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12/04/2011 // Under the EEA Agreement, Norway takes part in all EU programmes and activities in the field of research.

The latest White Paper on Research from the Government – Report no. 30 (2008-2009) Climate for Research points out that Norwegian research policy will be directed towards nine goals, five strategic and four overarching goals. The goals are to a large extent a continuation of the priorities that were set  out in the previous White Paper on research - Report no. 20 (2004-2005) Commitment to Research. However, the new goals also imply a new direction in Norwegian research policy by placing a stronger emphasis on the challenges faced by the public sector and on global perspectives in Norwegian research. The Government’s long term ambition is that total R&D expenditure will constitute 3 per cent of GDP. Government budget appropriations for R&D should increase to 1 per cent of GDP. At present Norway spends around 1,8 % of its GDP on research and development. The White Paper also signals that there will be a shift in focus from research spending to research quality and results.

Under the EEA Agreement, Norway has since 1994 participated fully in the EU Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. The Norwegian GDP based financial contribution to the current 7th Framework Programme (2007-2013) adds around 2.3 % (1 152 million euro) to the EU Framework budget (50 521 million euro). By virtue of this contribution and of Article 81 in the EEA Agreement, Norwegian participants in Framework projects have the same rights and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       obligations as participants from the EU Member States. In practice, this means that they are entitled to compete for framework funding and can coordinate framework research projects with partner from EU Member States or other associated states.

On the average, about one out of ten EU research project has a Norwegian partner. In the 6th Framework Programme there was Norwegian participation in 840 projects. By the end of 2010 more than 730 Norwegian research companies and companies have qualified for funding under the 7th Framework programme. Norwegian participation is particularly strong in areas such as energy, marine science and technology and the environment.

The Norwegian Research Council is mandated by the Ministry of Education and Research to have the overall operational responsibility for Norway's participation in the EU Framework Programmes. .

Norway also participates in the European Research Area, ERA, a research and innovation area equivalent of the "common market" for goods, capital, persons and services. The ERA implies a refocusing of EU support in order to improve the co-ordination of research activities and the convergence of research and innovation policies at national and EU level.

Norway is a full member of many other European organisations and institutions for research and development, including COST (the European organisation for scientific and technological cooperation), EUREKA (the European network for market oriented research and development), ESA (European Space Agency), CERN (European Centre for Particle Physics) and EMBL (European Molecular Biology Laboratory).

Contact at The Mission of Norway to the EU is Counsellor for Research Erik Yssen, ph.: +32 (0) 2 238 74 55, e-mail: eys@mfa.no


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