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.
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
Over seven out of ten employees are research scientists
The SINTEF year in brief – 2020
Working from home does not make us less productive
Current research into teamwork is showing that we do not become less productive working from home, provided that we work intelligently and are equipped with tools that enable us to work together with our colleagues. In this article, researchers will be advising us not only on what works, but also on what isn’t so smart.
This hydrogen lorry is powered by sunshine – from the north
Hauliers Asko in Norway, are among the first in the world to operate a goods vehicle that runs on hydrogen made from solar power – thanks to a collaborative effort by research scientists and other players.
Cement factories can put the brakes on global plastic pollution
Researchers believe that plastic refuse can be used as fuel in cement factories in Asia. If this works, it may provide a solution to two of the planet’s biggest environmental problems – plastic in the oceans and high levels of coal consumption.
Norway launches major wind power research centre
December 11th – Today the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Tina Bru, announced an investment of 120 million NOK (11.3 million EUR) in a new wind power research centre in Norway. The NorthWind research centre will be at the cutting edge, working on innovations to make wind power cheaper, more efficient, and more sustainable. One of the centre’s main priorities will be offshore wind research.
Meet the aquaculture industry’s new maintenance bot
This ROV can fully operate on its own, and follow along with fish’s behaviour and health with its Argus eyes – all while keeping a safe distance. It even inspects the technical standard of the enclosure while it’s at it. Say hi to Mr. CageReporter.
Equinor and SINTEF agree a strategic collaboration
Equinor and SINTEF have agreed on a strategic collaboration in four key areas. The areas are offshore wind, marine systems, energy systems and modeling studies related to these areas.
Making ultrasound universally accessible
Currently, ultrasound machines are operated primarily by specialists because it requires extensive experience to interpret the images. Norwegian researchers are aiming to tackle this issue.
The EU battery research project HYDRA kicks off the development of sustainable, next-generation Li-ion batteries for electric vehicles
The EU Horizon 2020 battery research project HYDRA kicked off on September 16th, 2020. The virtual kick-off meeting brought together 12 leading partners from the European battery industry and research community to develop the next generation of sustainable, low-cost, energy-dense Li-ion batteries for electric vehicle (EV) applications.
Ceramic 3D printing for fast, safe and cheaper production of vaccines
The NESSIE research project makes it possible for the first time to produce highly complex vaccines in large quantities at low cost using ceramic 3D printing. The novel process makes vaccines available to countries that previously could not afford the high cost of essential vaccines such as measles or rubella.
Sound beacons support safer tunnel evacuation
Research conducted as part of the project EvacSound demonstrates that auditory guidance using sound beacons is an effective aid during the evacuation of smoke-filled road tunnels. This is good news. It is a fact that vehicle drivers and passengers cannot normally expect to be rescued by the emergency services during such accidents.
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.