The Norwegian research landscape

In 2016, Norway’s total R&D expenditure amounted to nearly NOK 64 billion. Of this, trade and industry accounted for 46%, the higher education sector for 33%, and the research institute sector for 19%. More than 80 000 people were employed in R&D-related activities in 2016, of which 68% were scientists. Of these scientists, 38% were women. R&D expenditure for 2016 amounted to 2,03% of GDP. 46% of this expenditure came from public funding.

Escalation of the long-term plan

The Government has set a target for R&D expenditure of three per cent of GDP by 2030. Public allocations to R&D activity will be increased beyond GDP growth each quarter in the upcoming period until they equal one per cent of GDP. The Government is aiming to reach this target by 2019–2020.

The Government’s Long-term plan for research and higher education sets out three primary objectives: to strengthen competitiveness and innovation capacity, to solve major challenges to society, and to develop high-quality research groups. For more information see:Long-term plan for research and higher education – Objectives and priorities (

Norway has a single research council which covers the entire spectrum from basic research to innovation and administers a wide variety of funding schemes and research programmes. While international collaboration is an integral component of all the schemes and programmes, foreigners must be affiliated with a Norwegian research institution to have access to these activities. For more information see:The Research Council of Norway