The aim of the Research Council has been to identify and develop high-quality research groups in areas that have the potential to create new industrial activity.
A total of 58 applications were submitted, and last Friday, Øystein Djupedal, Norway’s Minister of Education and Research, was able to announce the 14 groups that have been chosen to establish a CRI. SINTEF is participating in eight of these groups:
- COIN – Concrete Innovation Centre (SINTEF is host institution)
- CREATE – Centre for Research-based Innovation in Aquaculture Technology (SINTEF is host institution)
- Norwegian Manufacturing Future (SINTEF is host institution)
- Centre for e-Field and Integrated Operations for Upstream Petroleum Activities
- Multiphase Flow Assurance Innovation Centre
- Structural Impact Laboratory – SIMLab
- Innovative Natural Gas Processes and Products
- Medical Imaging Laboratory for Innovative Future Healthcare.
“This is a very encouraging result of the greatest importance for SINTEF. Our applications were of good quality, and now we have received a highly qualified external evaluation that says our research groups are of excellent standard,” says SINTEF President Unni Steinsmo.
During the awards ceremony held by the Research Council, the Multiphase Flow Assurance Innovation Centre, in which SINTEF is a partner, was particularly praised.
The Centre will generate new knowledge that will result in enhanced petroleum production rates. The technology to be developed will make it possible to transport untreated oil and gas over much greater distances than can be done today. The Centre will produce know-how that will increase the competitiveness of our supply industry, and it is expected that the development of competence will lead to new companies being set up.
In all its projects, SINTEF is collaborating with other research groups and with Norwegian industrial companies. The cooperation between SINTEF and NTNU was particularly emphasised by the Research Council, but SINTEF is also collaborating with the Institute of Energy Technology and the University of Oslo in some of the projects.
“It is essential that research groups should be willing to cooperate with each other, as well as with industry. This is the way to build national teams and to develop stronger industrial and research groups in Norway,” says Steinsmo, who also mentioned that a number of high-quality applications were turned down this time. “Although these good projects were not chosen now, they are of great importance for Norwegian industry. For our part, we would like to encourage the Research Council and the authorities to ensure that these projects also can be realised,” she says.
The Research Council of Norway is putting NOK 140 million a year into the centres, while the research institutions themselves and industry are also adding their share.
"This is a significant boost for SINTEF, and I am convinced that we can make something worthwhile of it. This investment will help to give us international status as a leading environment for research, and to profile us vis-à-vis our clients, other researchers and students,” says Unni Steinsmo.