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Meld. St. 7 (2014-2015)

Long-term plan for research and higher education 2015–2024

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10 Economic and administrative consequences

10.1 Economic consequences

The Government's goal is that 3 per cent of GDP shall go to research and development by 2030. The Government will increase public appropriations to research (R&D appropriations) until they amount to 1 per cent of GDP. The Government will increase R&D appropriations beyond the annual growth in GDP each year until this goal is achieved with reservations made with regards to short-term fluctuations in GDP. Given the current outlook for future GDP growth, the Government aims to achieve this goal in the 2019-2020 period. The Government will prioritise the measures that best support the objectives and priorities in the long-term plan, even though other isolated measures could lead to earlier achievement of the one per cent target.

The Ministry of Education and Research estimates that research appropriations in the 2015 fiscal budget will be around NOK 30 billion, and account for 0.93 per cent of GDP. This is a growth of 4.2 per cent in real terms from the 2014 balanced budget. The Ministry of Finance estimates that the revenue loss as a consequence of the Skattefunn scheme is about NOK 2.35 billion in 2015. In accordance with international guidelines, this lost revenue is not included in the estimated R&D appropriations.

The gap to the one per cent goal will be about NOK 2.35 billion in 2015. All or parts of the appropriations totalling around 260 items on the fiscal budget are included in the R&D appropriations, and there may be fluctuations in R&D appropriations as a consequence of changes e.g. in international dues and the phase-in and phase-out of investment projects. It is expected that the overall. contribution to the EU's research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 and the EU's seventh framework programme will rise in 2015 and 2016, and then level off. Several major construction projects in the higher education sector will contribute to an increase in R&D appropriations in 2015 and 2016, and a decline in appropriations as these projects are gradually completed. This relates particularly to construction of the ice-going research vessel RV Kronprins Haakon, scheduled for completion in 2016.

The Government wants to increase the number of recruitment positions by 500 during the period from 2015–2018. The estimated cost of this measure is around NOK 570 million.

The Government will reinforce the infrastructure scheme in the Research Council by NOK 400 million.

The Government will strengthen funding for schemes that contribute to good participation in Horizon 2020 to the tune of NOK 400 million kroner.

Proposed additional funding for follow-up of the long-term plan will be promoted in the annual fiscal budgets.

10.2 Administrative consequences

The objectives and priorities set out by the Government in the long-term plan, cf. Chapter 1, are consistent with the targets laid out in the white paper Long-term perspectives – knowledge provides opportunity (Meld. St. 18 (2012–2013)), but expand on the objectives and entail stronger prioritisation of which areas will receive targeted efforts. The long-term plan also goes further in linking priorities for research and higher education. The long-term plan is in line with the trend in OECD countries where research and innovation policy targets certain major challenges in society, toward reinforcing competitiveness and strengthening outstanding environments. This approach also necessitates an examination of higher education, research and various disciplines in an overall context. The objectives in the long-term plan are also in accordance with the three pillars in Horizon 2020: excellent science, industrial leadership and societal challenges.

The Government expects that the objectives and priorities in the long-term plan will eventually lead to skewing resource use in the direction of the priorities. Through the management systems for the Research Council of Norway, universities, university colleges and other relevant underlying agencies, the ministries will follow up the implementation of the long-term plan. The objectives and priorities in the long-term plan will be an important basis for the objectives and control parameters the Ministry sets for relevant underlying agencies. The objectives for the Research Council of Norway will be in line with the objectives and prioritisations in the long-term plan.

The Ministry of Research and Education has revised the sector objectives for universities and university colleges for 2015 cf. Prop. 1 S (2014–2015) for the Ministry of Research and Education. Within the framework of the natural objective structure and the Government's expectations and priorities, universities and university colleges shall stipulate their own business objectives adapted to the institution's distinctive nature/profile, and develop dedicated strategies and plans for achieving these objectives. The Ministry expects that the institutions will develop a profile in line with their strengths and their nature, and that institutions that have a basis for doing so will cultivate educational and research environments that can assert themselves among the best in the world. The results, the strategies and the objectives of the institutions are key elements in the management dialogue between the ministry and the institution's board of directors.

The Government emphasises clear objectives, distinct priorities and simpler reporting in the management of underlying enterprises. The objectives and the priorities in the long-term plan shall not entail increased reporting requirements for the educational and research institutions.

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