Annual report 2017
Annual report 2017
A good year provides a foundation for new effort
2017 was a good year for SINTEF. We have continued to intensify our publication activities, and are experiencing technical advances in many research areas. The new Centres for Environment-Friendly Energy Research are now well under way and, in collaboration with our clients, we have gone to considerable effort to ensure that the "Ocean Space Centre" project is well equipped to realise the future potential of the ocean-based industries.
We are finding that our clients view SINTEF as a good partner at a time when digitalisation, automation, artificial intelligence, new materials, advanced robotic technology, and new business models are of crucial importance in strategic decisionmaking and the ability to develop competitive businesses and public services. On average, clients give SINTEF a score of more than 4.5 on a scale where 5 is the best.
SINTEF's financial result in 2017 was its best ever, following several difficult years characterised by declining activity in the petroleum industry, among other things. Since 2014, our overall sales linked to the oil and gas industry have fallen by at least 20 per cent. We have succeeded in compensating for this revenue loss by increasing income in other fields, such as building and construction, aquaculture, renewable energy, and the process industry. In this way, SINTEF is contributing to the development of a more diversified and competitive business sector in Norway.
At the same time our clear ambition is to revitalise growth, also in the oil and gas sector. To ensure the long-term outlook envisaged by the authorities and the companies, operators on the Norwegian shelf need all the expertise
SINTEF has to offer to help them reduce their environmental impact while continuing to cut costs. We also intend to be a strong advocate for promoting competitive alternatives to oil and gas, and are working together with world-leading clients in the fields of renewable energy, energy storage and energy-efficient mobility, industry, and social planning.
In recent years we have reduced our costs significantly and implemented major organisational changes in order to improve our ability to deliver our products. This has been possible thanks to considerable efforts on the part of personnel throughout SINTEF, of whom we have every reason to be proud.
As a foundation, SINTEF has no owners who reap financial benefits from our profits. On the other hand, neither do we have investor-owners who can provide capital when we need it. We must earn and manage our money ourselves and invest in new research. We have major tasks ahead of us that will call for commitment and capital. We shall develop multidisciplinary areas of focus that are important for restructuring Norwegian industry and the economy, we shall strengthen our commitment to the commercialisation of research results, and we shall contribute to campus development together with our university partners in Trondheim and Oslo.
Society is currently undergoing major changes, of greater importance and at a higher tempo than ever before. Technology and new business models are merging what were once distinct fields and sectors in innovative ways. It is vital that we are fully aware of the interplay between people, technology, and the safety of society. Using our robust technical foundation as a starting point, we are now working hard to develop solutions based on multidisciplinary expertise and SINTEF's standing and ability to enhance industrial and political dialogue with our clients and the authorities.
To achieve this, it is essential that we succeed in working and communication with our clients as "One SINTEF". Making the concept of "One SINTEF" operational is the main focus of the process we are now implementing, which will result in a revised strategy for SINTEF in the course of 2018. The positive result in 2017 provides an important boost to this work.
Alexandra Bech Gjørv
SINTEF is one of Europe's largest research institutes, with multidisciplinary specialist expertise in the fields of technology, the natural sciences, and the social sciences.
SINTEF is an independent foundation which since 1950 has been responsible for innovation through development and research assignments for industrial and public sector clients in Norway and abroad.
Our vision is: "Technology for a Better Society"
The SINTEF year in brief
SINTEF Ocean – merging SINTEF's marine research into one institute
SINTEF is merging its ocean research activities into one new institute, called SINTEF Ocean. The ambition is to strengthen our position as a world-leader in the fields of marine technology and biomarine research.
NTNU, Telenor and SINTEF open Norway’s new powerhouse for artificial intelligence
Norway’s new powerhouse for artificial intelligence (AI) opens in Trondheim today. The new centre, Telenor-NTNU AI-Lab, will strengthen national competitiveness and add valuable, future-proof competencies to the Norwegian society.
Report of the Board of Directors
The Board is pleased to see that SINTEF, after several years of weak results, achieved a yield commensurate with its ambitions in 2017. This is the result of determined effort and a number of demanding processes intended to reorganise parts of the company and promote more efficient operations. However, it is also a result of the fact that we have been successful in compensating a downturn in sales linked to the petroleum industry with growth in other sectors, especially aquaculture and fisheries, energy, and building and construction. A yield at this level is necessary if SINTEF is to remain in the forefront and be able to make the necessary investments in laboratories, scientific equipment and skills development.
At the same time we have been successful in markedly increasing the number of our scientific publications and the Board is pleased with the number of awards to SINTEF and its clients in connection with announcements in the Research Council of Norway's industry-oriented programmes at the beginning of 2018.
Key financial figures and financial statements
Key financial figures for research institutes
At SINTEF, HSE is our highest priority. We make systematic efforts to ensure that our staff benefit from a safe and secure work environment that promotes good health and enables them to take pleasure in their work. We enjoy a climate of cooperation between our staff and management, a factor that plays an important role in creating a positive and healthy work environment.
SINTEF is audited in accordance with three standards: ISO 14001:2015 – Environmental Management Systems; ISO 9001:2015 – Quality Management Systems; and OHSAS 18001:2007 - Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series. Certification means that SINTEF takes its preparatory and systematic efforts seriously and that the whole organisation offers its clients work of high quality.
The overarching aims of our HSE efforts are as follows:
- SINTEF will provide its employees with a positive work environment that promotes good health
- SINTEF's employees will not need to take work-related sick-leave
- SINTEF's employees will suffer no injuries, accidents or losses
- SINTEF will present a clear environmentally friendly profile