Regional innovation project industry 2021

This is a call with a fixed deadline.

Your application may be submitted several times before the deadline.

It is the last submitted version of the application that will be evaluated. 

Viktige datoer

08 Sep 2021

Åpen for søknad

20 Oct 2021


10 Feb 2022

Tidligste tillatte prosjektstart

01 Aug 2022

Seneste tillatte prosjektstart

01 Aug 2025

Seneste tillatte prosjektslutt

Viktige datoer


Regional innovation projects are industry-led  projects with a comprehensive content of research and development.

Project support from RRF Oslo shall contribute to strengthen industry in order to meet long-term challenges, green transformation, sustainability and develop industries in which Oslo has comparative advantages.

It is a goal to strengthen the link between R&D organisations and private enterprises and further qualify them to participate in research and innovation collaborations under Norwegian and EU programmes.

About the call for proposals

The purpose of the call for proposals is to increase R&D activities in business and industry in the following priority areas:

  • Environmental technology
  • Energy technology
  • Circular economy
  • Digitalisation and digital transformation
  • Health and life sciences, including technological solutions
  • Sustainable services

Thematic areas relevant to the pandemic and reopening of society, cf. the coronavirus situation, will also be prioritised.

Funding can also be used as co-financing for projects that have been awarded support from an EU programme.

The 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 company applying for a grant will be designated Project Owner on entering into a contract with RFF Oslo.

Sole proprietorships, research organisations and state-owned enterprises and agencies are not eligible to apply for funding.

Who can participate in the project?

Requirements relating to the Project Owner

  • The Project Owner must be a company with a registered business address in the City of Oslo and with financial activities in Norway.
  • The Project Owner must secure full funding of the project in addition to the amount awarded by RFF Oslo.
  • The Project Owner company must have approved the submission of the grant application to RFF Oslo.

Requirements relating to collaboration and roles in the project

  • The Project Owner company can carry out the project in binding collaboration with other companies (business partners) or public organisations in Norway. Parts of these partners’ project costs will be covered by RFF Oslo’s funding of the project, and the partners will therefore become recipients of state aid. In general, business partners must fulfil the criteria listed under the section ‘Who is eligible to apply?’ to be eligible for funding.
  • The Project Owner can enter into agreements with R&D providers who are responsible for conducting R&D activities on assignment for the project partners. R&D providers in the project may not claim Intellectual property rights to project results.
  • Any partnership constellation in the project is expected to form the basis for long-term collaboration, development and dissemination of knowledge and effective mutual utilisation of results.
  • All project partners (aside from the Project Owner) must be listed in the section ‘Project partners and R&D providers’ in the application form. Read more about project partners and R&D providers here.
  • Project partners must be defined as either ‘financing and task performing’ (municipality and/or business partner that contributes in-kind) or ‘only research’ (fully-funded R&D organisation or company with the role of R&D provider in the project).
  • Other international actors may participate in the project, but will not receive funding from RFF Oslo.
  • The Project Owner may not be in an interdependent relationship with a project partner (e.g. be part of the same corporation).
  • Companies participating in the project that are interdependent will be considered as one entity and as a single recipient of funding in accordance with the state aid rules.

What can you seek funding for?

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

What can you seek funding for?

Project costs pertaining to R&D activities under the project qualify for funding from RFF Oslo. The project’s R&D activities must satisfy the definition of either ‘industrial research’ or ‘experimental development’ as set out in the state aid rules

“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. It comprises the creation of components parts of complex systems, and may include the construction of prototypes in a laboratory environment or in an environment with simulated interfaces to existing systems as well as of pilot lines, when necessary for the industrial research and notably for generic technology validation.” A more comprehensive description can be found on this webpage, look under “Important definitions for Article 25”

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…“This is not the complete definition of experimental development. A more comprehensive description can be found on this webpage, look under “Important definitions for Article 25”

We can provide funding for parts of the business partners’ costs pertaining to R&D activities under the project. 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 from R&D providers. 

Project costs are the actual costs that are necessary to carry out the project, and can include:

  • Direct project costs, which are the costs of resources earmarked specifically for completing the project, such as personnel costs for project employees.
  • Indirect project costs, which are related to the use of general resources that the project benefits from. Indirect project costs include the project’s share of costs for renting offices, IT/telephone and joint administrative costs related to personnel and finances.

The following types of costs must be specified in the project budget:

  • Payroll and indirect expenses, which are costs associated with the company’s own R&D activities in the project. See our guidelines for budgeting of payroll and indirect expenses.
  • Procurement of R&D services, which are costs associated with hiring R&D providers.
  • Equipment, which is costs related to the operation and depreciation of scientific equipment necessary for the execution of the project.
  • Other project costs, which comprise costs for other activities that are necessary to carry out R&D activities under the project.

The budgeted project costs must be in accordance with the description given in the General Block Exemption Regulation Article 25 (3).

We do not provide funding for operational business activities including activities associated with the commercial exploitation of the R&D results, such as protection of intellectual property rights, market surveys and marketing, and testing and completion of new products or services. Such costs are therefore not to be included in the project budget.

Scope of funding

Companies can apply for up to 50 per cent funding of their budgeted project costs. Projects must have a duration of between 6 and 36 months. The project must be of a scope that can form the basis for applying for funding of at least NOK 1 million. RFF Oslo’s maximum funding limit for any one project is NOK 3 million.

The level of support (aid intensity) available for a company’s project costs will depend on the nature of the project and the type of R&D activities as defined in the state aid rules. This includes the size of the company, the project’s research activities and partnership constellations. For applications awarded funding, the aid intensity may therefore vary from 25 to 50 per cent.

Enterpise size/type of acitvity

Industrial research

Experimental development

Small enterprises

70 %

45 %

Medium size enterprises

60 %

35 %

Large enterprises

50 %

25 %

The final grant amount for applications awarded funding will be determined in conjunction with contract negotiations.

Projects awarded funding are encouraged to make use of the opportunities available in the SkatteFunn tax credit scheme.

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).

  • The participating companies must submit a declaration confirming that they are qualified to receive state aid (mandatory attachment: template for partner information).
  • Other public funding allocated to the project, or to activities under the project, will affect the amount of funding that RFF Oslo can provide.
  • If the project application is awarded funding, the Project Owner must revise the application in accordance with the conditions set out in the funding decision. The revised application must incorporate updated and supplementary information about the project and participating partners.
  • The latest possible start-up date for the project will be 1 August 2022. Projects approved for funding that have not started within this date may lose their allocation.

RRF Oslo may require progress and project account reports during the project period, in addition to the final report and final accounts.

Disbursement of funding

We will disburse 50 per cent of the funding on the basis of an invoice at project start-up and then a further 50 per cent 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 fr 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. 

Scientific articles and research data

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.

Available Tools

The Research Council of Norway’s Project Canvas is an excellent project tool for analysing needs, benefits and which R&D activities are necessary.

You can also ask for advice from one of the competence brokers in Oslo. The competence brokers can assist in finding a relevant research partner, and give you tips and advice for your proposal. 


Relevant thematic areas for this call

Regional thematic areas for this call for proposals are the topics prioritised in RFF Oslo’s policy document for 2020–2023:

  • Environmental technology
  • Energy technology
  • Circular economy
  • Digitalisation and digital transformation
  • Health and life sciences, including technological solutions
  • Sustainable services

Thematic areas relevant to the pandemic, cf. the coronavirus situation and reopening of society, will also be prioritized.

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


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. The application and all attachments must be written in Norwegian or English. This call has fixed deadline, and you may submit and resubmit your application multiple times up to the submission deadline. 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. The templates for attachments can be found at the end of the call for proposals.
  • All attachments must be uploaded in PDF format.

Mandatory attachments

  • A project description of up to 10 pages in length using the designated template. Use the standard template published with this call.
  • Partner information for the company submitting the grant application (Project Owner) and each of the partner companies (business partners) using the designated template. Use the standard template published with this call.
  • CVs for the project manager and other key project participants (e.g. individuals responsible for the project’s work packages) using the designated templates.

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.

Optional attachments

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

Other conditions

  • Funding is awarded in accordance with the applicable EEA provisions on state aid to business partners. The Ministry of Education and Research has registered the Regional Research Funds scheme to the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) under Section 1 of the regulations on exemption from the duty of notification for state aid, cf. the EEA Agreement Annex XV point 1j (Regulation (EU) No 651/2014).
  • Projects deemed eligible for funding, will be required to provide additional information about the project and project partners.
  • In some instances, decisions on offering grants may also contain terms specific to the project. We therefore reserve the right to enter into dialogue with the project owner regarding the project plan and budget.
  • Actual grants are based on expenses recorded in the Project Owner’s ordinary accounts.
  • If the projects awarded funding are not completed or their reporting is inadequate, RFF Oslo can demand repayment of disbursed funding.

Assessment criteria

Grant applications will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Excellence
  • Implementation
  • Relevance to the call for proposals
  • Impact


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 essential for the success of the innovation?


To what extent does the project pave the way for significant benefits for the Project Owner and the company partners, and lay a foundation for other positive impacts for society?

• To what extent will the project entail a potential for sustainable value creation in Norway with significant economic benefits for the Project Owner and the companies that are partners?
• To what extent can the project have positive external impacts, such as:
– helping to disseminate knowledge through networks and publications;
– producing results that can be used by other industries, the public sector or in society at large;
– leading to an innovation that can address UN Sustainable Development Goals or solve other important societal challenges.
• To what extent are the potential impacts of the project clearly formulated and highly plausible?


To what extent does the work plan provide a good basis for implementing the R&D activities and realising the potential for value creation?

• To what extent does the R&D project work 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 reflect the strategic priorities of the Project Owner and the companies that are partners and have a project organisation appropriate to the task?
• To what extent does the project manager have appropriate expertise and experience to lead an R&D project targeted towards innovation and sustainable value creation for companies?
• To what extent is the plan for implementation of R&D results and realisation of benefits relevant and appropriate, for instance with regard to:
– IPR issues,
– assessment of the competitive framework and market risks,
– investment needs and plans,
– needs and plans regarding partnerships for commercialisation or industrialisation,
– need to develop business models.

Overall assessment of the referee/panel

This criterion indicates the overall view of the referee/panel, based on the specific criteria which they have been asked to assess.

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 do the companies in the project meet the requirements and expectations set out in the call for proposals with regard to the Project Owner and partners?
• 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 is the project in keeping with thematic or budgetary guidelines in the call for proposals, where this is relevant in light of the project’s content?

Administrative procedures

The application and all mandatory attachments will be made available in a digital portal for referees who will perform an assessment of the criteria ‘Excellence’, ‘Impact’ and ‘Implementation’. Each application will normally be assessed by a referee panel comprising three experts. 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 RFF’s policy document for 2020–2023.

Expected funding decision

RFF Oslo’s board will make a decision on the funding of applications in week 5, 2022.


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