“SINTEF has improved its results for the second year running. The annual result is good, but we still need to improve the operating results in certain divisions. We depend on a stable income in order to be able to invest in new research and to develop international-class laboratories”, says SINTEF President Unni Steinsmo.
Gross operating income was NOK 1959 million, with an operating profit of NOK 35 million, as against MNOK 24 in 2005. The sale of a portfolio of shares in spin-off companies, and a further sale of shares in Powel ASA ,contributed to a financial result of MNOK 52.
There are no shareholders to harvest dividends from the profits of the SINTEF Group’s research activities. All profits are invested in new research laboratories and the generating of new knowledge. In 2006, SINTEF invested NOK 50 million in scientific equipment. Twelve percent of the SINTEF Group’s gross operating income in 2006 came from international contracts, 46 percent from contracts for Norwegian industry and 16 percent from the public sector. A total of 19 percent came directly from the Research Council of Norway in the form of basic grants, strategic programmes and project funding. Many of our projects for industry and the public sector are also partially financed by the Research Council.
The complete Annual Report for 2006 can be found at www.sintef.no
The Annual Report will be available in English in short time.
Health, safety and the environment
In SINTEF, Health, safety and the environment (HSE) take highest priority. Sick-leave rates are stable, in 2006 lying at 3.5 percent as against 3.4 percent in 2005. In 2006, we had eight injuries leading to sick-leave, which gives an H1 value (number of injuries leading to sick-leave per million hours worked) of 2.4 as against 2.0 in 2005. Eliminating personal injuries is a high priority, and active efforts are being made to develop a strong safety culture.
There were no accidents that led to damage of the physical environment in 2006.
In 2006, SINTEF achieved an 8 percent growth in net operating income. We carried out a total of 6060 projects for 2074 clients. International competition in the R & D market is becoming more intense, and it is strategically important for SINTEF to achieve a strong international position.
A growing proportion of SINTEF’s long-term competence development takes place in connection with participation in EU projects. SINTEF has the largest portfolio of EU research programmes among all Norwegian research centres. Through the EU’s 6th R & D Framework Programme, which lasted from 2003 until 2006, the Group has been involved in nearly 100 projects, with a total value to SINTEF of nearly NOK 500 million. 2007 sees the start of the EU’s 7th Framework Programme, which will last until 2013. SINTEF aims to double its involvement over current levels.
SINTEF’s ambition is to maintain a high level of scientific quality and to be a world leader in selected areas of research. In 2006, the Research Council of Norway introduced its new Centres for Research-based Innovation. These centres are intended to build up or reinforce Norwegian research centres that are working in close collaboration with innovative industrial companies. SINTEF is a member of eight out of a total of 14 of CRIs, and is hosting three of them. This confirms that SINTEF’s research groups maintain a high level of quality, and that they work in close collaboration with industry, NTNU and other research institutions.
In 2006, SINTEF and NTNU adopted a joint strategy with the aim of becoming international frontline institutions together. At research group level, this cooperation is manifested via our Gemini Centres. 2006 saw the opening of a Gemini Centre for solar cell materials, a field in which Norwegian industry and research groups are world leaders. In 2006, SINTEF also strengthened its cooperation with the University of Oslo, and we also cooperate with other Norwegian and international centres of excellence.
SINTEF regards it as an important part of its role in society to create new companies and workplaces based on our research. In 2006, we performed 12 commercialisations of SINTEF technologies via licensing and the establishment of new companies. In 2006, Sinvent also signed a portfolio cooperation agreement with Verdane Capital (formerly Four Seasons Venture), which is one of Scandinavia’s leading venture capital management companies. Verdane Capital bought into a portfolio of spin-off companies that have grown out of SINTEF research groups. The form of cooperation improves the companies’ potential for successful commercialisation of their products, while increasing the resources and possibilities available to SINTEF to develop new spin-off companies.
Potential and challenges for the future
With its high educational level and good national economic situation, Norway enjoys the conditions that could enable it to become an important research nation. With its leading centres of competence, SINTEF is capable of making an active contribution to achieve the aims of the authorities as far as research and development are concerned.
Investment in the Arctic region will bring significant potential benefits, and SINTEF can help to balance the interests of industrial development, long-term resource management and the environment.
Energy and the environment are important topics at global level, in which a great deal of research is being done. SINTEF has built up internationally leading research groups in CO2 treatment and the efficient production of renewable energy, and intends to invest heavily in these areas in the near future.
It is of vital importance that Norway should renew its national infrastructure for research laboratories that are competitive at international level. Developing and equipping laboratories will require major resources, and this is a national task.
- SINTEF’s President Unni Steinsmo: tel. 00 47 930 59 380
- SINTEF’s Vice-president Reidar Bye: tel. 00 47 970 74 306