“2007 was a good year for SINTEF. Our research produces solutions for our customers and for society, and we have obtained positive results in all aspects of our activities. This spurs us to greater efforts and to develop our activities even further”, says SINTEF President Unni Steinsmo.
Health, safety and the environment
Sick-leave in 2007 lay at a level of 3.6 percent, as against 3.5 percent in 2006. There were seven personal injuries that led to absence from work, which gives us a H1 value (number of injuries leading to absence per million hours worked) of 2.1, as against 2.4 in 2006. There were no accidents that led to damage to the external environment in 2007.
Gross operating income came to NOK 2.27 billion, as against BNOK 1.96 in the previous year. The operating result was MNOK 133, compared with MNOK 35 in 2006. The sale of shares in our spin-off companies Nacre AS and Reslab AS helped to produce a net financial result of MNOK 90.
Fourteen percent of SINTEF’s gross operating income in 2007 was derived from international projects, while 45 percent came from projects for Norwegian industry and 12 percent for public-sector contracts. A total of 20 percent came from the Research Council of Norway in the form of basic grants and funding for strategic programmes and projects. Many of our projects for industry and the public sector are also partly financed by the Research Council. SINTEF worked on a total of more than 6,000 projects for more than 2,000 clients.
Main financial figures for the SINTEF Group
The profits of SINTEF’s activities are invested in new research, scientific equipment, laboratories and the generation of new knowledge.
In 2007, SINTEF invested MNOK 90 in laboratories, buildings and scientific equipment. In the course of the past five years, SINTEF has invested an average of MNOK 49 million a year.
In 2007 SINTEF Energy Research AS built a new underwater power supply laboratory. 2008 saw the launch of a major expansion of our multiphase laboratory at Tiller. A number of SINTEF’s research groups are involved in this process, which is of great importance to the petroleum sector.
“There is a significant investment backlog // shortfall compared to the need for new laboratories and scientific equipment in Norway. We at SINTEF are ready to play our part in making these investments, but it is decisive that the authorities should allocate funds for investment in national research laboratories. This is essential if we wish to develop Norway as a knowledge society”, says Unni Steinsmo.
New fields of special effort for the SINTEF Group
As well as investing in scientific equipment, SINTEF will also invest in new fields of special effort. These are three-year programmes, in which SINTEF invests its own funds in order to develop international top-level expertise in high-priority areas.
In the course of 2008, SINTEF will identify the areas of special effort that the Group will prioritise in 2009. In the course of the past three years, similar efforts have reinforced SINTEF’s international position in areas such as CO2 capture and storage, pipeline technology and smart materials.
In 2007, more than MNOK 300 of SINTEF’s turnover came from international projects. SINTEF is heavily involved in the EU’s research programmes, and EU projects added up to MNOK 125 in 2007, an increase of 25 percent over the figure for 2006. The EU’s 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development started in 2007, and SINTEF aims to have a significant level of participation in the new programme.
SINTEF is fortunate in being able to recruit staff with a high level of competence in a tight global labour market. Twelve percent of the Group’s employees come from a total of 55 different countries, contributing to diversity and a wider range of expertise in SINTEF.
At the end of 2007, the SINTEF Group had 2,040 employees, and increase of 140 in the course of the year. Forty-two percent of our 1,390 research staff have doctorates.
SINTEF regards it as an important aspect of its role in society to create new companies based on the research performed by the Group. In 2007, we were involved in the commercialisation of 12 SINTEF technologies, through licensing agreements and the establishment of new companies.
In 2007, Nacre AS, in which SINTEF had a six percent shareholding, was sold to Bacou-Dalloz (now Sperian), a world leader in personal protection equipment, for MNOK 750, plus up to MNOK 90 in the case of good results in 2007 and 2008. The sale is the biggest ever of a SINTEF spin-off. SINTEF’s share is divided between the inventors and research group in accordance with the Group’s rules for benefit sharing.
Tax on research
In October 2007, Frostating Court issued a judgement that concluded that the SINTEF Foundation and its four research companies were liable to pay tax. In February 2008, the Supreme Court’s Appeals Commission refused to deal with SINTEF’s appeal, and the Frostating Court judgement thus has legal force. For SINTEF, this judgement will mean a tax burden of around MNOK 30 for 2001 – 2007. SINTEF will continue to base its activity on their general ability to benefit society as a whole and will attempt at political level to obtain a change in legislation that will make it clear that research should not be taxed.
Prospects for the future
Technology contributes to solve central challenges facing society, such as providing the world with pure water, healthy food and clean energy, and utilising the vulnerable resources provided by nature in a responsible manner.
Energy and the environment are important global topics. On the basis of a broad climate settlement in Parliament, more research resources will be channelled in the direction of climate technology, renewable energy, increasing the efficiency of energy use and CO2 capture and storage in the near future. SINTEF has built up a significant level of research competence in energy efficiency, CO2 capture and storage, renewable energy, and intends to give these areas high priority in its research.
Trondheim, April 17, 2008
Vice-president Reidar Bye, tel: +47 970 74 306
Director of communications Petter Haugan, tel: +47 901 33 285
Facts about SINTEF
The SINTEF Group is the fourth-largest independent research organisation in Europe, and the largest in Scandinavia. Our 2000 employees generate new knowledge and new solutions for Norwegian and overseas clients, based on research and development in technology, the natural sciences, medicine and the social sciences.
SINTEF’s vision is “Technology for a better society.”. We aim to contribute to increased value creation, a better quality of life and sustainable development.
Our turnover in 2007 was about NOK 2.3 billion, of which 14% was derived from our international activities.
The SINTEF Group comprises the following divisions: SINTEF Health Research, SINTEF Technology and Society, SINTEF ICT, SINTEF Materials and Chemistry, SINTEF Marine, SINTEF Petroleum and Energy and SINTEF Building Research. In the legal sphere, the divisions are organised as a foundation and four wholly or partly owned limited companies. The Group has no commercial owners who can draw a dividend from our research activity.