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Norway ties basic research to societal issues

Forskningsrådet, Norway’s research council, has presented a policy document that aims to connect blue-sky research to thematic programmes.

The document, published on 21 November, says that basic research will be a “mainstay” of programmes that tackle societal challenges such as climate change, energy and health. The advantages of basic research need to be exploited more fully when addressing these challenges, Forskningsrådet said, promising to establish “adequate financial frameworks” to promote this.

“In Norwegian debate, our instruments supporting basic research and our programmes addressing societal challenges are polarised. In this document we try to connect the two objectives,” says Arvid Hallén, the director-general of Forskningsrådet. “For many years we haven’t had a proper document on how we want to support long-term basic research, and that’s what this document gives us.”

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