New report on status of Norwegian research and innovation

The report provides an updated look at the status of research and innovation activities in Norway.

Click here to read the full report (in Norwegian)

Below are selected key findings from the report:

  • Norway’s total R&D expenditure accounted for 1.65 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014, a level that has remained stable over the past 20 years. Thus Norway lags considerably behind the average for the Nordic countries and the average for the OECD countries. However, Norway is at the very top when it comes to public R&D expenditure.
  • The proportion of the population with higher education in Norway is higher than the Nordic average and the OECD average. The same applies to the proportion of researchers in the population, which is rising.
  • There has been a significant increase in research funding in recent years. This puts Norway in a unique position, as most countries are cutting research funding.
  • 2014 marked the first year in Norway that the number of women completing a Ph.D. degree exceeded the number of men. The total number of doctoral degrees conferred remains stable at close to 1 500 a year. Women also make up the majority of doctoral candidates.
  • The citation frequency of Norwegian research is increasing, and there is high growth in scientific publication in Norway.
  • Approximately half of Norway’s business enterprises are qualified to be called innovative companies, placing Norway on an equal footing with the other Nordic countries. Most innovation activity takes place in major international industrial companies.
  • Health and welfare research comprises the largest thematic research area in Norway. The highest level of growth is found in the area of petroleum research.
  • Environmental and energy research in Norway is highly specialised and has significant international impact. However, there has been a decrease in R&D in the highly relevant area of renewable energy, particularly in the business sector where the level of activity is nearly half of what it was in 2009.

Report on Science & Technology Indicators a gold mine

The Report on Science & Technology Indicators presents an overall view of the status of and developments in the Norwegian research and innovation system, and provides important new knowledge on the state of Norwegian research. It also places Norway’s R&D efforts in an international perspective. The report is available in Norwegian only.

Special Adviser Svein Olav Nås has the primary responsibility for the report at the Research Council of Norway.

“The Report on Science & Technology Indicators is a gold mine for anyone interested in Norwegian research and innovation,” he says.

“It is difficult to specify exactly how much a society should invest in knowledge production,” he states. “One way to do this is to compare one’s country against other countries and follow developments over time. In this regard, the Report on Science & Technology Indicators and the basic data it builds on are an indispensable source of information.”


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