation, to create a better foundation     > further develop its mobility schemes       high-cost infrastructure. Cooperation
for such cooperation and to strengthen         and promote more researcher 		             on infrastructure allows Norwegian
requirements relating to international-        exchange within the framework 		           researchers to take part in research
isation in areas where these have been         of research projects.                      activity that Norway could not finance
lacking.                                                                                  on its own. Studies have shown that
                                             > work to make it easier for researchers     Norwegian research groups who take
Mobility, careers in research and              to move between countries.                 advantage of national membership in
international participation                                                               such collaborative efforts rank high in
One of the fundamental components            > refine and enhance Project Establish-      terms of scientific merit.
of international research cooperation          ment Support grants for and pos-
is mobility. The Research Council is           itioning measures vis-à-vis the EU 		      Investments in scientific equipment
Norway’s representative in European ef-        and in other forms of international        must be targeted towards industry
forts to dismantle barriers to researcher      cooperation.                               needs and the national priority areas.
mobility and expand activities relating                                                   The Research Council is responsible
to researcher exchange and international     > create a framework for enabling            for drawing up a national roadmap for
recruitment.                                   Norwegian research institutions to com-    investment in research infrastructure.
                                               pete under the same conditions as          This roadmap presents the national and
Although many Norwegian universities,          other European research institutions.      international large-scale infrastructure
university colleges and independent re-                                                   projects in which the Research Council
search institutes already collaborate ex-    > provide backing for the internation-		     believes Norway should invest in the
tensively internationally, the number of       alisation efforts of Norwegian insti-      near future.
institutions and research groups taking        tutions as a step towards developing
active part in international collaborative     long-term partnerships with institutions
efforts still needs to be higher.              in priority partner countries.

                                             > work to make it easier for research-
                                               ers, research institutions and trade
                                               and industry to participate in
                                               international cooperation.

Photo: Shutterstock
                                        Photo: NERSC

                                                                                                 Photo: Adobe
                                                       Greater emphasis on                                      will be to provide supplementary alloca-
The Research Council will:                             internationalisation in Research                         tions for internationalisation measures
                                                       Council funding instruments                              in projects that have already been selected
> support Norwegian participation                      All programmes and activities under the                  on the basis of their scientific merit or
  in international research organ-                     Research Council must include clearly                    overall calibre as innovation projects.
  isations with advanced research                      defined objectives and plans relating to
  infrastructure.                                      internationalisation. Within the discipline-             Ph.D. candidates with funding from the
                                                       oriented or thematic-based activities,                   Research Council should be integrated
> work to obtain co-financing for                      internationalisation objectives are to be                into international collaboration, and
  research facilities in Norway                        incorporated in the funding announce-                    post-doctoral candidates with funding
  from stakeholders abroad.                            ments. Coordinated and joint funding                     from the Research Council should nor-
                                                       announcements, for example under                         mally be given the opportunity to conduct
> acquire greater insight into infra-                  ERA-NET activities, will be introduced on                a longer-term research stay abroad.
  structure both within and outside                    a larger scale to increase international
  of Europe, as well as assess the                     cooperation in all the Council’s activities.
  need for formalised affiliations                     One means of strengthening internation-
  with such infrastructures.                           alisation in the open competitive arenas

Access to international knowledge production

International research cooperation provides access to global knowledge production
and makes it possible to incorporate results from the international research front
into activities in Norway.

                                                           Programming Initiatives (JPI) are emer-
                                                                                                        The Research Council will:
                                                           ging as a dynamic force in European
                                                           research. Norway is active in many of
                                                           the EU-affiliated activities and several     > provide input to the government
                                                           JPIs, and was successful in achieving the      ministries regarding participation
                                                           launch of the Joint Programming Initia-        in joint programmes where this
                                                           tive on Healthy and Productive Seas and        will generate value added for
                                                           Oceans (JPI Oceans).                           Norwegian research or industry,
                                        Photo: Colourbox

                                                                                                          or help to address global or
                                                           Participation in joint programmes              common European challenges.
                                                           confers ownership and expands influ-
                                                           ence, but it also means that a greater       > involve the research community,
Integral part of a European                                portion of the national allocations will        research institutions and com-
Research Area                                              be deployed in international competitive        panies as strategic partners in the
Norway has participated in the EU                          arenas. Norwegian participation and             development of Joint Programming
framework programmes for research                          success in joint programmes will mean           Initiatives.
since 1994, with excellent results. In                     that new forms of cooperation and
general, Norwegian participation in                        financial coordination in the ministries     > work to achieve constructive
the framework programmes has been                          must be designed.                              task distribution and fruitful
dominated by a relatively small number                                                                    coordination between joint
of outstanding Norwegian institutions                      Norwegian research funds should be             programmes and nationally
and companies. The Research Council                        channelled to schemes for joint finan-         funded activities.
believes that even more can be gained                      cing with other countries when these
from enabling a greater number of                          will generate value added for Norwegian      > work to ensure that these joint
Norwegian institutions and companies                       research or industry, or will help in some     programmes are effectively
to take part in EU cooperation.                            way to address common challenges.              administered on Norway’s part,
                                                           There will still be areas in which it will     with clearly-defined deliverables
As the Eighth Framework Programme                          remain in the nation’s best interests to       to society and open contacts
for Research gets underway, the Joint                      focus on national research programmes.         between research and industry.

Photo: CERN
Nordic partnerships                          countries, of which the following have         research agenda, the development of
Special effort should be made to strength-   special political importance: the USA,         the ERA and international trends in
en Nordic research collaboration in areas    Canada, Japan, China, Russia, India,           research and innovation.
where such activities will address comm-     South Africa, Brazil, Argentina and Chile.
on Nordic challenges, lead to useful task    There is great potential for expanding         Participation in international organ-
distribution and shared use of costly        cooperation with these countries. Within       isations gives Norwegian researchers
infrastructure. Collective Nordic use of     certain disciplines and thematic areas         and companies access to valuable
biobanks and databases is of particular      there may be good scientific or business       networks as well as costly, advanced
relevance, for example in the fields of      reasons to increase cooperation with           research infrastructure, and provides
health and welfare. The Nordic Centres       other countries and regions. The EEA           them with the chance to take part in
of Excellence are an important tool for      Grant funding scheme represents a new          high-quality research activities.
creating synergies between outstanding       arena for establishing partnerships with
national research groups. NordForsk          new EU Member States.
plays a key role in enhancing Nordic-level                                                   The Research Council will:
research and researcher recruitment.         International research cooperation will
                                             as a rule be integrated into the discipline-    > define in clear terms the scientific
Working together as a region gives the       based and thematic activities of the              and thematically-oriented ambi-
Nordic countries greater weight in co-       Research Council. However, cooperation            tions for strengthening cooper-
operative efforts with countries within      programmes targeted towards specific              ation with the priority partner
and outside of Europe. This is important     countries, such as China (the CHINOR              countries.
not only for promoting Nordic research       programme), India (the INDNOR pro-
but also for strengthening Nordic per-       gramme), and South Africa (the South            > create a framework for researcher
spectives in European and international      Africa-Norway Programme for Research              exchanges with priority partner
research collaboration. Areas in which       Cooperation) have also proven useful.             countries, and support networking
this is especially important include mar-    Similar transitional programmes may               measures/organise workshops to
ine research, research in the Arctic and     be beneficial in relation to other countries      promote specific cooperation.
northern areas, and welfare research.        as well.
                                                                                             > work together with research-
Cooperation with prominent                   International organisations                       funding organisations in the part-
research nations                             The Research Council participates in a            ner countries to issue coordinated
Norway has signed bilateral research         wide array of international organisations         or joint funding announcements.
agreements with many non-European            that play a vital role in shaping the global

     Photo: Colourbox
Strengthening competitiveness in industry

The Research Council encourages companies to establish relevant international
networks. Participating in international consortia makes it easier for Norwegian industry
to collaborate with international specialist environments, customers and suppliers.

                                                                                                                                 The Research Council will:

                                                                                                                                 > work to enable Norwegian trade
                                                                                                                                   and industry to take part in inter-
                                                                                                                                   national programmes targeted
                                                                                                                                   towards the industrial sector.

                                                                                                           Photo: Shutterstock
                                           Photo: Sverre Jarild

                                                                                                                                 > increase awareness of the value
                                                                                                                                   added of international cooper-
                                                                                                                                   ation for trade and industry and
                                                                                                                                   map out the sector’s need for
                                                                                                                                   international know-how and
The Research Council will facilitate                              The Research Council will strengthen                             knowledge exchange.
increased participation in international                          stimulation measures designed to reduce
joint programmes of relevance for trade                           the risks for companies participating at                       > establish a framework that
and industry, including Joint Technology                          the international level. Such measures                           promotes foreign commissions
Initiatives, Eurostars and Joint Program-                         may comprise better advisory and guid-                           to, and foreign investments in,
ming Initiatives. The Research Council                            ance services to determine which instru-                         Norwegian research and
will also establish incentives for industry                       ments will be best for Norwegian com-                            knowledge-based companies.
to seek a role in bilateral research projects                     panies in need of support for participation
with non-European countries.                                      in binding international cooperation.                          > work actively to achieve harmon-
                                                                                                                                   isation of IPR rules and their

Leading research and innovation nation
in selected areas

In recent years, Norway has given priority to research on climate, the environment, energy, food,
oceans, health and welfare as well as ICT, biotechnology, nanotechnology and new materials.
These are all areas in which Norway has certain natural advantages or special expertise.

                                                                                                   Photo: Shutterstock

                                                                                                                         Photo: Reelwell
International research cooperation is an                    targeted funding for the Centres of
excellent means for presenting Norway                       Excellence (SFF), Centres for Research-
as a reliable partner, for enhancing the                    based Innovation (SFI) and Centres for
position of Norwegian companies and                         Environment-friendly Energy Research
for profiling Norway as a knowledge                         (FME), the Research Council has built up
nation.                                                     expert scientific groups and expanded
                                                            the potential for innovation and value
Norway needs outstanding knowledge                          creation. The independent research
communities that can attract highly                         institutes play an important role in the
capable researchers and gain a reputa-                      international cooperation activities
tion as valued partners for Norwegian                       of companies, and there is additional
and international industry. In small                        potential for these institutes to mar-
countries like Norway, research groups                      ket their expertise to companies and
in the same fields have to combine their                    government administrators in other
skills to succeed internationally. Through                  countries as well.

The Research Council will:

                                             > work to increase the ability of
                                               companies and research insti-
                                               tutions to seek international

                                             > cooperate with the Norwegian
                                               diplomatic missions and Innovation
                                               Norway to give Norwegian research
                                               and infrastructure a higher profile

                                             > actively use the SFF, SFI and FME
                                               centres to front Norway’s position
                                               as a leading knowledge and
                                               innovation nation internationally.

                                             > increase cooperation with research
                                               institutions and companies to
                                               generate “national teams” that
                                               take part in international activities,
                                               both within the EU and vis-à-vis
                                               priority partner countries.

                                             > design financial instruments to
                                               support the establishment of
                                               long-term cooperation between
                                               Norwegian institutions and cor-
                                               responding institutions in other

Photo: Jon Aars, Norwegian Polar Institute

Key figures

The Research Council of Norway               2011 Budget, Research Council’s R&D funding (NOK million)
The Research Council of Norway is a
national strategic and funding agency                                                 Education and Research                                1 550
for research activities and provides sup-                                             The Research Fund                                     1 208
port for basic and innovation-oriented                                                Trade and Industry                                    1 337
research within all subject fields.                                                   Petroleum and Energy                                    722
The Research Council plays a key role in                                              Fisheries and Coastal Affairs                           344
implementing the Government’s overall                                                 Agriculture and Food                                    441

research policy, and provides a central                                               Environment                                             323
                                                                                      Health and Care Services                                271
meeting place for those who fund, carry
                                                                                      Other ministries                                        943
out and utilise research.
                                                                                      Miscellaneous                                           124

Some thirty per cent of Norway’s public                                               Total: NOK 6 991 million (excluding administrative activities)
R&D funding is channelled through the
Research Council, which has an overall
budget of approximately NOK 7.25 billion
in 2011. A major part of this funding
comes from the Ministry of Education         2011 Budget funding activities
and Research and the Ministry of Trade
and Industry, which together contribute
close to half of the Research Council’s
                                                                                        Programmes                                          3 375
                                                                                        Independent projects                                  786
                                                                                        Infrastructure                                      2 079
The Research Council has developed
                                                                                        Network                                               420
a variety of funding instruments to                                                     Miscellaneous                                         331
facilitate its efforts to enhance the cap-
acity, quality and diversity of Norwegian                                               Total: NOK 6 991 million (excluding administrative activities)
research. These instruments are also
designed to ensure a high level of
investment in research infrastructure,
maintain sufficient volume in researcher
training, and promote more knowledge-
intensive trade and industry.

The Research Council has devised a              INTERNAtional measures
set of cohesive funding instruments
targeted towards universities, university       Centres                                      SFF     SFI     FME
colleges, independent research institutes,
trade and industry and the regional             Long-term                          Independent             Research based
                                                basic research                       projects
hospital trusts.                                                                                             Innovation

Norwegian research                              priorities                            Large-scale programmes
In 2009, Norway’s R&D expenditures
                                                Thematic             Basic research          Applied research            Innovation
totalled NOK 41.9 billion.                      programmes           programmes               programmes                programmes
> NOK 18.2 billion (43.5 %) in the
                                                basic research                                                          action-oriented research
		 industrial sector
> NOK 10.3 billion (24.5 %) in the              Infrastructure                                                          Tax deduction
		 independent research institute sector                                                                                scheme
> NOK 13.4 billion (32 %) in the higher
   education sector
                                               International cooperation
R&D operating expenditures for R&D in          Articles that Norwegians have co-authored with international
the higher education and institute sectors     collaborators in the period from 1989 to 2007, distributed by
combined totalled NOK 21.83 billion.           groups  of countries
                                               International        with which co-publication has taken place.
> Basic research NOK 6.96 billion
> Applied research NOK 11.35 billion           2 500
                                                                                                                                      EU not
> Experimental development                                                                                                            including
		 NOK 3.54 billion                                                                                                                   the Nordic
                                               2 000                                                                                  countries

Total R&D full-time equivalents were 36 091.
                                               1 500                                                                                  North America
> Industrial sector 15 673 R&D FTEs                                                                                                   Other countries
> Independent research institute sector
   8 763 R&D FTEs                              1 000

> Higher education sector 11 655                                                                                                      Nordic countries
		 R&D FTEs                                     500

R&D activity comprised 1.76 % GDP.                 0
> Publicly financed R&D 0.82 %
                                                       1989   1991   1993   1995      1997    1999    2001     2003   2005   2007
> R&D funded by industry 0.94 %

About the publication
                                                                  This publication may be ordered at
The Research Council’s strategy on international cooperation
describes how the Research Council plans to achieve greater
internationalisation of Norwegian research. The strategy
will be implemented in close collaboration with researchers,
institutions, companies and the government ministries.         The Research Council of Norway
This document is an abridged version of the strategy. The      Stensberggata 26
full version may be downloaded from the Research Council’s     P.O. Box 2700 St. Hanshaugen
English language website:             N0-0131 Oslo

                                                               Telephone: +47 22 03 70 00
                                                               Telefax: +47 22 03 70 01

                                                               May 2011
                                                               ISBN: 978-82-12-02915-6 (printed version)
                                                               ISBN: 978-82-12-02916-3 (pdf)

                                                               No. of copies: 2000
                                                               Print: 07 Gruppen
                                                               Design: Agendum
                                                               Cover photo: Shutterstock
                                                               Translation: Carol B. Eckmann
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