The Fund for Research and Innovation
In 1999, the Government established a designated national fund for research and innovation as part of the effort to ensure stable, long-term public financing of Norwegian research activities and research-based innovation across all sectors. The fund was launched with a start capital of NOK 3 billion, obtained through the sale of government stocks.
Returns from the fund are to be used to supplement ordinary ministerial budget allocations for research and are targeted toward meeting research policy priorities, including quality-promoting measures, internationalisation efforts, sectoral and cross-sectoral initiatives, long-term basic research in general and long-term research in the structural, technological and thematic priority areas stipulated by the Government.
The Research Council distributes a share of the yield
Returns from the fund enable the Research Council to launch new funding measures and enhance the financial strength of previously established schemes. For example, the fund is used to finance Research Council initiatives such as the Centres of Excellence and the Centres for Research-based Innovation, as well as a considerable portion of the Large-scale Programmes.
In 2007, the Research Council received NOK 739,6 million from the returns of the fund. This was mostly used for activities relating to research programmes and thematic priority areas, as well as independent research projects.
Rapid growth in capital and returns
The fund has grown rapidly since its establishment. The Government's proposed R&D budget for 2008 allocates an increase of NOK 6 billion to the fund, bringing the total up to NOK 66 billion. A substantial portion of the yield from this increase has been earmarked to cover Norway's membership fees for participation in the EU Seventh Framework Programme from 2009.
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