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Good results for SINTEF in 2008

SINTEF produced good scientific and financial results in 2008. The result for the year was NOK 137 million. Our repeatedly good results have enabled us to make new investments in laboratories and scientific research. In 2008, SINTEF invested MNOK 146 in laboratories and scientific equipment.

“We are satisfied with the way SINTEF has developed in 2008. Our research helps to create solutions for industry and society in general, and good financial results enable us to invest in laboratories and new knowledge,” says SINTEF President Unni Steinsmo.

Health, safety and the environment (HSE)

In SINTEF, HSE has highest priority. Six injuries led to sick-leave in 2008, giving an H1 index (number of such injuries per million working hours) of 1.8, compared with 2.1 in 2007. None of the injuries were serious, but SINTEF is making active efforts to avoid all personal injuries. SINTEF has not suffered any accidents that have led to damage to the physical environment in 2008. Sick-leave was 3.4 percent as against 3.6 percent in 2007.

Financial results

SINTEF produced a good financial result in 208. Gross operating income was NOK 2.59, compared with BNOK 2.27 in 2007. The operating result was MNOK 103, as against MNOK 133 in 2007. The annual result after financial items and tax was MNOK 137. In 2007 the annual result was MNOK 254, but this figure was affected by particularly high financial revenues due to the sale of shares in spin-off companies and accounting procedures related to pensions.

SINTEF worked on more than 2,700 contracts for about 2,300 clients in 2008. Forty-five percent of our gross operating income was directly derived from contracts for Norwegian industry and 12 percent from contracts for the public sector. A total of 21 percent came directly from the Research Council of Norway in the form of basic grants, strategic research programmes and project contributions.

Thirteen percent of SINTEF’s operating income came from international contracts that were invoiced elsewhere than in Norway. In reality, more than half of SINTEF’s turnover is derived from contracts won in the face of international competition.

Our international turnover was MNOK 348, as against MNOK 324 in 2007. EU projects made up about a third of this total. The EU’s 7th Framework Programme for research and development started in 2007, and SINTEF aims to participate to a significant extent in the programme.

Main financial figures for the SINTEF Group

Million kroner 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Gross operating income 1 692 1 785 1 959 2 271 2 592
Net operating income 1 332 1 448 1 566 1 846 2 100
Operating result - 30 24 35 133 103
Annual result - 24 59 92 254 137
Investments 38 35 55 90 146


None of SINTEF’s owners may draw a dividend from the Group. Profits from SINTEF’s activities are invested in new research, scientific equipment and laboratories, and in generating new knowledge. Our good results over many years have enabled us to raise our level of investment.

In 2008, SINTEF invested MNOK 146 in laboratories, buildings and scientific equipment. During the past five years, SINTEF has invested an average of MNOK 73 million a year.

In 2008, we commenced large-scale development of our multiphase laboratory at Tiller in Trondheim. A number of our research groups are participating in this development process which is of great importance for the petroleum sector.

On the same site, SINTEF is building a new laboratory for the development of technology and chemicals for CO2 capture and storage; this will be a unique pilot-scale test plant. We have also invested in modern offices at Tiller, and the whole development will be a laboratory facility of high international standard when it is completed.

“ There is a significant backlog with respect to the need for new laboratories and other scientific equipment in Norway. In SINTEF, we are accepting our share of the investments needed, but it is of decisive importance that the authorities should allocate funding for investment in national research laboratories. This is essential if we are to continue to develop Norway as a knowledge-oriented nation,” says Unni Steinsmo.

Scientific efforts at group level

As well as its investments in scientific equipment, SINTEF is also investing in scientific efforts at group level. These are multi-annual efforts in which SINTEF puts some MNOK 15 – 20 a year of its own funds into developing international top-level expertise in priority areas of research. In 2008, SINTEF established three new group efforts, all of which represent high international levels of expertise.

Technology for environmentally friendly energy

SINTEF’s and NTNU’s international reputation in climate technology and environmentally friendly energy was made even stronger in the course of the past year.

the Research Council of Norway and the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has established eight Research Centres for Environmentally Friendly Energy (FME in their Norwegian acronym). These centres add up to a concentrated focused long-term research effort at a high international level. so and NTNU are participating in six of the eight centres, in close collaboration with industry and other research institutions.

In December 2008, SINTEF and NTNU were handed responsibility for coordinating the development of 15 joint European laboratories for CO2 capture and storage. Five of these laboratories will be built in Trondheim.

In August 2008, SINTEF, NTNU and the Norwegian company Aker Clean Carbon signed a contract for an eight-year R & D programme that is to develop efficient technology for CO2 capture. The programme has a budget of MNOK 317.

Staffing and recruitment

In the course of 2008, the number of SINTEF staff rose by 104, to a total of 2,145 employees. Forty-three percent of SINTEF’s scientific staff hold doctorates. The proportion of female research staff has risen from 18 percent in 2004 to 26 percent in 2008.

SINTEF has been successful in recruiting new highly competent staff in a competitive global labour market. In this way we are also helping to bring a highly qualified work-force to Norway. Thirteen percent of the SINTEF Group’s employees come from 64 other countries. As far as SINTEF is concerned, our international colleagues give us access to valuable scientific and cultural competence.


SINTEF regards it as an important aspect of its role in society to establish new companies based on the Group’s research activity. In 2008, ten SINTEF technologies were commercialised via licensing agreements and the formation of new companies.

More effort put into social research

On January 1, 2009, SINTEF Technology and Society and SINTEF Health Research were merged to form a new division: SINTEF Technology and Society. This is now an interdisciplinary research institute that covers both science and technology and social science, including health, transport and technology management. The change means that research in the social sciences in SINTEF will become even stronger.

Prospects for the future

Taking the Storting’s climate settlement as a point of departure, more resources will be allocated to the fields of climate technology, renewable energy, energy efficiency and CO2 capture and storage. SINTEF will  place high priority on these areas in the future.

The international financial crisis has lowered levels of activity in industry and commerce. SINTEF is worried that industrial research and innovation can be reduced, because industry lacks the resources to invest in research.

“Research and innovation are more important than ever when there is a downturn. The authorities must commit more funding to research and be more flexible in the mechanisms that they employ, if we are to avoid industrial research being cut,” says SINTEF President Unni Steinsmo.

Trondheim, April 22, 2009

SINTEF President Unni Steinsmo: tel. +47 930 59 380
SINTEF Vice-president Reidar Bye: tel. +47 970 74 306