Close to NOK 8.5 billion went to R&D activities in the service sector in 2008, an increase of 17.6 per cent from 2007. By comparison, industry-related R&D expenditure rose by 3.7 per cent from 2007 to 2008. In total, the industrial sector spent some NOK 20 billion on R&D activities in 2008.
Traditionally there has been far less research carried out in service industries than in the industrial sector. This picture has changed completely over the past few years.
The term service sector encompasses deliveries from trade and industry that do not comprise tangible goods. Examples of research areas related to the service sector are new business models, engineering, user behaviour, and market research.
Knowledge-intensive industries on the advance
The service sector accounts for an increasingly large segment of the Norwegian economy and knowledge-intensive industries are responsible for a large part of that growth. Knowledge-intensive industries are defined as public and private businesses in which the knowledge of the employees and the application of that knowledge are a key component of productivity.
According to a recent study carried out by the Research Council and Econ Pöyry AS, knowledge-intensive industries are as important for the Norwegian economy today as the processing industry was in the 1970s.