There is an increasing focus in both the EU and the Norwegian authorities on innovation and commercialization of research results. Increased cooperation between academia and industry are in demand, particularly cooperation with the so-called SMEs (Small Medium sized Enterprises), ie small and medium enterprises. The reason is increased activity among small and medium-sized enterprises are a mainstay to relaunch the economy.
For many in academia are collaborating with industry a somewhat strange idea. People have come to me and said that this threatens the free research. I think that we should look at this as an opportunity, not only to think in new research projects and implementation of studies, but also financing the research. Also Norwegian industry is increasingly interested in research. The number of companies that has applied NFR for research funding has doubled in two years, and the increase is strongest in Rogaland and Hordaland.
They are many Research environments in K2 that should be of interest to the industry, not only because of the topics we are researching, but also because of the expertise we sit on when it comes to doing research.
One challenge is to create contact with small and medium enterprises. Kine Gregersen from BTO will be on K2 every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month and will help contact as recently featured in an email. Maybe K2 in addition would create a meeting place with the industri?
As an example of the Norwegian authorities’ interest in innovation will eventually mentioned that NFR “will stimulate health industry”