Since joining the EU Framework Programmes (FPs) as an associated country in 1994, Norway has been committed to making the most of its association. The government has set the goal of winning back 2% of the competitive funds available in the Horizon 2020 (H2020) programme. Technopolis Group recently completed work on a report for the Research Council of Norway analysing FP7 and H2020 participation in the fields of health, ICT and industry, and on the opportunities to increase participation in future.
In the previous research framework programme, FP7, Norway compared favourably relative to five comparator countries (Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Austria and the Netherlands) in terms of proposal activity, but so far in H2020 Norwegian stakeholders have been less active. In FP7, Norway’s proposal success rate was higher than for all comparator countries except Denmark and the Netherlands, but in H2020 it is so far lower than for all comparator countries except Finland, thus indicating a negative trend in relative terms.
In addition, Norway’s multi-partner coordinator success rate in FP7 was above that of all comparator countries except the Netherlands – and, in H2020 to date, Norway still outperforms all its Nordic neighbours, although not Austria and the Netherlands. This also indicates a (slight) negative trend. The Norwegian projects (in all areas) so far awarded in H2020 have yielded a financial return of 1.8% of all funding to H2020 projects. Despite this financial return being an improvement over FP7, there has been a loss in competitiveness in H2020 relative to the comparator countries.
The report analyses a set of identified Norwegian weaknesses, as well as a range of opportunities for increasing participation in the three fields. The report is rounded off with some recommendations that government ministries, the Research Council, Innovation Norway and stakeholder organisations may want to consider in order to increase Norwegian participation in EU research framework programmes.
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