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Research funds

forskning (Copyright: Colourbox.com)

The Norwegian Agriculture Agency (NAA) administrates various agricultural research and development funds. The NAA has a coordinating role for these funds.

In addition, the NAA functions as a secretariat for the board for the Fund for Research Fees of Agricultural Products (FFL) and the board of the Agricultural Agreement Resarch Funds (JA).

  • Agriculture and Food Industry Research Funds

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    • The Agriculture and Food Industry Research Funds is comprised by the Fund for Research Fees for Agricultural Products (FFL) and funding from the Annual Agricultural Agreement (JA), with a combined budget of approximately NOK 220 million annually.

    • Both the food and agricultural industries are well represented in the trust fund boards which are administrated by the NAA.

    • Research institutions and companies in the agricultural sector and the food industry can apply for research funding through annual open calls.


    About the Fund for Research Fees for Agricultural Products (FFL)

    The fund finances research projects through annual open calls for proposals. A part of the fund is also set aside for basic funding of Nofima, a government-run applied research institute focusing on fisheries, aquaculture and food research.

    Origin of funding: fees on agricultural products

    Amount available: approx. 170 NOK million annually

    Board Members: The Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Norwegian Farmers’ Union, Norwegian Farmers and Smallholders Union, Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO), Norwegian Agricultural Cooperatives (Norsk Landbrukssamvirke), Enterprise Federation of Norway (Virke) and Norwegian Food and Allied Workers Union (NNN). The Research Council of Norway (RCN) participates as an observer.


    How the Funds are used

    • Commercial long-term research projects (Strategic programs) at Nofima
    • National research projects involving industry by open calls for proposals
    • RCN’s Environmental Research Program
    • Smaller projects and studies


    About the Agricultural Agreement Research Funds (JA)

    The parties of the Annual Agricultural Agreement ( i.e. the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Norwegian Farmers’ Union, and Norwegian Farmers and Smallholders Union) agrees on annual amounts allocated to research in the agricultural and food sector, in addition to instructions for how the funds should be used.

    Origin of funding: stipulated in the Annual Agricultural Agreement.

    Amount available: agreed in the annual agricultural negotiations. From 2019, NOK 65 million.

    Board Members: Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Norwegian Farmers’ Union and Norwegian Farmers and Smallholders’ Union. The RCN participates as an observer.


    How the Funds are used

    • National Research Projects involving industry by open calls for proposals
    • Research in plant breeding
    • RCN’s Environmental Research Program
    • Norwegian/Swedish collaboration in Equine Research
    • Smaller projects and studies


    How to apply for research funding

    The application process for research projects can be summarized in four main stages:


    1) Input from the agricultural sector, food industry and research institutions

    Relevant actors from the industry and research institutions are once a year invited to submit written proposals on which research areas and topics to be highlighted in the call for proposals the coming year. At the beginning of the year the boards also attend discussion forums and conferences to meet with actors from the industry and research communities in order to collect input on research priorities.


    2) Call for proposals

    The RCN announces the calls for proposals in collaboration with the NAA is normally n March/April, depending on the application type. Researcher Projects and Innovation Projects for the Industrial Sector have different application procedures and deadlines that you as an applicant must make yourself familiar with before applying.


    3) Assessment of project outlines

    Before submitting an application, you must submit an outline of your project, a so-called sketch. For Researcher Projects it is mandatory to submit an outline whereas for Innovation Projects for the Industrial Sector outlines are voluntary. The main aim of the submission of outlines is to save applicants time and effort when writing applications and to ensure a more efficient and successful application process. The boards evaluate the submitted outlines based on relevance and involvement of agriculture and food industries. If your outline is accepted, you will be invited to write a complete application.


    4) Processing applications

    The deadlines for the main call for proposals are normally set in September/October, and all applications must be submitted electronically to the Research Council's website. The boards place great emphasis on applied research and involvement of the agricultural and food industries.

    The applications are subject to scientific evaluations before the boards decide on which projects to grant, normally in December for Researcher Projects and in mid-February for Innovation Projects for the Industrial Sector, after which you will be informed of their decision.

    For information on the thematic priority areas and application process for smaller projects and studies, see the annual call for proposals (normally published in late March).


    Cooperation with the Research Council of Norway (RCN)

    The boards and the RCN (through the BIONÆR programme - Sustainable Innovation in Food and Bio-based Industries) have a joint call for proposals for Innovation Projects for the Industrial Sector and cooperate on awarding funding to these projects. The RCN administers the projects on behalf of the boards and sign contracts with the project owner.