The launch of the EUR 15.3 million research fund between Norway and Poland in September signals the advent of funding support for projects focused primarily on environmental and health issues, and a strengthening of research ties between the two countries. The fund is part of the European Economic Area (EEA) Financial Mechanism, in which EEA-EFTA (European Free Trade Association) countries make funding available for new EU and EEA member nations.
'The fund can make a difference, and I would like to see lasting results from
this mechanism,' said Øystein Djupedal, Norway's Minister of Education
and Research, during the launching ceremony in Warsaw on 26 September, where
he was attended by Polish Minister of Science and Higher Education Prof. Michal Sewerynski,
and several guests.
|The Polish-Norwegian fund targets collaborative research projects.
Image: Alexander Czuperski
Under the European Commission's Sixth Research Framework Programme (FP6), Poland and Norway have participated jointly in almost 250 projects (mainly in the areas of information communication technology, environment and agriculture). The 2 countries were also partners in 14 ERA-NET projects, the Commission's FP6 scheme in support of coordination and cooperation of national and regional programmes at European level.
'This makes Poland one of Norway’s top 12 partners in the Framework Programme,' said Minister Djupedal. 'I am confident that the Polish-Norwegian Research Fund will be a success, and strengthen the relations between our countries even further.'
By 2009, Norway will contribute close to EUR 1.3 billion for the reduction of social and economic disparities in the EEA. Through the EEA Financial Mechanism, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway (3 EEA-EFTA states) will assign a total of EUR 672 million to the 12 countries that have joined the EU since 2004, in addition to Greece, Portugal and Spain.
Through the Norwegian Financial Mechanism, Norway will contribute an additional EUR 567 million to the 10 countries that joined the EU and the EEA in 2004. A further EUR 68 million will be provided by Norway for bilateral cooperation programmes with Romania and Bulgaria.
The first Call for Proposals under the Polish-Norwegian Research Fund has been announced. With a focus on large-scale projects, applicants must be members of the Polish research community, and each project proposal must include at least one Norwegian research partner.
The total amount available for Calls for Proposals is EUR 14.6 million. Within Activity
1, research project beneficiaries may receive grant assistance of up to EUR 2
million for the realisation of the individual research project. Within Activity
2, workshop and seminar beneficiaries may receive grant assistance of up to EUR
20 000 for the realisation of the workshop/seminar.