Nordic Bioeconomy Programme

The Nordic Bioeconomy Programme is a collaborative effort between Finland (The Academy of Finland), Iceland (The Icelandic Centre for Research Rannís), Norway (The Research Council of Norway), Sweden (The Swedish Research Council Formas) and NordForsk.

The overall aim of the programme is to produce new knowledge on how to foster and advance the transition to a bio-based economy in the Nordic countries by integrating research, innovation and entrepreneurship in the private and public sectors. The programme will fund activities that are cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary, and that involve the private and public sectors and other stakeholders. The thematic framework of the programme is described below.

As a Nordic platform, the programme will build on the national programmes and bring Nordic added value to the national and international research and innovation activities. The Nordic approach will advance the bioeconomy transition in a holistic way. This will give new insight into how research and innovation can jointly add momentum to bio-based and sustainable societal development.
Characteristics of a Nordic Centre of Excellence (NCoE)
A Nordic Centre of Excellence (NCoE) is a collaboration that builds upon already existing national and international excellence and joins Nordic researchers at the forefront of their fields to promote excellence at the Nordic level. It is a high-visibility collaboration that seeks to have an international and Nordic impact on research and society.

An NCoE is a research environment with a common research plan and joint researcher training, management, communication and outreach activities. An NCoE facilitates efficient use of resources by gathering people, funding and infrastructure into collaborative entities. An NCoE may include participants from non-Nordic research groups to fulfil the goals of the centre.
Thematic framework
The Nordic region is unique in that it has a surplus of primary resources. Primary resources will become an even more important asset in the Nordic society of the future, which involves a transformation from economic growth based on fossil fuels (depletable resources) towards a sustainable and bio-based society that promotes both the well-being of its citizens and good conditions for innovation and new development. The development of new knowledge is at the core of the Nordic Bioeconomy Programme. Basic building blocks are research, innovation and entrepreneurship, with active involvement from the private and public sectors, industry, consumers, end-users and others.

The call is relevant for all sectors (e.g. agriculture, forestry, marine, food and other) in the bioeconomy, but with an emphasis on new and innovative areas of research and innovation in order to understand the bioeconomy transition in a holistic perspective. In this call water is a common denominator and can be either the research subject or an integral part of the proposal, but does not have to be the main theme.

Water is a fundamental part of the bioeconomy and bioproduction value chains, e.g. in water-based production, the role of water in transportation, water as a means for primary plant production, water in industrial processes and for social well-being. This is also evidenced in the integrated management of water resources, know-how about sustainable water circulation, quality of water, and ecosystem services provided. Framework conditions for how a transition will take place, political obstacles and incentives, new legislation and ethics are also among topics of interest as part of an integrated approach. Market aspects to promote competitiveness, new products, production methods, markets and production chains based on the sustainable use of water are of importance.

The thematic framework is further elaborated in the programme memorandum (Annex 2).
Financial framework
The programme has a total budget of NOK 90 million and aims to fund three Nordic Centres of Excellence (NCoEs) under this call. The NCoEs will be funded for a five-year period and will be launched during 2017.

Funding may be used for:
  • Administrative expenses for NCoE management (normally a full-time position);

  • PhD and post-doctoral positions;

  • Travel/accommodation costs and mobility for the consortium partners;

  • Salaries and indirect costs;

  • Project related costs (such as experimental costs and other relevant costs);

  • Travel/accommodation costs for international participants;

  • Communication and dissemination activities.
The consortium is expected to contribute significant own financing in addition to the NordForsk funding received. The contribution from the consortium partners must be documented in the specified budget in the application form.
Eligibility criteria
  • Only invited applicants are eligible to submit an application (full proposal). The application must be based on the pre-proposal (first phase).
  • The consortium must involve partner institutions from at least three of the funding countries (Finland including Åland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden). Partner institutions from Denmark including the Faroe Islands and Greenland are eligible to participate. Partner institutions from non-Nordic countries must fund their own participation, but travel and accommodation costs can be covered.
  • The host institution for the NCoE (project manager) must be a research institution based in one of the funding countries

  • The project leader of the consortium must be a senior researcher at the host institution.

  • A researcher may only serve as project leader for one application under this call.




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Nordic Bioeconomy Programme
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