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Policy background

The Innovation Policy for Iceland is the main government policy statement on innovation, and presents a vision for the future of Icelandic innovation in all areas until 2030.

The goals and objectives for research and innovation are under review as a new Ministerial Committee on Science and Innovation and a new Science and Innovation Council forms a new strategy and long-term vision. However, the previous objectives are detailed in the Science and Technology Policy and Action Plan 2020-2022. It provided methods for Iceland to achieve the research objectives laid out in the Iceland 2020 document.

Institutional framework of transport research

The key government body responsible for designing and coordinating research and development policy is the Ministerial Committee on Science and Innovation, chaired by the Prime Minister. This committee is the supreme body for defining the direction of science and innovation policy in Iceland. The committee issues two-year action plans based on the long-term vision. The Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation is responsible for implementing R&I policy, but many other ministries play a role because of their responsibilities for research organisations in their own areas.

Developing and implementing transport policy is the responsibility of the Department of Transport within the Ministry of Infrastructure. It is supported by several institutions:

The body responsible for the institutional framework and funding for research and innovation is the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation. It is supported by the Icelandic Centre for Research (Rannis) which manages international cooperation programmes and national funds in the field of research and innovation. Rannis coordinates Icelandic participation in European programmes, such as Horizon Europe, by promoting the programmes in Iceland and managing national contact points for the programmes. It also aims to increase innovation, productivity and competitiveness of Icelandic businesses by sharing knowledge and providing support to entrepreneurs and start-up companies.


Transport research can be funded through general research funding, private funding and by international and EU funds (EU Framework Programmes). Administration of the main national funds for research and innovation has been delegated to the Icelandic Centre for Research. These funds are:

The Iceland Road and Coastal Administration also provides funding through a dedicated research programme for road infrastructure, traffic, environment and society, and the Icelandic Route Development Fund has the objective to support the development of new flight routes to Iceland, to enable regular international flights through the international airports at Akureyri and Egilsstaðir.

International research and development cooperation programmes that are relevant to Iceland are:

  • Horizon Europe
  • European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST)
  • Nordforsk - funds and facilitates Nordic research cooperation and research infrastructure


(Last updated: 16/02/2024)