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We design solutions for the future

Unni Steinsmo, President - CEO
One of the most important tasks of research is that of providing solutions to major challenges to society. This is a part of our social duty.

Climate, energy, food, health, clean water, safety and the work-places of the future are major global challenges that affect us all. At SINTEF, our everyday work is dedicated to finding better ways of dealing with these challenges, in line with our vision of “Technology for a better society”.

Good solutions are often found at the interface between different disciplines and in the interactions of players who have different needs and fields of expertise. Here at SINTEF, we have one important strength; we are a large, broadly-based research institute with internationally leading expertise in in several fields. This means that we can assemble strong multidisciplinary teams that are capable of solving complex tasks for our clients.

Furthermore, in the course of more than 60 years, we have developed a model of cooperation based on close collaboration between universities, applied research institutes, industry and the authorities. Our unqualified experience is that this model brings results and creates value.

As a Norwegian research institute, SINTEF’s primary task is to create value and solutions for Norwegian industry and society. We have clients in more than 60 countries all over the world, and we participate in international research arenas, in both competition and cooperation with the very best. This is essential, not least because it enables us to generate knowledge and value for Norwegian industry and local communities.

The European Union is the most important international arena for Norwegian research. Participation in the European Union’s research programmes gives Norwegian research and industry access to the frontiers of international science in areas of very great significance. SINTEF is by far the most important Norwegian participant in the European Union’s research programmes, with a volume greater than the University of Oslo and NTNU together.

In 2014, Horizon 2020, the European Union’s new Framework Programme for research and innovation will launch. The seven-year programme has a budget of around NOK 600 billion. The Norwegian Storting has resolved that Norway will be a full participant in Horizon 2020. This will require Norway to invest a total of BNOK 16 – 18 in the course of the Programme’s seven years.

For Norway, this is an important and necessary investment, which will lead to new possibilities for both the public and private sectors. However, we still face important challenge, which is that the potential for Norwegian research institutes to participate in such programmes is significantly weakened by a combination of European Union regulations and the fact that Norwegian industrial research institutes benefit from much lower grants-in-aid than our foreign competitors. It is therefore of decisive importance that the Norwegian government should further strengthen the STIM EU scheme, so that we can continue to participate in the development of new knowledge and technology platforms.

On this web-site, we present SINTEF’s results for 2013. SINTEF has made good economic progress for several years, but the figures for 2013 show a fall, with a result before tax of MNOK 103, while we invested MNOK 135 in laboratories and research equipment, and MNOK 16 in self-financed research.

Two special circumstances have contributed to this fall. One is the MNOK 11 cost of restructuring SINTEF Petroleum Research and the other is a provision of MNOK 8 for European Union projects, which is due to yet-to-be clarified aspects of the regulations for covering costs.

All in all, we are less than satisfied with our financial results. However, I am proud of the fine work done by all our staff, proud of our good scientific results and proud of the excellent feedback we receive from our clients.