The FP participation of Norway has dramatically increased the quality of Norwegian Research and Integration and the competitiveness of the Norwegian participants enhance the possibility of Norwegian participation to succeed internationally. This is the first objective of the government’s strategy. The most critical impact of the Framework Programme participation is arguably gaining access to international networks offering little to no friction with foreign R&I partners and competitors, access to foreign infrastructure, R&I import and markets. Competition and collaboration allow benchmarking that needs a faster way for a continued drive increasing one’s own international R&I competitiveness.
Increased Participation & Acceptance
FP participation has raised Norwegian R&I competitiveness as indicated by an increase in the number of Norwegian-led proposals which have achieved high excellence scores. Similar developments, however, are seen for other countries as well, which means that Norway’s relative position with respect to the rest of the competitors is mostly unchanged during Horizon 2020.
Nevertheless, there still appears to be a slight Norwegian competitiveness that is improving compared to other countries during H2020, as can be seen by a slight increase in the number of proposals that are of sufficient quality to be funded, and in the share of proposals that eventually receive funding. This is a positive change, given that a major improvement with respect to other countries would have been difficult, or even unrealistic, to achieve. The accumulated financial return substantially exceeds the government’s 2% objective, which can be seen as a success.
Impact On Innovation
FP participation has also found to have contributed to an increased innovation capacity, sustainable economic development and value creation. This was the government’s second objective. The interviews and web surveys with company representatives show that FP project participation increased competitiveness, export and commercialisation. Almost half the surveyed companies report that FP participation has led to a more scientific approach to in-house research and integration.
Four out of ten companies have reported increased international competitiveness, and almost one in five companies reported increased commercial benefits. An analysis of the econometry indicates that the immediate impact of FPs participation on company performance, at least until 2018, is largely positive and quite similar to that of companies that participate in RCN projects.
Impact On Productivity
Participation in FP projects has proven to have long-term impacts on productivity by the extension of learning, channels and international collaboration for companies to stay ready when a commercial opportunity arises. The advantages of learning and collaboration are not limited to participating companies only, but can also spill over to other companies and other parts of society in a butterfly effect through linked collaboration, spin-offs, labour mobility, etc. FP participation has also led to more sustainable social development through research and innovation, and improved social welfare that has enabled Norway to deal with significant societal challenges. Of all the government’s objectives, this is the most challenging to assess.