Polish-Norwegian 15.3 million fund for research launched
A €15.3 million research fund earmarked to partnership projects between Poland and Norway was launched on 26 September, creating a new platform for extensive academic cooperation between the two countries.
The fund, which is supported with a €13 million grant from the Norwegian Financial Mechanism and €2.3 million from the Polish government, will provide grants to joint Polish-Norwegian research projects and support workshops and seminars facilitating research cooperation between the two countries. The open call for project proposals was launched on 26 September and applications can be submitted until 28 December 2007. Detailed information about the on-line registration and the application process can be found at www.fbn.opi.org.pl
In his speech at the launch event, Norway’s Minister of Education and Research, Øystein Djupedal, underlined the importance of the fund in facilitating a further expansion of the existing research cooperation between Norway and Poland. “I am confident that the Polish-Norwegian Research Fund will be a success and further expand the Norwegian-Polish research co-operation”, Djupedal said.
Djupedal referred to the long history of Norway and Poland’s joint research efforts on Svalbard as an example of the scientific networks already in place between the two countries. An overarching aim of the research fund is ensure that the cooperation projects and the strengthened ties between the research communities that it will foster in the two countries also becomes a catalyst for further international research projects between Poland and Norway in the future.
Previous collaborative research efforts between Poland and Norway have mostly taken place under the Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development, which is EU’s main instrument in the creation of a European Research Area (ERA). Under the programme, the two countries have participated in close to 250 projects, mainly within the fields of information and communication technologies, environment and agriculture. Poland and Norway are also partners in 14 so-called ERA-nets, which are cooperation schemes between research funding agencies at the European level.
Improved integration and coordination of research in Europe underpins the Polish-Norwegian Research Fund, as research projects need to be based on bilateral partnerships. The fund will award grants to approximately eight joint Polish-Norwegian health or environmental research projects, and around 70 grants will be given to support bilateral workshops or seminars within all the priority sectors of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism.
This cooperative model is also manifest in the management of the fund. The Polish Information Processing Centre, which will act as the fund’s intermediary, will implement the fund in cooperation with the Norwegian Research Council.