The Research Council of Norway
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We are faced with major changes on the scientific scene, on the technological scene, and in the market place. The sources of comparative advantage are being redefined. In a daring reform, the Research Council of Norway was established on 1 January 1993, as a merger of the five former research councils, and as a consequence of a radically changing science and technology context. The Research Council of Norway is an administrative body organized under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Research and Church Affairs.
In short, the new model with a single, fully integrated research council, means more flexibility, improved efficiency and more opportunities for fruitful and stimulating collaboration between various parts of the Norwegian science and technology system. The organizational structure of the Research Council is also unusual. Rather than following the traditional disciplinary border lines, the Council's six operational divisions are given a sectorial orientation; Bioproduction and Processing, Industry and Energy, Culture and Society, Medicine and Health, Environment and Development, and Science and Technology. Within their respective sectors of responsibility, all divisions except for Industry and Energy, have a vertical responsibility for basic and applied research. Already the Norwegian Experiment has aroused considerable international attention. In addition to managing nearly a third of total public allocations to Norwegian research, the Research Council is also given a strategic role as national adviser to the Government on science and technology policy, both upon request and on its own initiative. The Council's ambition is to provide counsel that gives the authorities a sound foundation for formulating a comprehensive science and technology policy, based on the scientific and technological, as well as cultural, economic and social challenges on a long-term perspective.Great things do not happen in five years, they take a decade or two to come true. The way to sustain support, investment, and commitment for national research priorities for more than a legislative term, or longer than news bites will keep them in the forefront of our consciousness, is with a vision that is agreed to and supported by various stakeholders.
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