A call for solid, long-term and predictable funding of Norwegian research

In collaboration with Universities Norway (UHR), The National Union of Students in Norway (NSO) and Abelia, Forskerforbundet has initiated a petition that calls for long term and sustainable funding of research in Norway. 

Research is a fundamental prerequisite for solving numerous and major societal challenges at national and global level. Norway is in the midst of a green transition, which requires large investments in knowledge, technology and innovation. Research is a safety net. To be prepared for the unknown, a new pandemic or other emergencies, Norway is entirely dependent on the knowledge developed by strong research communities.

Research is a slow and complex process. A long-term perspective is key to develop high-level competence, excellent researchers and research groups.  By investing less in research today, we fail in the decades ahead. The current economic situation in the Research Council of Norway and for Norwegian research funding in general give cause for concern. Putting priority research projects on hold will have severe negative consequences on Norwegian research and innovation.

It will also affect a generation of young researchers whose careers depend on external funding.

The economic situation in the Research Council comes on top of an already deficient investment in research. In the state budget for 2022, the allocations to universities and colleges were cut by more than NOK 1 billion. The future of important science buildings and infrastructure is also highly uncertain.

We demand:

1. The Storting must agree on and adopt a policy that ensures predictable and long-term funding of Norwegian research.

2. Norwegian investment in research is strengthened. Research spending (as percentage of GDP) must increase and align with the level in our neighbouring countries.

3. Academic freedom, institutional autonomy and dialogue and cooperation between authorities and organizations are key principles in governance and planning of the Norwegian research and innovation system.

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