Norway intensifies R&D cooperation with Singapore
Norway and Singapore have renewed their long-standing research cooperation and will soon issue their first-ever joint funding announcement.
The Research Council has had a Memorandum of Understanding with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on maritime research and development in place since 2000. This agreement has now been renewed through 2018.
Director General Arvid Hallén of the Research Council of Norway signed the agreement on behalf of Norway while visiting Singapore from 28 to 30 April.
"The renewal of the MoU is of the utmost importance. The agreement creates a very constructive framework for cooperation between two world-leading maritime nations," Mr Hallén states.
Joint funding announcement
A new element in the agreement is the organisation of joint funding announcements between the Research Council and the Singapore Maritime Institute. The first joint call for proposals will be issued with an application deadline of 9 September 2015.
"This funding announcement will pave the way for cooperation between Norwegian and Singaporean research groups on the same projects. Singapore and Norway both stress the importance of reducing the environmental impacts of shipping, and this kind of research collaboration across national borders will be very valuable. Singapore is investing heavily in research and development. When researchers from two of the world's leading maritime nations work together, both stand to benefit," the director general says.
Norway has set aside NOK 15 million for this funding announcement, and Singapore has pledged a corresponding amount.
Several focus areas in common
In 2014, the Research Council commissioned an analysis of its international collaboration activities measured by scientific publication. The bibliometric study conducted by Science Metrix showed that Singapore would be a good strategic partner for Norway in a wide range of subject areas. In addition to maritime-related research output, the two countries have had co-publication in areas such as health and care services, ICT, biotechnology and environmental technology.
Several initiatives under the Strategic Research Programmes at the National Research Foundation Singapore overlap with Research Council initiatives and programmes, including the Innovation Programme for Maritime Activities and Offshore Operations (MAROFF), the Large-scale Programme for Petroleum Research (PETROMAKS 2) and the Large-Scale Programme for Energy Research (ENERGIX).
"Research collaboration with Singapore should be intensified, both in connection with technologies important to maritime research and overall. Close research cooperation between Norway and Singapore may promote high-quality research in both countries as well as increased industrial collaboration between them," Arvid Hallén concludes.