The Norwegian Government has high aspirations for research and higher education. In the view of the Government, Norwegian research is of high quality and the Norwegian research system functions well. However, there is still potential to:
further enhance the quality of research and establish more world-class research and educational environments;
lay a better foundation to encourage innovative thinking and renewal within the research system and in the development of the private and public sectors;
increase internationalisation in parts of the research system and ensure more effective coordination in the use of national and international policy and funding instruments;
promote greater cooperation on the development and application of knowledge.
The Government will continue to pursue the objectives from the previous white paper on research, Report No. 30 (2008–2009) to the Storting, Climate for Research.1 Research policy will still be targeted towards five strategic objectives in which research will be used to meet global challenges in the areas of the environment, climate change, oceans, food safety and energy in particular; to achieve good health, reduced social inequalities in health, and high-quality health and care services; to support research-based welfare policy and professional practice in the welfare services; to promote a knowledge-based industrial sector in all regions of the country; and to encourage industrial development in areas relating to food, the marine sector, the maritime sector, tourism, energy, the environment, biotechnology, ICT and new materials/nanotechnology. To succeed, Norway will need to have a well-functioning research system, research of high quality, a high degree of internationalisation in research, and effective utilisation of research resources and results.
The long-term objective set out in Climate for Research to achieve an overall investment in research constituting three per cent of GDP remains unchanged. Further, it is the Government’s objective that public allocations to research should equal roughly one per cent of GDP, i.e. approximately one-third of the target for the total amount of investment in research and development.
The Government stresses that educational quality plays an important role in the ability of society to adapt and innovate. The need for high-quality higher education, together with the need for good and relevant skills, will therefore be more clearly integrated into the Government’s research policy in the years to come.