Impact assessment of RCN’s support measures to increase participation in EU-funded research
Publication date: 13 December 2013 | Report language: EN
Norway’s 2012 research bill stated that increased Norwegian participation was a political necessity should Norway elect to participate in Horizon 2020, due to the risk that the difference between what Norway had to pay to participate, and the funding that Norwegian scientists and Norwegian industry together received may have increased. The Research Council of Norway (RCN) thus wanted to design its future support measures for increased Norwegian participation in EU programmes based on insights into the impacts of its measures to date. This evaluation analysed seven support measures, and while some measures were clearly found to be very effective, other were not. However, the majority of the Research Council’s measures were found to support initiatives that were considered well founded from a national perspective. Although the desire to increase the Norwegian return is fully understandable, the Technopolis Group evaluation argued that the perspective ought to be expanded beyond economic considerations. Both increased participation in international research and increased return from the framework programmes are mere means to an end. However, since Norway already has a portfolio of support measures that is probably Europe’s most comprehensive and generous, the evaluation argued that the main reason why participation of researchers from HEIs and health authorities is low is that their funding is so generous that they do not have overly compelling reasons to look abroad for funding. In such a situation, other means may be called for, such as:
- Determination and focused, strategic work at organisational and national level
- Increased R&D capacity, since in relation to its GDP, Norway has a relatively small R&D capacity
- Reduced cost, since Norwegian R&D performers’ value for money is a hurdle
Based on these reflections, the evaluation provides some recommendations on how to more effectively promote Norwegian participation in Horizon 2020.