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Annual Report 2020

Annual Report 2020

The ‘Year of Corona’ went better than we feared

The global crisis triggered by the corona virus pandemic is having a major impact on our everyday activities, and on economies and security across the world. The pandemic has shown us the importance of research, collaboration and the sharing of data – not least in connection with infection prevention, the development of vaccines and the use of digital technologies. It has demonstrated how crucial it is to exploit the major opportunities opening up in the global economy to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable society.

For us at SINTEF, our results for last year have been much better that we feared when the pandemic took hold in the spring of 2020. We have every reason to be grateful to all those who have made this possible. This include the public authorities, who have taken control of the situation and enabled business to continue to innovate throughout the crisis. We must also thank SINTEF’s employees throughout the organisation who have made heroic efforts in a very demanding situation.

All this has enabled SINTEF to continue with our research and innovation work with undiminished strength towards a green and digital restructuring of society. Measured in net sales, SINTEF has delivered research and development at the same levels as in 2019. We have achieved a highly satisfactory financial result while at the same time recording the highest levels of client satisfaction since measurements began. This means that at the start of 2021, SINTEF is in many ways in a stronger position than it was just one year ago.

We are also seeing, on an almost weekly basis, that major econ-omies such as the EU, USA and China are announcing ambitious targets for climate change mitigation, health, digitalisation and innovation. We also note that they are investing enormous resources in research with the aim of restoring levels of activity following the pandemic, and at the same time transitioning to sustainable and digital societies for the future. This will present challenges to smaller countries such as Norway and will put great demands on our ability to accelerate the transition here and to develop a more diverse economy after decades of dominance by the oil and gas industry. In this context, it is interesting that investment in research being made by Norwegian business, measured as a percentage of GNP, has traditionally been lower than in those countries with which we compete. This is why SINTEF is making every effort to express our views on what we believe is a sound and progressive research and innovation policy that will trigger businesses’ ability to innovate.

Portrett Alexandra Bech Gjørv Konsernsjef
Alexandra Bech Gjørv, Konsernsjef SINTEF (Foto: Terje Trobe / SINTEF

This ability to innovate is crucial if we are to meet the major chal-lenges that await us in the future. We must succeed in exploiting the opportunities offered by digital technology and promote a radical restructuring of the global energy and food supply systems, of logistics and of patterns of consumption. We must also develop sustainable and secure communities in the face of demographic change, a circular economy, user-adapted services and new solutions for health and mobility. All this and more is being addressed by our research scientists at SINTEF – each and every day.

Here at SINTEF, we shall continue in 2021 to offer our expertise and laboratories with the aim of meeting these major challenges, in close collaboration with our clients, the public authorities and all our other partners.

Alexandra Bech Gjørv,


SINTEF is one of Europe’s largest independent research organisations. Every year we carry out several thousand projects for customers large and small.

We deliver innovation by developing knowledge and technologies that are brought into practical use.

SINTEF is a broad, multidisciplinary research organisation with international top-level expertise in the fields of technology, the natural sciences, medicine and the social sciences. We conduct contract R&D as a partner for the private and public sectors, and we are one of the largest contract research institutions in Europe.

Our vision is Technology for a better society.

Research and innovation for clients all over the world

2000 employees, 75 nationalities, 3400 clients, 4.6 out of 5 client satisfaction, 6800 projects

Over seven out of ten employees are research scientists

76% Research scientists, 12% management and administration, 8% engineers, 5% technical personnel

The SINTEF year in brief – 2020

The Board of Directors’ Report

The year 2020

2020 was dominated by both health- and market-related challenges that were a direct result of the corona pandemic. Thanks to a massive effort by our employees, excellent communication with our clients, and sound measures carried out by the authorities and funding agencies, it was possible for research and innovation activities to continue unabated towards a green and digital restructuring of society. SINTEF delivered research and development that was equivalent in terms of gross sales to approximately the same levels as in 2019. We also achieved a satisfactory financial result.
In many ways, the sum of all our hard work, correct prioritisations and targeted actions, has enabled SINTEF to emerge from the crisis stronger at the start of 2021 than it was twelve months before.

Key figures

Fig: Revenue sources, employees, publications



Figure: Gender equality

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