New method to generate radical project ideas

The Research Council of Norway is adopting an “idea laboratory” (Idélab) method to generate groundbreaking projects in the interface between subject areas and disciplines. The first event will focus on the vision of a zero-emissions society.

Facts

Idélab events represent a new method being tested out by the Research Council as a means of selecting the most groundbreaking research and innovation projects through the exchange of ideas and discussion across scientific boundaries.

  • Individuals – not institutions – are the key actors at an Idélab event. Between 25 and 30 participants from a variety of subject areas are selected on the basis of an application and convene for an intensive, five-day workshop.
  • The project ideas generated are developed in cooperation with senior-level mentors from various fields, as well as other external specialists, who ensure that the projects involve groundbreaking ideas that challenge traditional solutions.
  • The best projects will receive a funding pledge at the conclusion of the event. The projects are guaranteed funding provided they submit a full application within eight weeks, the proposal corresponds with the idea generated at the Idélab event and there is nothing else concerning the project that dictates otherwise. The Research Council has set aside NOK 30 million for projects created at the first Norwegian Idélab event in January 2014.
  • The Idélab projects are a supplement to the ordinary funding rounds at the Research Council.

In January 2014, 25–30 researchers will gather in an Idélab event to find new solutions for achieving a zero-emissions society. Experts in biotechnology, nanotechnology and ICT will meet with researchers from entirely different subject areas, including the social sciences and humanities. Together they will develop radical project proposals.

Do you have exciting ideas to contribute to the Research Council’s first Idélab event? Please see the announcement “Towards a zero-emissions society”. The application deadline is 27 November 2013.

“Recent evaluations of the Research Council have challenged us to play a greater role in promoting activities that generate more groundbreaking research. The Idélab method will cultivate radical projects that cross disciplines and subject areas in new ways,” says Anne Kjersti Fahlvik, Executive Director of the Division for Innovation at the Research Council.

To read more, please visit the Research Council of Norway's website here.

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