Policy Background

The White Paper Climate for Research identifies strategic goals for R&D development and is prepared by the Department of Research in the Ministry of Education and Research.

The goals for transport development to which transport research needs to correspond are set out in the National Transport Plan. The general outline of the plan is made by the Ministry of Transport and Communication and the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs. Input is provided by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, the Norwegian National Rail Administration, the Norwegian Coastal Administration, and Avinor and by the Reference Committee. The National Transport Plan provides a technical and operational framework for efficient and effective decision-making on development of the transport system. The research system has two levels: policy level and strategy level. The research policy level comprises the Norwegian national assembly, the Government and the ministries. The Department of Research in the Ministry of Education and Research has the overall responsibility for formulating and supervising research policy and exercising the Minister’s coordination tasks in research issues. The Department also prepares reports on the research to Parliament, coordinates R&D funding in the National Budget, and acts as secretariat for the Cabinet Research Committee.

Institutional framework of transport research

In research strategy level, the Research Council of Norway is the key institution. The Research Council identifies strategic research areas, allocates research funds and evaluates research in all areas and disciplines. The Council is the principal research policy adviser to the ministries, and is the meeting place and network builder for Norwegian research. The universities and colleges also have important roles in strategic research planning.

R&D policy is formulated on the ‘sector principle’, with each ministry is responsible for financing and assigning research priorities in their specific sector. Thus, the main players in policy making for transport research are the Ministry of Transport and Communications, and the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs. These ministries are responsible for defining transport policy and have an impact on establishing national priorities for transport research.

Transport research is funded in the general research funding in Norway. A special fund for research and innovation was set up to ensure stable, long-term public financing of research and research-based innovation in all sectors. Research programmes managed by the Ministries and the Norwegian Public Roads Administration are sectoral programmes for specific purposes, whereas the transport research programmes administered by the Research Council are larger and much broader in scope. The Research Council is the main funding agency for both private sector and public research institutions. Support is provided via specific research programmes or general support schemes. Most projects in the Research Council Programmes are partly funded by industry.

Organisations responsible for the institutional framework and funding:

Funding Sources and Support Initiatives

There are several thematic programmes, which are funding research on transport related topics.