The IKTPLUSS initiative was formally launched on 1 January this year. Already in 2014, however, the initiative contributed NOK 30 million to increase the amount of funding available to ICT-related allocations under the FRIPRO funding scheme.
Investing across funding instruments
“The FRIPRO scheme received a total of NOK 54 million in additional ICT funding, including the NOK 30 million from the IKTPLUSS initiative, for its 2014 call for proposals. This increase made it possible to award funding to in excess of 18 per cent of the ICT-related applications,” states Arvid Hallén, Director General of the Research Council of Norway.
“The funds added to the FRIPRO budget from the IKTPLUSS initiative represent a significant boost for basic ICT research. This interaction between funding instruments reflects the flexible, targeted approach we plan to use in activities under the new initiative. It is also in keeping with our new policy for basic research, which specifies that basic research must to an increasing degree be promoted via thematically oriented initiatives,” Mr Hallén stresses.
“The addition of IKTPLUSS funds to the FRIPRO budget has led to a significant boost for basic ICT research. ” states Arvid Hallén. (Photo: Sverre Jarild)
“The Research Council is promoting ICT research across the board. The IKTPLUSS initiative will systematically provide other funding instruments with funds earmarked for ICT research to when this will help to achieve the overall objectives of the initiative itself and of Norwegian ICT research in general. The IKTPLUSS initiative will enhance and further expand the ICT project portfolio built up through other funding instruments,” the director general adds.
New ICT centres part of overall effort
Last autumn, the Research Council established two new Centres for Research-based Innovation (SFI) with ICT-related activities: the Centre for Scalable Data Access (SIRIUS) at the University of Oslo and Big Insight, Statistics for the knowledge economy at the Norwegian Computing Center. The centres for “Big Data Access” and “Big Data Statistics”, respectively will focus on research challenges with innovation potential in the field of Big Data.
“The establishment of these centres also supports the strategic priorities of the IKTPLUSS initiative,” Mr Hallén emphasises.
Three new calls
Three new ICT-related calls for proposals are being issued with an application deadline of 11 February 2015. The first call is a collaborative effort between the IKTPLUSS initiative and the Research Programme on Health and Care Services (HELSEOMSORG), and is aimed at enhancing value creation and effectiveness in the health care sector. The second call seeks to promote the development of a safe and secure information society.
The third call for proposals (in Norwegian) focuses on corporate social responsibility and has been issued in cooperation with the new Programme on Responsible Innovation and Corporate Social Responsibility (SAMANSVAR). Thematic issues include privacy, transparency, safety, security and inclusion arising from developments in areas such as social media, Big Data and complex ICT systems.
“We have high hopes for the results ensuing from these calls, and we believe the broad-based approach will strengthen Norwegian ICT research and better equip it to meet the major challenges to society,” Arvid Hallén concludes.