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Research in Norway

The Norwegian research landscape

In 2018, Norway’s total R&D expenditure amounted to nearly NOK 73 billion NOK. Of this, trade and industry accounted for 45%, the higher education sector for 35%, and the research institute sector for 20%. More than 86 000 people were employed in R&D-related activities in 2018, of which 68% were scientists. Of these scientists, nearly 40% were women. R&D expenditure for 2018 amounted to 2,06% 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 2019–2028 — Meld. St. 4 (2018–2019)  Report to the Storting (white paper) (

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