The extra funding comes as a step in the follow-up of the Research Council of Norway’s evaluation of basic research activities in information and communication technology (ICT) conducted in 2011, which revealed a substantial need for recruitment and basic research in this area.
The IKT2025 programme – a new initiative
The Research Council’s coming, large-scale strategic research programme on ICT (IKT2025), will be formally launched in 2015. The budget for the new programme will likely be at least as large as that of the current Large-scale Programme on Core Competence and Value Creation in ICT (VERDIKT), which concludes in 2014. In cooperation with the FRIPRO scheme, funding for the new programme is already being announced for recruitment, pioneering research and talented young researchers. The application deadline is 21 May.
The NOK 54 million in funding earmarked for these areas comes in addition to funding for ICT-related projects to be allocated under the FRIPRO scheme’s ordinary budget for Independent Projects – Mathematics, Physical Science and Technology (FRINATEK). The overall budget for 2015 is NOK 183 million.
According to Arvid Hallén, Director General of the Research Council, the cooperative effort between the IKT2015 programme and the FRIPRO scheme represents an important means of linking together a thematic initiative and the Research Council’s open competitive arena for basic research.
Following up the ICT evaluation
An evaluation of Norwegian research activities in ICT was conducted in 2011 under the auspices of the Research Council. According to the report, the quality of research overall is high, and Norwegian research groups possess international strengths in several areas. But the report also identified a number of areas where there is room for improvement.
Like the national strategy for ICT research and development drawn up by the previous Government, the Research Council’s knowledge base and the dialogue with the research community, the evaluation points to the immediate need for recruitment and basic research.
“The funding available under the FRIPRO scheme for talented young researchers and pioneering ICT research along with the funding from IKT 2025, will provide a significant boost to research in this key area,” states Mr Hallén.
|The ICT2025 programme
The ICT2025 programme is designed to:
- recruit researchers, generate knowledge and build research groups that can achieve critical mass in an international context in priority thematic areas;
- promote pioneering thinking and boldness in research;
- promote the implementation and application of research results in industry and the public sector.