Among the new projects on the roadmap are a national video database for archiving video recordings used for research purposes, a subsea cable off Lofoten that enables scientists to monitor changes in the marine environment, a national laboratory for research on smart grids, and a building that serves as a testing facility and laboratory for developing energy-efficient buildings.
High quality and strategically important
“Every project on the roadmap is of very high scientific quality and strategic value for Norwegian research,” says Arvid Hallén, Director General of the Research Council of Norway. The Research Council’s new roadmap is clearly meant to encourage the funding authorities to continue focusing their attention on infrastructure in the form of facilities, equipment and databases.
The updated Norwegian roadmap presents approved projects as well as highly viable projects that have not yet been allocated funding. A total of 52 research infrastructures are now listed. Many of these are pan-European collaborative investments in which multiple European countries share the funding of large-scale, expensive equipment.
Continuing to prioritise research infrastructure
The Research Council has given high priority to funding for research infrastructure in its input for the national budget over the past several years.
“If we are to succeed in building dynamic, capable research environments,” continues Mr Hallén, “it is critical that we can provide modern laboratories, equipment and other research infrastructure in order to safeguard the quality of the research and help to recruit the best minds. In addition, considerable resources need to be invested in upgrading Norwegian research infrastructure to ensure that Norway can keep up with the investments currently taking place throughout Europe, and can offer top-notch equipment internationally while at the same time taking advantage of international infrastructure for Norwegian purposes.”
The roadmap is an essential tool for making the wisest investments. Considerable resources have been spent on quality assuring the projects included to ensure that they are the right projects to provide lasting strategic value for the Norwegian research community.
New funding announcement in June
In June the Research Council will issue a call for proposals for NOK 600–800 million for new investments in research infrastructure. This will be the fourth such funding round under the National Financing Initiative for Research Infrastructure, which was established in 2008 to address the wide-ranging need for investments in equipment for carrying out Norwegian research.
After three funding rounds, under which 55 projects have been allocated nearly NOK 1.5 billion, a new Norwegian landscape of laboratories, databases and equipment facilities is taking shape. The updated roadmap continues along much the same lines.
“The three funding rounds held so far are enabling us to build up large-scale, national infrastructures that are available in only one or a very few locations in Norway and that cover a wide range of disciplines,” explains Mr Hallén. “Several research environments have cooperated on these individual projects. Research infrastructures in fields of particularly high strategic value for Norway have been given priority, and the equipment must be made available to all Norwegian research groups in the relevant research field.”
The new projects included on the updated roadmap are:
- AQUAFEED: National Aquafeed Technology Centre
- EATRIS Centre Norway: a Norwegian Node for the European Advanced Translational Research Infrastructure in Medicine
- eVIDEO: eInfrastructure for Video Research
- ICOS: Integrated Carbon Observation System – Norway
- LoVe: Lofoten-Vesterålen Cabled Observatory
- NALMIN: Norwegian Advanced Light Microscopy Imaging Network
- NNP: The Norwegian NMR Platform
- NorBioLab: Norwegian Biorefinery Laboratory
- NorCRIN: Norwegian Clinical Research Infrastructure Network
- NOR-OPENSCREEN: the Norwegian EU-OPENSCREEN node
- NSC: The Norwegian Sequencing Centre - Phase II
- NSDN: Norwegian Scientific Data Network
- SmartGrid: National Smart Grid Laboratory & Demonstration Platform
- ZEB: Norwegian Zero Emission Building Laboratory
Click here for a list of all 50 of roadmap projects.