Application Deadline: 09 MAR 2022
We seek project proposals from companies engaged in research-based innovation with clear objectives of developing sustainable innovations that directly or indirectly support the UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs). You can read more about research-based innovation and sustainable innovations at our website Bærekraft og Innovasjonsprosjekt i næringslivet (English version will be published later).
The call encompasses a wide thematic scope and is relevant for many parts of the Norwegian business sector. Below, you will find more details about the call, its thematic areas and eligibility criteria for applying.
You may submit your grant application at any time, up to and including 14 September 2022, 23:59 CEST. We process applications twice a year. Read more under the section ‘Expected funding decision’ (under ‘Processing procedures’ towards the end of the call).
This call for proposals constitutes a funding scheme that is notified to the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA), and must be practised in compliance with the EEA state aid rules. Read more about state aid under the section ‘Conditions for funding’.
This call is open to companies that have been issued an enterprise number under the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises and that carry out economic activity in Norway. The applicant must either be a private company or a public enterprise that carries out activities of an industrial or business nature. We will use the collective term ‘company’ in the rest of the call for proposals.
Sole proprietorships and research organisations are not eligible to serve as a formal applicant.
Who can participate in the project?
Requirements relating to the Project Owner
The Project Owner must secure funding for the project (over and above the Research Council’s funding) and make provisions for utilisation of the project results.
Requirements relating to collaboration and roles in the project
- The Project Owner must carry out the project together with at least one partner or one R&D provider. You must register these in the section ‘Project partners and R&D providers’ in the application form. Read more about project partners and R&D providers here.
- Partners must also fulfil the criteria listed under the section ‘Who is eligible to apply?’ to be able to participate in the project and receive funding. Partners must be involved in what is known as an effective collaboration with the Project Owner, which entails sharing both the risk associated with the project and the results it generates. Partners whose project costs are covered in part by Research Council funding are recipients of state aid.
- Norwegian and foreign expert environments and research organisations may participate in the project as R&D providers with responsibility for performing R&D work on assignment for the partner companies. R&D providers may not contribute to project funding and have no rights to the project results. They deliver on assignment and should receive the market price for their work.
- Where a PhD candidate contributes to the R&D provider’s work on the project, restrictions cannot be placed on the publication of the candidate’s doctoral work. An exception to this rule can be made if the parties agree up front on a delay of the publication.
- Since the research organisations’ work in the innovation projects is procured through an assignment, such work, when assigned to universities and university colleges, will be classified as contract R&D. This means that they must ensure that all relevant costs, including those associated with doctoral work in the project, are reimbursed.
- Other international and public sector bodies may participate in the project, but they must not be entered as partners in the application form. This type of collaboration can be described under ‘Other collaboration’ under section 3.3. of the project description.
- The Project Owner or one of the partners may not be in an interdependent relationship with any of the R&D providers in the project, e.g., where both entities are part of the same corporation. The ‘arm’s length principle’ must be observed when engaging R&D providers.
- The Project Owner and partners participating in the project that are interdependent will be considered as one entity and as a single recipient of funding in accordance with the state aid rules.
- The relevant partners and R&D providers at the time the application is submitted forms the basis for our assessment of the application, and their participation in the project is a stringent condition for funding. If you change the composition of the project before we enter into a contract with you, we may therefore withdraw our funding pledge.
Typical characteristics of a funded project
- You want to initiate the project because you have a unique innovation idea that you wish to realise. The results of the project may be in the form of a new product, service or production process, or new means of delivering products and/or services. A result in this context can also mean significantly improving or adding new features to existing products, services or processes for the company.
- You can demonstrate that the project will have a likely and significant positive impact for one or more sustainable development goals. We expect the project to have a positive impact without causing harm to other areas.
- The project’s partnership constellation forms the basis for long-term collaboration, development and dissemination of knowledge and effective mutual utilisation of the results. Partners and R&D providers that are going to participate in the project have clarified their interests and tasks in the project, and have described their role in the activities they are to participate in. The number and size of the partners in the project will not determine whether it is successful. A good project, on the other hand, is characterised by each partner having defined tasks and a clear role.
- The companies collaborating in the project have a need for new knowledge or new technology in order to deliver the intended innovation. The knowledge or technology is to be developed through R&D activities using recognised methodology. The project’s R&D activities must satisfy the definition of either ‘industrial research’ or ‘experimental development’ as set out in the state aid rules (see Article 25: Important definitions).
- The Project Owner and partners have access to the R&D expertise necessary to carry out the project.
- The scope and risk profile of the project is such that the companies would not be able to carry out the project without Research Council funding. This means that funding from the Research Council is a critical incentive for implementing the R&D activities. Project funding from the Research Council may also be instrumental in helping companies to obtain follow-up investments from private risk capital investors that can be used to further develop and utilise the results.
- You have incorporated clear objectives and a concrete plan for the project’s R&D activities and for utilising the results. Results and knowledge that are not bound by protection agreements related to the company’s planned commercial utilisation are disseminated via publications and other relevant dissemination channels.
You can apply for funding to cover up to 50 per cent of the companies’ costs in the project. The scope of funding for the company’s project costs covered within the maximum 50 per cent limit depends on the size of the company and the type of R&D activities to be carried out.
Official Website: Innovation Project for the Industrial Sector 2022