Programme for User-driven Research-based Innovation (BIA)

Primary objective:

Within the scope of its responsibility, the BIA programme seeks to promote the greatest possible value creation in Norwegian trade and industry through research-based innovation in companies and the R&D groups with which they cooperate. To reach this objective, the activities of the programme will be focused on achieving the following outcomes:

  • Increased investment in research-based innovation in trade and industry;
  • A higher level of aspiration and expertise in the companies' own R&D activity;
  • Higher quality in the national R&D groups used to generate innovation in trade and industry.

Through project funding and other measures, the programme will promote:

  • New or greatly improved processes, products, services and business models;
  • Greater cooperation on innovation between companies and R&D institutions and among companies;
  • New international partnerships and more internationally competitive trade and industry;
  • New participants and collaborators in R&D projects;
  • Increased awareness among companies and investors about R&D as a competitive advantage;
  • Use of private capital to generate innovation in companies;
  • Development of innovation-oriented R&D expertise in Norwegian trade and industry;
  • Development of industry-relevant expertise in Norwegian R&D institutions.

The BIA programme

The BIA programme seeks to provide funding for the best research-based innovation projects across a broad spectrum of Norwegian trade and industry. The programme's focus ensures that funding is distributed in an open competitive arena and promotes innovation across different branches of industry and thematic areas.

The BIA programme is targeted towards Norwegian companies that are motivated to carry out resource-intensive R&D projects to generate innovation. The programme supports both the development of new, knowledge-based trade and industry and the renewal of established trade and industry. The programme's support schemes are subject to international regulations for public R&D funding. These entail limits on the percentage of funding that can be awarded as well as a requirement that funding from the Research Council is to facilitate R&D activity and lead to R&D results that companies could not otherwise be expected to achieve on their own. The BIA programme is to provide funding for companies in areas not covered by the Research Council's overall portfolio of programmes and instruments.

When awarding funding, emphasis is placed on the level of innovation, the quality of the research, the potential to generate financial profit, and other benefits to society.

The BIA programme provides funding to the best projects regardless of branch of industry, with the exception of those areas covered by the thematically oriented programmes under the Research Council. Projects covered under thematically oriented programmes will be referred to the relevant programme or rejected. Examples of sectors for which there is no thematically oriented programme are the building and construction sector, large segments of the ICT sector, the process industry sector, the manufacturing sector, the biomedical and industry-oriented biotechnology sector, and large segments of the service sector, including the trade in goods. For more information about other industry-oriented funding initiatives administered by the Research Council, please see:

The BIA programme provides funding for research that will result in new products, processes and services in or across a variety of sectors. Thematic areas for the projects may include, for example, new business models and/or management strategies, preferably in combination with technology for a more sustainable business sector that assumes broader social responsibility.

Projects under the BIA programme may be rooted in key societal challenges – such as those related to health, care and welfare; sustainable development of society in an age of increasing urbanisation with increasingly stringent requirements being imposed on buildings and infrastructures and new challenges related to societal security; or sustainable industrial development in the areas of energy, the environment and natural resource management. All projects must promote the development of a competitive Norwegian business sector.


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