Completed

Last edit: Requirement for CV for principal investigator and partners edited on June 30.

Purpose

Regional innovation projects for industry are projects led by a company and with a comprehensive content of research and development.

RRF Oslo seeks to support projects that strengthen companies’ efforts in green transformation, sustainability and to develop industries in which Oslo has advantages.

RRF Oslo also seeks to strengthen collaboration between R&D organisations, companies and the public sector.

Viktige datoer

10 Aug 2022

Open for applications

21 Sep 2022

Application deadline at 13:00 hrs

16 Dec 2022

Earliest permitted project start-up

16 Jun 2023

Latest permitted project start-up

16 Jun 2026

Latest permitted project final date

Viktige datoer

About the call for proposals

Regional innovation projects for industry (IPN) are industry-led projects with a comprehensive content of research and development (R&D).  

RRF Oslo seeks to support companies at the front line of using research-based innovation as a means for reaching the UN goals for sustainability, contribute to green transformation and who see business opportunities in reaching these goals.  We recommend companies that do not have R&D skills in-house to collaborate with an R&D environment for carrying out the project.

The Research council of Norway has a webpage about sustainability and innovation projects for industry and we recommend potential applicants to familiarize themselves with this webpage: Bærekraft og Innovasjonsprosjekt i næringslivet  (English version will be published later).

Are you also planning to apply for SkatteFUNN for your project? Read more here about this opportunity and terms on the webpages: Incentive effect and combinations of public funding (Norwegian only) .

Note that you cannot apply for funding for a project that has already started.

This call for proposals is available in Norwegian and English. In the case of a discrepancy between the two versions, the Norwegian version is legally binding.

Who is eligible to apply?

Companies with a registered business address in the City of Oslo and with financial activities in Norway are eligible to apply. 

The applicant must either be a private company or a public enterprise that carries out activities of an industrial or business nature. We will use the collective term ‘company’ in the rest of the call for proposals. 

Sole proprietorships and research organisations are not eligible to be the main applicant.  

Who can participate in the project?

Requirements relating to the Project Owner 

The company applying for a grant will be designated Project Owner on entering into a contract with RFF Oslo. The Project Owner company must have approved the submission of the grant application to RFF Oslo. 

If the project application is a collaboration between several organisations, the project owner submits the application on behalf of all partners.  

The Project Owner must secure full funding of the project in addition to the amount awarded by RFF Oslo. 

Requirements for principal investigator 

The professional qualifications and suitability of the principal investigator will be peer reviewed.  

The principal investigator must be employed by the project owner, an R&D partner or a collaboration partner.  

Requirements for collaboration partners 

  • Collaboration partners can be companies, non-profit organisations, or public entities.    
  • Collaboration partners shall participate in effective collaboration with the project owner, as defined in the state aid rules. This entails, among other things, that they share in both risks and results from the project. You can find more information about effective collaboration here (look under “important definitions for Article 25”). 
  • Collaboration partners in the project who have parts of their costs covered by the project through our funding, become recipients of state aid.  
  • The Project Owner or one of the partners may not be in an interdependent relationship with any of the R&D providers in the project, e.g., where both entities are part of the same corporation. The ‘arm’s length principle’ must be observed when engaging R&D providers. 
  • Project Owner and project partners in the project who are in an interdependent relationship, are one and the same aid recipient according to the state aid rules.  

R&D providers 

  • Norwegian and foreign research organisations or research infrastructure may participate in the project as R&D providers with responsibility for performing R&D work on assignment for the partner companies. 
  • R&D providers can be approved research organisations or other entities with a considerable R&D activity.  
  • The suitability of the R&D supplier(s) will be peer reviewed. 
  • R&D providers shall not contribute to the financing of the project, and therefore usually will not acquire IPR for project results. R&D suppliers performs an assignment on commission and are renumerated for this at market price. If an R&D supplier still will participate in the ownership of intellectual property rights ('IPR') their market value may be deducted from the price payable for the services concerned. 
  • As the R&D providers work in the innovation projects is carried out on assignment, the participation of universities and colleges in these projects are defined as contract R&D.  

Other collaboration 

  • Other international actors may participate in the project, but they are not to be added as partners in the applicant form. This form of collaboration can be mentioned in the project proposal under section 3.2. “project manager, Organisation and Alignment".

The relevant partners and R&D providers at the time the application is submitted forms the basis for our assessment of the application, and their participation in the project is a stringent condition for funding. If you change the composition of the project before we enter into a contract with you, we may therefore withdraw our funding pledge. 

What can you seek funding for?

We can fund part of the company costs pertaining to R&D activities. R&D activities must be industrial research or experimental development as set out in the state aid rules 

Article 25 in the state aid rules describes which activities can be funded and which costs pertaining to these activities that may be covered in full or part. Funding may cover both direct and indirect project costs to the degree that they are costs for industrial research or experimental development. This applies to costs associated with R&D activities carried out by the project partners, and to costs incurred in connection with the purchase of R&D services.  

You will find detailed and important information about what to enter in the project budget on the webpage.  

Scope of funding 

You may apply for up to 50 % of budgeted project costs, limited to a minimum of 1 million NOKs and maximum of 2 million NOKs 

The scope of funding for the company project costs covered within the maximum 50 % limit depends on the size of the company and the type of R&D activities to be carried out. 

See the table below and read more about state aid on the website of the Research Council of Norway under Article 25: Aid for research and development projects. 

Type of company/type of activity 

Industrial research 

Experimental development 

Small business 

50% 

45% 

Medium-sized business 

50% 

35% 

Large business 

50% 

25% 

 

When RRF Oslo awards funding for applications, we will assess to what extent the funding increases R&D investments from the Project Owner and collaboration partners in the project.  

The final amount of funding will be determined when we enter into a contract with you. You will receive an offer of funding on condition that a revised application is prepared in accordance with the conditional decision.

Conditions for funding 

Funding awarded to an ‘undertaking’ constitutes state aid. In this context, an ‘undertaking’ is defined as any actor that carries out an economic activity consisting of offering products and/or services in a given market. When an undertaking receives support to cover a portion of its project costs as a Project Owner or partner in the project, this support must be awarded in accordance with Article 25 of the General Block Exemption Regulation for state aid (Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014). 

State aid may not be given to an undertaking that is subject to an outstanding recovery order following a formal decision by the EFTA Surveillance Authority or the European Commission stating that state aid received is illegal and incompatible with the internal market. Nor can state aid be awarded to an enterprise that is defined as an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ under the state aid rules, unless the undertaking was not in difficulty as of 31 December 2019, but became an undertaking in difficulty in the period 1 January 2020 – 31 December 2021. It may in such case receive funding. 

If your project is granted funding, you will have to revise the application. The revised application must incorporate updated and supplementary information about the project and participating partners, including documentation of implementation capacity and own funding. The participating companies must also submit a declaration confirming that they are qualified to receive state aid. 

If your application is awarded funding from us, you should also note that: 

  • The project must commence no later than six months after the grant award by RRF board of directors was announced. Projects approved for funding that have not started within this date may lose their grant. 
  • RRF Oslo will require progress- accounting reports during the project period, as well as a final report and final project accounts for the project.  
  • Other public funding allocated to the project, or to activities under the project, including SkatteFUNN, will affect the amount of funding that RRF Oslo can provide. 
  • You must inform any partners listed on the stock exchange or that have applied to be admitted to trading as quickly as possible to give them an opportunity to assess whether the allocation of funding is sensitive inside information. 

Read more about conditions for awarding state aid.  

Scientific articles and research data

RRF Oslo expects research data to be made available in accordance with the FAIR principles (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable). For projects that handle data the organisation of the project owner shall prepare a plan for handling data when revising the application.  

The Project Owner is responsible for selecting which archiving solution(s) to use for storing research data generated during the project. The Project Owner must specify the planned solution(s) in connection with the revised grant proposal. 

Regarding studies medicine and health which involve humans 

For studies in medicine and health invovling humnans, there are 

For medisinske og helsefaglige studier som involverer mennesker, er det specific Requirements and guidelines for registration and disclosure of medical and health-related studies involving human participants.

Disbursement of funding

We will disburse 50 % of the funding on the basis of an invoice at project start-up and then further up to 50 % on approval of project accounts for the first project year. Funding for the second project year is disbursed in the same way. It is possible to agree on a different plan for disbursement. 

The final disbursement is conditional on approval of the project’s final report and project accounts.  

Only actual expenses entered in the Project Owner’s accounts will be covered.  

Relevant thematic areas for this call

RRF Oslo seeks to support companies at the front line of using research-based innovation as a means for reaching the UN goals for sustainability, contribute to green transformation and who see business opportunities in reaching these goals.  We will prioritize support for good projects within the following areas:  

  • Solutions for the green transformation: 
    • Climate, environment, emission-free solutions 
    • Circular economy 
    • Energy technology 
  • Digitalisation and digital transformation 
  • Health and life sciences, welfare and the care sector 
  • Formative years and knowledge  
  • Sustainable services 

Regional development

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

Energy, transport and low emissions

Environment-friendly energyRenewable energy (wind, hydropower, solar, bioenergy, geoenergy, other)The energy system (components, systems technology, markets and organisation)Energy consumption in buildings, built-up areas and industryEnergy consumption in transportCO2 capture and storageTransport and mobilityLow and zero emissions

Industry and services

ICT industryHealth industryBuilding, construction and mining

Life sciences

Health

Global healthHealth, care and welfare servicesUse of health dataeHealthEffective preventive public health measures

Enabling technologies

BiotechnologyDigitalisation and use of ICTResearch on ICT developmentArtificial intelligence, robotics and autonomous systems

Practical information

Requirements for this application type

Applications must be created and submitted via My RCN Web. You may submit and resubmit your application multiple times up to the submission deadline. We recommend that you submit your application as soon as you have filled in the application form and uploaded the mandatory attachments. When the application deadline is past, it is the last submitted version of the application that will be evaluated. 

  • The application and all attachments must be written in Norwegian or English.  
  • All attachments must be uploaded in PDF format. 

Mandatory attachments 

  • A project description of up to 10 pages. Use the standard template which you can download from the bottom of this webpage.  
  • Partner information for the company (project owner) submitting the grant application and each of the partner companies (business partners). Use the standard template which you can download from the bottom of this webpage.  
  • CVs for the principal investigator and other key project participants, a maximum of 6 CVs (including principal investigator). Use the standard template which you can download from the bottom of this webpage.  

Please note that all templates are new in 2022, and you shall only use the templates published with this call.  

Optional attachments 

  • Proposal for up to three referees who are considered qualified to assess the application. 

All requirements set out in the call must be met. Applications that do not meet the formal requirements, or requirements relating to the Project Owner, collaboration and roles in the project, will not be processed. 

We will not assess documents and websites linked to in the application, or other attachments than those specified above. There is no technical validation of the content of uploaded attachments, so please ensure that you upload the correct file for the selected type of attachment. 

Evaluation criteria

1) Excellence

2) Impact

3) Implementation

4) Relevance for the call

 

Excellence

To what extent does the project represent an ambitious innovation that is supported by relevant R&D activities of high quality?

• To what extent does the innovation represent something new?
• To what extent is the innovation targeted towards clear needs or new market opportunities for the Project Owner and the companies that are partners in the project?
• To what extent does the project build on relevant and updated knowledge?
• To what extent does the project employ relevant and recognised R&D methods?
• To what extent are the R&D activities ambitious and essential for the success of the innovation?
• To what extent does the project give appropriate consideration to ethical issues and/or gender perspectives in the research?

Impact

To what extent does the project facilitate sustainable development and positive impacts for society and the project partners, and to what extent has this been adequately described and substantiated?

• To what extent does the project contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals?
• To what extent can the project have positive external impacts for trade and industry, the public sector and society at large?
• To what extent will the project have significant financial benefits for the Project Owner and the companies that are partners?
• To what extent is the plan for implementation of the R&D results and realisation of benefits relevant and appropriate?

Implementation

To what extent does the R&D project plan provide a good basis for implementing the activities?

• To what extent does the R&D project plan incorporate appropriate and effective objectives, work packages, milestones, resources and relevant risk assessments?
• To what extent will the project have access to the necessary R&D expertise and adequate capacity to carry out the R&D tasks?
• To what extent does the project manager have appropriate expertise and experience to lead the R&D project?
• To what extent does the project have an appropriate project organisation with a clearly defined and relevant distribution of the budget, roles and responsibilities?
• To what extent does the project reflect the strategic priorities of the Project Owner and the companies that are partners?
• To what extent is the budget and funding plan realistic and feasible?

Relevance to the call for proposals

To what extent does the project meet the requirements and guidelines set out in the call for proposals?

• To what extent have the conditions set out in the call for proposals with regard to collaboration and specification of roles been met?
• To what extent can support from the Research Council be expected to trigger increased R&D investment among the Project Owner and the companies that are partners in the project and provide added value to the project beyond the financial support?
• To what extent does the project meet the topic’s guidelines and priorities?

Administrative procedures

Applications that satisfy the formal requirements will be asessed by external referees. External referees  will assess the criteria ‘Excellence’, ‘Impact’ and ‘Implementation’.  

Each application will normally be assessed by a referee panel comprising three referees. The referee panel will submit a consensus-based assessment for each of the three criteria. 

If the mark awarded by the referee panel for all of the criteria is 4 or higher on a scale where 7 is the highest mark, the application will be assessed by RFF Oslo’s case officers also on the basis of the criterion regional ‘Relevance to the call for proposals’. The assessment and marks for all four criteria will be consolidated into a single, overall mark that indicates the merit of the application. 

Based on the referee panel’s assessment and the regional ‘relevance to the call for proposals’ criteria, RFF Oslo’s administration will then present a recommendation to RFF Oslo’s fund board for the final funding decision. The board will emphasise achieving a balanced portfolio of projects and the priorities in the call.  

Expected funding decision 

RFF Oslo’s board will make a decision on the funding of applications from tis call in week no 50, 2022. 

RRF Oslo publishes the results of calls on this webpage. 

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