Deadline: 20 May 2020
As part of Norwegian Government’s measures to support health services and the business sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Research Council has announced a minimum of NOK 30 million in funding under the BIA-X scheme for Innovation Projects for the Industrial Sector with public-private sector collaboration.
The funding is intended to stimulate R&D activity that promotes value creation and enhanced international competitiveness for the business sector and innovation and sustainability in the health and care sector.
Projects are to target already recognised needs in public health and care services regarding challenges that are involved in dealing with current and future pandemics, and that will also be of relevance to ensuring the sustainable national and international health services of tomorrow. R&D activities under the projects are to lead to innovations that promote high-quality services in the face of strict infection control measures, reductions in personnel and social distancing. Innovations may be in the form of new or significantly improved products, services, processes, structures for management/organisation or ideas that are introduced to promote value creation and benefit society.
Examples of relevant areas:
- solutions for dialogue with the population and long-distance follow-up and treatment of patients;
- use of health data for monitoring health services and public health in near real-time;
- preparedness related to managing health crises, including the development and production of equipment, medicines and diagnostic tests.
The scope of funding for projects must be minimum NOK 2 million for a project period of 1–3 years. The maximum amount of support available from the Research Council for a project is NOK 8 million.
The duration of the project is 12- 36 months.
- This call is open to companies that have been issued an enterprise number under the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises and that carry out economic activity in Norway. The formal applicant (company) will be the Project Owner in the contract with the Research Council.
- Sole proprietorships and research organisations are not eligible to serve as a formal applicant
Who can participate in the project?
- Requirements relating to the Project Owner
- The Project Owner must be a company that carries out activities of an industrial or business nature and has been issued an enterprise number under the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises.
- Requirements relating to collaboration and roles in the project
- One or more public sector entities, as defined here, must participate as a partner in the project and must have a need that the R&D project will help to resolve.
- The project is to be implemented through effective collaboration between the Project Owner and the project partners from the public sector as defined in the state aid rules. Among other things, this entails that the results of the project are to be shared. Effective collaboration is defined as follows:
- Other Norwegian companies (company partners) may participate in the project. These will have a portion of their project costs covered through the Research Council’s support for the project, which means they will become recipients of state aid. As a general rule, such company partners must fulfil the criteria set out above “Who is eligible to apply?” to be able to receive support.
- Norwegian and international specialist groups and research organisations may take part in the project as sub-contractors, responsible for carrying out specific R&D activities commissioned by companies involved in the project. Suppliers of R&D services to the project may not claim any rights to project results and will not be registered as partners.
- Other international and public stakeholders may take part in the project, but are not be eligible for support from the Research Council.
- A project participant may only be assigned a single role in the project. This means that the Project Owner and any partners (public sector entity or other company partners) must not serve as a supplier of R&D services in the same project, and vice versa.
- The Project Owner or one of the partners may be not in a dependent relationship with any of the R&D suppliers in the project, for example as part of the same business concern. They must operate according to the arm’s length principle.
- Companies (Project Owner and partners) participating in the project that are in a mutually dependent relationship with one another will be considered to be one and the same recipient in accordance with the state aid rules.
- All project partners must be listed in the section for “Collaborating partners and R&D suppliers” in the application form.
- The collaborative constellation involved in the project is expected to lay a foundation for long-term cooperation, the development and spread of knowledge, and for effective mutual exploitation of the project results.
- The Innovation Project is to build on a need within the health and care services and a unique innovative idea by one or more companies collaborating in the project. The anticipated results may create value in the form of a new product, service or production process, or a new means of delivering products and services. Innovation in this context may also entail significant improvements in or new characteristics of existing products, services or processes.
- The companies and the public sector partners collaborating in the project have a need for new knowledge or new technology in order to succeed in achieving the project’s intended innovation. The knowledge or technology is to be developed through R&D activities using recognised methodology. The project’s R&D activities must satisfy the definition of either “industrial research” or “experimental development” as set out in the state aid rules.
- The project has access to the expertise needed to carry out the R&D activities. The Project Owner (company) or collaborating company partners in the project may contract suppliers of R&D services to perform R&D tasks. Such sub-contractors may be research organisations (universities, university colleges, research institutes) or other independent suppliers of R&D services. The project may use R&D suppliers from outside Norway when this is seen as necessary and efficient. Doctoral candidates may be affiliated with the project through separate agreements with the appropriate degree-conferring institutions.
- The scope and risk profile of the project is such that the companies would not be able to carry out the project without Research Council funding. This means that support from the Research Council is critical to effectuate the implementation of the R&D activities. Project funding may also be crucial to obtaining additional private investment in the companies for the development and realisation of the innovation.
- The project incorporates clear targets and a concrete plan for its R&D activities and for utilising the results. Project results and knowledge that do not need protection on account of planned commercial utilisation by the companies in the project are to be communicated via publication and other relevant dissemination channels.
For more information, visit https://www.forskningsradet.no/en/call-for-proposals/2020/covid-19-hasteutlysning-innovasjonsprosjekt-med-privat-offentlig-samarbeid-bia-x/