International cooperation within energy and petroleum research

Participation in international R&D cooperation in the field of energy and petroleum has a high priority and is an important supplement to Norwegian national research. Norway participates primarily in co-operation activities within the EU, through the International Energy Agency (IEA) and at the Nordic level. Norway also participates in bilateral co-operation with several countries as well as in large multinational co-operation forums.

Cooperation across national borders is crucial, not only in order to maintain a high professional level within the Norwegian research communites, but also for strategic reasons in terms of establishing contacts and alliances with other countries. Participation in international projects is crucial for knowledge-building. Such collaboration can also provide both professional and financial support within key research areas. At the same time, international cooperation is a showcase for Norwegian technology and knowledge suppliers.

Horizon Europe
Horizon Europe is the EU's framework program for research and innovation for the period 2021-2027. The program replaces Horizon 2020 for research, technological development and demonstration activities. The goal is to contribute to jobs and economic growth, so that we can deal with societal challenges and to a strengthened position for Europe within research, innovation and technology. With a budget of 95.5 billion euros, Horizon Europe is the world's largest research and innovation program.

The International Energy Agency (IEA)
The IEA is an organization of almost 30 member countries, almost all of which are also OECD members. The IEA was established in 1974. Back then the main purpose was to counteract oil supply crises. Over time, all energy carriers and their use have gained a central place within the IEA's scope. Energy efficiency measures, statistics, environmental policy, etc. are also central to the IEA's agenda.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has established a number of research programs related to various energy topics. The programs are called Technology Collaboration Programs (TCP) and are organized under various Working Parties that advise on strategic issues to the more senior research and technology committee - CERT.

Norway is a member of around 20 such cooperation programs, which are divided into the areas of oil and gas, end-use technologies, renewable energy technologies as well as information exchange. The executive participants from the Norwegian side can be from industry, the research communities or from the authorities, all depending on the activities in the programs. The Research Council of Norway is the coordinator for the Norwegian activities.

Nordic Energy Research
Nordic Energy Research (NEF) is an institution under the Nordic Council of Ministers. The purpose of the institution is to promote and continue Nordic co-operation in the field of energy research. They will contribute to a common strategy for research and development in the parts of the energy area that are of common Nordic interest. The institution is also responsible for strategy work and are advising on projects in the Nordic Council of Ministers. Nordic Energy Research is co-financed by the Nordic countries and is today the only joint Nordic funding institution within energy research. Read more on Nordic Energy Research's website.


Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF)
CSLF was established in June 2003 on the initiative of the United States with the aim of strengthening international cooperation for technological development within CO2 capture and storage globally. Norway has been involved from the start. The forum will contribute to organizing, coordinating and implementing international research, development and demonstration related primarily within two thematic areas: Developments of technologies for CO2 sequestration, and storage and use of CO2. The CSLF currently has 25 member countries, including the European Commission, which have been invited directly. The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy is the Norwegian representative in the Steering Cmmittee and, together with Equinor, is also in the technical committee.

More information is available on CSLF's website.

MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) between Norway and the USA
This is a bilateral research collaboration agreement within energy-related research and technology signed in May 2004 by the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and the US Department of Energy. Current topic areas are oil and gas extraction, CO2 management, hydrogen research and new forms of renewable energy. The collaboration agreement represents a formal framework between Norway and the United States to strive for long-term opportunities for collaboration on research, development and demonstration within these and possibly other areas. In 2020, an appendix was signed to the existing agreement that specifically promotes bilateral cooperation within hydropower research.

BN21 - Brazil-Norway in the 21st century
In 2013, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy signed an agreement with their Brazilian counterparts on cooperation within research areas of mutual interest. Particularly within petroleum research, the two countries have many similar technological challenges. Since then, the Research Council of Norway and their Brazilian counterpart, FINEP, have carried out joint calls for projects within petroleum research. In addition, an annual technical conference has been held in Rio de Janeiro.

Mission Innovation
Mission Innovation was initially a global collaboration between 20 countries, including Norway. Later, the co-operation has been expanded to 24 participating countries, as well as the European Commission. The focus has mainly been on the ambition to double public investment in research and innovation of climate-friendly energy technologies over the first five-year period, as well as information exchange and cooperation between member countries. In addition, it has been a goal to link the collaboration to a coalition of leading, resourceful and innovative private energy technology players (Breakthrough Energy Coalition) who are working to bring new technologies into the market.

In 2021, it was decided to continue Mission Innovation beyond the original five-year period. MI 2.0 will have higher ambitions for enhanced cooperation between member countries and private actors to accelerate innovation in areas of common interest. The intention is to concentrate research and technology collaboration on specific, targeted initiatives (Missions) as well as increased collaboration on research projects and analisis.