Research Council of Norway

The Research Council of Norway
Norges forskningsråd
Agency overview
Formed 1993
Jurisdiction Government of Norway
Headquarters Oslo
Employees 350
Parent agency Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research

The Research Council of Norway (Norwegian: Norges forskningsråd) is a Norwegian government agency responsible for awarding grants for research as well as promoting research and science. It also advises the Government in matters related to research, and is subordinate to the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. The council's total budget in 2009 amounted to NOK 6 165 million.[1]


There were five predecessors of the council, each established as independent councils related to their own areas of interest: science and technology (1946), social sciences (1949), agriculture (1949), fisheries (1972) and applied social sciences (1987). The five were merged in 1993 to form the current council.[2]


The Research Council has some 400 employees. The Research Council of Norway is led by the Director General Arvid Hallen (2014) with an executive staff organised directly under the Director General. The Director General’s executive staff is responsible for coordinating activities relating to budget planning, annual reports, statistics, strategic initiatives, international cooperation and media contact. The Research Council’s highest authority is the Executive Board, which consists of seven permanent members and two deputies. Three of the Executive Board members also serve as the chairs of the respective Division Research Boards. The other members of the Division Research Boards are appointed by the Executive Board. The Research Council of Norway comprises four research divisions and one division for administrative affairs::

  1. Division for Science plays a key role in the effort to create and maintain a well-functioning research sector, and is charged with promoting appropriate distribution of tasks and cooperation at the research-performing level. The Division for Science is responsible for strategic development of the universities, university colleges and independent research institutes. The Division for Science includes Kilden – Information Centre for Gender Research.[3]
  2. Division for Energy, Resources and the Environment is responsible for research and innovation targeting national and global challenges associated with the energy, petroleum, climate, polar, environmental and marine resources sectors.
  3. Division for Society and Health is responsible for promoting research and innovation targeted towards meeting global and national societal challenges related to health, welfare, education and social organisation. One of its internationally renowned programmes is the Global Health and Vaccination Research (GLOBVAC)
  4. Division for Innovation is responsible for mobilising and funding research within and for Norwegian trade and industry. The division performs analyses and develops strategies for trade and industry-related thematic areas as well as for the innovation system as a whole.
  5. Division for Administrative Affairs provides joint administrative services to the Research Council, offers support to the research divisions and helps to lay the foundation for the best possible overall coordination, management and development of the Research Council as a whole. The division is also responsible for activities in connection with budgeting, annual reports, communication and research statistics.

It has local representatives in nine different regions of Norway. Since 23 June 2014, the Research Council's main office is located just outside Oslo at Drammensveien 288 in Lysaker.[4]


  • The Award for Outstanding Research (Møbius Prize) - rewards excellence in research, nationally as well as internationally. Award-winners receive the sum of NOK 500 000 and the Møbius statuette.
  • The Award for Excellence in Communication of Science - given to a researcher who has demonstrated outstanding ability and innovation in communicating the results of his or her research. It comprises a cash prize of NOK 200 000 and may be conferred for communication in connection with ongoing or completed research activity.



The Notur project provides[5] the national infrastructure for high-performance computing in Norway. The project serves the Norwegian computational science community by providing the infrastructure to individuals or groups involved in

  • education and research at Norwegian universities, university colleges and research organizations
  • operational forecasting at the Meteorological Institute
  • research and engineering at other organizations and industry who wish to collaborate with the project.

The Notur project aims to provide a powerful and cost-effective infrastructure for computational science and enable its efficient utilization. In addition, the project shall contribute to the development of a national grid infrastructure, be proactive in international collaboration on infrastructure and computational science, and disseminate computational science as an important discipline in Norway.

The Notur project is funded by the Research Council of Norway and the university partners. The Research Council of Norway entered into a 10-year agreement (2005-2014) with UNINETT Sigma. UNINETT Sigma is the coordinator of the project and entered into agreements with consortium partners

Since January 2006, the Notur project placed under the eVITA programme from the Research Council of Norway.


The National Grid Initiative of Norway is NorGrid. The NorGrid initiative aims to establish and maintain a national grid infrastructure in Norway.

The NorGrid project was initially established as a subactivity of the Norwegian infrastructure project Notur for high-performance computing. In March 2007, NorGrid was recognized by the Research Council of Norway as a separate initiative with its own funding.

A detailed description of the mission, organization and status of NorGrid can be found on the home pages for NorGrid.

The coordinating legal entity of the NorGrid initiative is UNINETT Sigma. NorGrid includes the national Norwegian NREN (UNINETT), the University of Bergen (UiB) and its affiliated research organization Unifob, the University of Oslo (UiO) and the University of Tromsø (UiT).

NorGrid collaborates with the Nordic Data Grid Facility (NDGF), a collaboration between the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden), on the operations and support for the Nordic Tier-1 center that is part of the WLCG collaboration. NDGF is hosted by NORDUnet.

NorGrid is funded in part by the Research Council of Norway through the eVITA programme on e-Science.


The objective of the NorStore project is to provide infrastructure in Norway for the curation of digital scientific data. The infrastructure must provide services for easy and secure access to distributed storage resources, facilitate the creation and use of digital scientific repositories, provide large aggregate capacities for storage and data transfer, and optimize the utilization of the overall storage capacity.

Long-term objectives of the NorStore project include:

  • to operate a reliable infrastructure for the storage of digital data for Norwegian research
  • deploy and enable the development of services for data curation that add value to the existing e-Infrastructure
  • provide capacity and services for the long-term storage of digital data
  • to facilitate the establishment of digital scientific repositories in a broad range of scientific and technological applications
  • to enable the Norwegian research community to (automatically) benefit from the advances in storage technologies
  • contribute to the unification of interfaces to storage resources within Norway and abroad.

The project is funded in part by the Research Council of Norway through the eVITA programme on e-Science.

See also


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