The primary objective of the Vision 2030 initiative is to contribute to poverty reduction in countries receiving development aid from Norway, by further developing and scaling up innovative solutions that promote achievement of the new UN Sustainable Development Goals for education and health (for each sector individually or in combination).
The Vision 2030 initiative was launched in autumn 2014 by the Ministry of Education and Research, the Ministry of Health and Care Services and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a national brainstorming effort to foster innovative Norwegian solutions that can promote achievement of the new Sustainable Development Goals for education and health. Overall, 116 papers on innovative solutions were submitted, of which 29 were incorporated into a published compendium that provided the basis for the Vision 2030 conference held in Trondheim, Norway, on 2–3 March 2015. A new funding mechanism for innovation was introduced at the conference, with a budget frame of up to NOK 150 million over three years from 2016.
About the funding mechanism
Keywords for innovation are: new, useful and applied. Relevant innovation areas (either individually or in combination) are:
New or improved products/services;
New or updated methods of production/delivery/distribution;
New or updated structures for management/organisation/working conditions;
New or updated business models.
Existing innovative approaches are highly diverse in terms of their complexity, the actors involved, additional research needs and proximity to market, among other things. There is an identified need for a variety of funding instruments for realising or enlarging the various types of innovations.
The Research Council of Norway, Innovation Norway and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) are now issuing a joint preliminary call for project outlines. Together, the three institutions have a wide array of funding instruments available for realising and scaling up innovations.
The submitted project outlines will help define thematically and financially the subsequent main calls for proposals that will be conducted by each of the institutions. These calls will be issued by summer 2016. The main calls issued by the Research Council and Innovation Norway will follow those institutions’ overall guidelines and will require that the formal applicant must be Norwegian. However, the main call(s) issued by Norad will entail open international competition through innovative procurement(s).
The main calls for proposals will also be open to applicants that have not submitted project outlines. Potential applicants are nevertheless encouraged to submit project outlines as these will influence the decision on how to allocate available funding to specific thematic areas and among the three agencies.
The Research Council will issue a separate call for proposals for implementation research covering the funding mechanism as a whole. This call will be published in early 2016. The objective of the implementation research will, among other things, be to:
Support performance management in each project funded under the mechanism;
Assess the impact of the financing mechanism over the course of a five-year period and facilitate the evaluation of the scheme’s long-term impact also after it has been concluded;
Assess and compare various methods for scaling up innovative solutions in health and education.