The agencies recently entered into an agreement that makes over NOK 1 billion in funding available each year to companies seeking to invest in environmental and climate technology. The agreement between the Research Council, Innovation Norway, Enova and Transnova was signed during the petroleum trade fair ONS 2014 (Offshore Northern Seas) recently held in Stavanger.
“This agreement will play a vital part in providing a sound framework for those working with energy and environmental technology in Norway,” says Arvid Hallén, Director General of the Research Council of Norway.
From left to right: Konrad Pütz (Transnova), Nils Kristian Nakstad (ENOVA), Arvid Hallén (The Research Council) og Finn Kristian Aamot (Innovation Norway)
Today’s research is tomorrow’s technology
“Research carried out today will shape the future. While we can’t exactly plan major research breakthroughs, we can lay a foundation that makes them possible,” Mr Hallén adds.
“Over the next years we will have an entirely new energy system in place, incorporating many different technologies. This system will be very complex so we need to further strengthen our efforts in this area.”
Similar and divergent tasks
The goal of research in both the petroleum and the renewable energy fields is often to reduce costs. However, there are also some very important differences between the two sectors:
“For a long time, research in the oil and gas sector was primarily focused on creating new opportunities. Today, petroleum research is oriented more towards making operations more efficient and sustainable,” Mr Hallén says.
“In the field of renewable energy, however, research will remain targeted towards establishing a new energy system for many years to come. It is important not to focus on these new technological solutions alone. We must also work to develop the market for these new technologies,” he explains.
Maintaining and strengthening cooperation
The new agreement will strengthen the existing close cooperation between public agencies in the research and innovation system and will provide a solid foundation for green growth in Norway. Key elements of the agreement include:
- identifying and carrying out joint initiatives;
- coordinating activities to follow up national policies and strategies;
- sharing competencies and enhancing interaction among relevant agency officers;
- carrying out joint profiling activities and events;
- conducting joint projects targeted towards trade and industry.
“This agreement will give these agencies a more unified front and will make it easier for everyone who uses our services.” says Arvid Hallén.