In its 2009 annual report the Research Council describes how research funding from the 17 ministries responsible for allocating funding is used, as well as the results that have been achieved.
Of the total amount, NOK 2.2 billion went to the university and university college sector, close to NOK 2.6 billion to the independent research institute sector and NOK 1.1 billion to trade and industry. The Research Council provided funding for 1,642 doctoral man-years and 910 postdoctoral man-years, and at the turn of the year 5,700 projects receiving Research Council funding were up and running.
Capacity, quality and recruitment
In 2009 the Research Council facilitated increased capacity within the research system in part by strengthening the Programme for User-driven Research-based Innovation (BIA) as an open competitive arena. The increased investment in research infrastructure in 2009 will increase efficiency and enhance the research community's ability to meet new research challenges.
The national thematic and technological priority areas experienced considerable growth, primarily in the fields of environment-friendly energy and carbon capture and storage, but also through the establishment of the eight new Centres for Environment-friendly Energy Research (FME), among other things.
In addition, the basis for continued concentration of resources on the best research and innovation communities was laid as preparations began for a new round of funding under the Centres for Research-based Innovation (SFI) scheme.
The rise in the amount of funding for research fellowships in connection with relevant programmes was part of the effort to increase recruitment within MST (mathematics, science and technology) subjects.
43 per cent to basic research
Of the Research Council's total budget in 2009 NOK 2.8 billion or 43 per cent was allocated to basic research.
Over a period of three years the Research Council's investment in basic research has risen by 16 per cent. Some 44 per cent of the funding allocated to basic research in 2009 was distributed between a range of different research programmes, while independent projects and initiatives relating to infrastructure and institutional support each received 27 per cent of the funding allocated.