Qualification support (pre-projects) for industry and the public sector

This call will be closed on December 21, 2021.

Applications are received continuously and there is one remaining deadline in 2021:

  • December 20. Applications submitted for this deadline can expect a reply during week 6, 2022.

Following grant processing in june and october, approximately 3,8 MNOKs remain in this call.


Important dates

15 May 2021

Earliest permitted project start

Important dates


Regional qualification support will contribute to strengthen the research and innovation capabilities of business and industry and the public sector in Oslo.

The aim of regional qualification support is to develop user-led research and innovation projects that can qualify for further support through a main project.

About the call for proposals

A qualification project shall:

  • Have clearly defined research questions
  • Document the project's relationship with the knowledge and research front
  • Solve research challenges critical to establishing and/or implementing a main project
  • Demonstrate a clear connection between the research activities and the innovation the qualification project is about
  • Clarify the basis for going forward in a main project

Priority areas

The priority areas of Oslo’s regional research fund (RRF Oslo) are described in the Policy Document for RRF Oslo 2020-2023. RRF Oslo calls for proposals for qualification projects for all areas of priority within in research based innovation within business and industry and the public sector:

  1. Research and development in business and industry within
    • Environmental technology
    • Energy technology
    • Circular economy
    • Digitalisation and digital transformation
    • Health and life sciences, including technological solutions
    • Sustainable services

  2. Research-based innovation in the public sector
    • Climate, environment and emission-free solutions
    • Formative years and knowledge
    • Health, welfare and the care sector
    • Research basis for developing public services

In addition, topics relevant for pandemics are prioritised, i.e the Corona situation.

Tools available

You are welcome to use tools for project development developed by the Research Council and/or KS - Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities when working on the application.

This call is available in English and Norwegian. The Norwegian call text is legally binding

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Companies with registered business address in the Municipality of Oslo
  • Municipal undertakings and agencies in the Municipality of Oslo
  • Municipally owned companies in the Municipality of Oslo
  • State owned undertakings with business address in Oslo
  • Sole proprietorships and research organizations cannot apply

When processing applications from business and industry, we will prioritise projects from small and medium-sized enterprises and applications from larger companies with little or no research experience.

Who can participate in the project?

Requirements relating to the Project Owner

The organisation that applies shall be listed as the project owner in the application form and must have approved the submission of the application.

Collaboration partners

The project owner (applicant) can collaborate with other partners:

  • Business and industry within all sectors with a registered business address in Norway
  • Public actors in Norway, within and outside Oslo
  • Research organisations and R&D entities in Norway and abroad

Any partners must be registered under "Partners and R&D suppliers" in the application form. Read more about collaboration partners and R&D suppliers on the website of the Research council of Norway.

What can you seek funding for?

RRF Oslo can support project costs related to R&D activities in the project. R&D activities industrial research and/or experimental development as defined in the conditions for awarding state aid. 

“‘Industrial research’ means the planned research or critical investigation aimed at the acquisition of new knowledge and skills for developing new products, processes or services or for bringing about a significant improvement in existing products, processes or services…” NB! This is not the whole definition of industrial research. A more detailed description can be found on this website. Look under “Article 25 Important definitions”

“‘Experimental development’ means acquiring, combining, shaping and using existing scientific, technological, business and other relevant knowledge and skills with the aim of developing new or improved products, processes or services. This may also include, for example, activities aiming at the conceptual definition, planning and documentation of new products, processes or services. ..” NB”This is not the whole definition of industrial research. A more detailed description can be found on this website.

You can find detailed and important information on this website about what the budget may contain.

  • payroll and indirect expenses
  • procurement of R&D services
  • other operating expenses: travel and accommodation, dissemination, materials, or the project's share of depreciation costs for equipment and research infrastructure that the project is dependent on using

The grant support cannot be used for:

  • mapping of literature and research front
  • preparing an application for a main project
  • conducting market research and marketing
  • purchasing equipment with an acquisition cost of more than NOK 80 000

Calculation of support

You may apply for support for up to 70 per cent of budgeted project costs, upwards limited to NOK 350 000. The minimum application amount is NOK 100 000.

Project support requires a minimum of 30 per cent co-financing. We accept co-financing in cash, or in person-hours (payroll and indirect expenses). Only salaries reported to the tax authorities and paid out will be accepted. 

The  amount of support granted depends on the size of the enterprise and  the type of R&D acitivites.

Type of company/type of activity

Industrial research

Experimental development


Small business

70 %

45 %


Medium-sized business

60 %

35 %


Large business

50 %

25 %


Conditions for funding

Projects that receive funding must start no later than one month after the grant letter. The latest project final date allowed is 12 months after the start of the project.

Support for "undertakings" constitute state aid. As a rule, an "undertaking" is a company, but in this context means any actor that carries out economic activity consisting of offering goods and/or services in a market. This can also apply to publicly owned undertakings or companies. When an undertaking is to have part of its project costs covered, either as a project owner or as a partner in the project, this must be done in accordance with Article 25 of the General Block Exemption Regulation (Commission Regulation (EU) No. 651/2014).  Read more about state aid on the Research Council's website.

Applications that do not meet the requirements of the announcement will be rejected.


We disburse 75 per cent of the grant at the start of the project.

The rest will be disbursed at the end of the project, provided the final report and project accounts are approved. The actual grant amount is based on accounted expenses for the project in the project owner's ordinary accounts. Only real costs included in the project owner's accounts are covered.

Relevant thematic areas for this call

RRF Oslo's priority areas are described in the Policy Document for RRF Oslo 2020-2023. 

In addition, topics relevant for pandemics are prioritised, i.e the Corona situation.

Regional development

Manufacturing industryThe environment, climate and renewable energyHealth and welfareEducationTravel and tourism/experiential tourism/cultureRegion and place developmentRetail/wholesale and the service sector

Practical information

Requirements for this application type

You can save and revise your application while working on it. Once the application has been submitted, it cannot be changed.

The application and all of the attachments must be submitted in Norwegian or English.

  • All attachments must be in PDF format.
  • Only applications submitted via the web portal will be assessed

Other terms

  • We grant funds in accordance with current EEA rules for state aid for undertakings participating in the projects.
  • The Ministry of Education and Research has notified the grant scheme for Regional Research Funds to ESA under regulations on general block exemption regulation for state aid. 1, cf. the EEA Agreement Annexe XV no. 1j (Regulation (EU) no. 651/2014).
  • Grants are awarded with up to a maximum stated amount in the decision document and grant letter.
  • Conditions for co-financing and liquidity must be met before funds can be disbursed
  • Requirements are set for accounting and reporting, see RRF Oslo's website.
  • If projects that have received grants are not completed or in the event of non-reporting, RFF Oslo can demand that grants be repaid


Mandatory attachments

  • Project description with a maximum length of 5 pages. Use the standard template that you can download at the bottom of this web page.
  • CV for project manager.
  • Form for partner information. Use the standard template that you can download at the bottom of this web page.
  • Self-declaration for private undertakings. Use the standard template that you can download at the bottom of this web page.

Applications that do not meet the above requirements will be rejected.

Optional attachments

  • CV for key participants in the project

Links to websites and documents, as well as other attachments other than those specified above as mandatory, will not be included in the application review process. There is no technical validation of the content of the attachments you upload, so please make sure that you upload the correct file for the selected type of attachment.

Excellence. Regional qualification project RRF Oslo

• To what extent does the innovation idea represent something new?
• To what extent does the innovation idea target clear needs or new market opportunities for the project owner of the project?
• To what extent are R&D activities in the qualification project suitable for clarifying the need for research in the further development of the innovation idea?

Impact. Regional qualification project RRF Oslo

• To what extent can the innovation idea have potential for business profits for the project owner?
• To what extent can the innovation idea help make the project owner more sustainable according to UN goals for sustainable development?
• To what extent can the innovation idea have positive sustainability or societal effects?
• To what extent are the potential impacts and effects of the innovation idea formulated and substantiated?

Implementation. Regional qualification project RRF Oslo

• How good is the project plan with respect to goals, work packages, milestones and resources?
• To what extent will the project have access to the necessary R&D expertise?
• To what extent does the project appear strategically prioritised by the project owner?
• Does the applicant have a credible ambition for further development of the innovation idea once the qualification project has been completed? (e.g. in the form of a main project)

Project idea relevance to the call for proposals. Regional qualification project RRF Oslo

• To what extent will support from RRF Oslo trigger increased R&D investment in the project owner that is applying and adds value to the project beyond the financial support?
• How well is the topic of the qualification project linked to RRF Oslo's priority areas.

We assess the grant applications according to these criteria:

  1. Excellence
  2. Impact
  3. Implementation
  4. Project idea relevance to the call for proposals

In addition, an "overall" assessment is formulated "for the applications.

Administrative procedures

Grant applications for qualification support are assessed by the administration. The administration then writes a recommendation to the board of directors for RRF Oslo, which makes decisions on grants and rejections.

Applications submitted before May 15 2021 can expect reply in week 24

Applications submitted before September 15 2021 can expect reply in week 42

Applications submitted before December 20 2021 can expect reply in week 6, 2022.

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