World-class research groups

One of the most important focus areas in the Government’s long-term plan for research and higher education is the development of a larger number of world-class research groups in Norway.

If Norway is to distinguish itself internationally, the very best researchers must be given especially good opportunities to excel.

In order to bring its R&D activity to a level on par with comparable countries, Norway must have instruments that provide the very best researchers with outstanding opportunities to generate new knowledge, insight and technology.

The Government’s long-term plan states that it will further refine the quality-promoting instruments already in place. New instruments that are even more specifically targeted towards cultivating high aspirations will also be designed. A larger proportion of the public funding allocated to institutions that conduct research and provide higher education will be shifted towards the highest quality activities.

The Government will intensify its focus on research and higher education that can increase the number of world-class research groups in Norway. The objectives are as follows:

  • Norway will have world-class research groups that generate new knowledge, improve competitiveness and enhance the ability to address societal challenges.
  • Norwegian research groups will attract and produce the most talented researchers.
  • The best researchers and students will have access to buildings and infrastructure of high international calibre.

To achieve these objectives, the Government will create 500 new recruitment positions over the next four years. It will increase allocations to the national research infrastructure initiative by NOK 400 million, almost double the current level. In addition, allocations to stimulation measures to encourage greater Norwegian participation in the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020, will be increased by NOK 400 million.

Modern buildings and state-of-the-art research infrastructure are critical for the development of world-class research groups. These are also important for attracting partners from trade and industry. Advanced scientific equipment in itself increases the potential for pioneering research.

The Government gives priority to two construction projects which will be particularly significant for developing top-notch research groups. One of these is a building for life science, pharmacy and chemistry at the University of Oslo. The other is an upgrade of the Ocean Space Centre in Trondheim. These projects will also provide a good framework for the development of world-class research groups within two of the long-term priority areas set out in the long-term plan – enabling technologies and the oceans.