Norway: "Revised national budget does not prioritise research"

The Norwegian Government has presented its Revised National Budget for 2006, and The Norwegian Association of Researchers claims there is little actual increase of research funding: "We expect the Government to strengthen research investments considerably in their national budget for 2007," the Association states on its webpages.
The Norwegian Association of Researchers points out that Norway is lacking behind in its research funding despite the fact that Norway has committed itself to increase the research investments to 3 percent of GDP by 2010.

In their statement the Norwegian Association of Researchers disapprove of the fact that the need of extra funding in the donation addition programme will now be covered by the 100 million NOK intended for the long-term basic research funding of the Research Council of Norway. The Norwegian Association of Researchers claims this was not the intention when the donation system was established, and they want the need for extra funding to come from new allocations instead.

The donation addition system guarantees that the State adds 25 percent to private donations for research in order to stimulate more private donations for research, which has not been as usual in Norway as in many other countries.

The Director General of the Research Council of Norway, Arvid Hallén, says the donation addition programme has been a great succsess:
"It is encourageing that so many donations have been made to research. The hope for the future is of course that this will inspire to further private funding of research and that it will create increased interest for the importance of long-term basic research."

He refers to the one donor who gave 450 million NOK to Norwegian research. Because of this great donation there was a need to triple the 50 million NOK originally allocated for the purpose. This is the reason why the Ministry of Education and Research now proposes to reallocate the 100 million NOK originally intended for long-term research.
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