Research Council of Norway, The

The Research Council of Norway plays a vital role in developing and implementing the country''s national research strategy. It acts as: * a government adviser, identifying present and future needs for knowledge and research; * a funding agency for independent research programmes and projects, strategic programmes at research institutes, and Norwegian participation in international research programmes; * a co-ordinator, initiating networks and promoting co-operation between R&D institutions, ministries, business and industry, public agencies and enterprises, other sources of funding, and users of research. The Executive Board of the Research Council of Norway is responsible for the Council''s policy at the national level. Six research boards, one for each research division, submit annual strategic plans and budgets to the main Executive Board for final approval. Important research priorities according to the Research Council are: * basic research * marine research * information and communication technology * health research * energy and climate research * biotechnology * petroleum research * material science Approximately one third of Norway''s public sector research investment is channelled through the Research Council. The remainder is transferred directly from the ministries to the relevant research institutions. In 1999, Norway spent a total of NOK 20 billion on R&D, of which public sector allocations accounted for roughly NOK 8.5 billion. In 2003 the Research Council of Norway has a budget of NOK 4,4 billion.'