Portrait of Arne Flåøyen, smiling
Arne Flåøyen. Photo: Kurt Gaasø

Evaluation: NordForsk is a relevant and useful platform for Nordic collaboration

The evaluation was carried out by the Danish Technological Institute, commissioned by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

“I am very pleased with the results of the evaluation. I am especially happy that it highlights that NordForsk has become more flexible and is perceived as more relevant to the Nordic countries. The evaluation shows that NordForsk is an efficient and non-bureaucratic organisation that fulfils the objective of strengthening Nordic research cooperation. NordForsk supports research of high scientific quality and helps to ensure that important societal impact created in research collaboration are disseminated,” says Director Arne Flåøyen.

Our overall conclusion is that NordForsk’s organisational performance has been excellent since 2018. NordForsk has complied with the principles adopted by the Nordic Council of Ministers for Education and Research in 2018 by renewing its portfolio, making funding instruments more flexible and adapting its operations even more to the countries' priorities through the Open Invitation mechanism.

Danish Technological Institute

Scope and methods

During the evaluation, the Technological Institute has mapped and assessed:

  • Political relevance
  • Relevance for national research funders/NORDHORCS and NUS
  • Relevance for end-users/researchers in the Nordic region
  • Focus on quality and efficiency in administration
  • Achieved results, outcome and Nordic added value
  • Impact of NordForsk-funded research on Nordic and international society

The methodologic approach for the evaluation has been document analyses, interviews and workshops with key stakeholders in the Nordic Council of Ministers, leaders of the Nordic Research Councils (NORDHORCS) and the Nordic University Cooperation (NUS).

Challenges and recommendations

The evaluation also points to some challenges related to NordForsk's concerning NordForsk’s governance model and portfolio steering, use of Nordic value added and impact assessment and strategic communication.

They point out, among other things, that NordForsk should carry out more systematic studies/evaluations of the programmes and projects regarding more in-depth understanding of Nordic added value.

“The proposals from the Technological Institute are useful, and important for the further development of NordForsk. Some of their proposals are already being implemented, of which the recently published NordForsk Impact Report 2022 is an example. Here we present how NordForsk, through the research we fund, contributes to creating Nordic added value and other types of impact.”

Read the evaluation (norden.org)


Guttorm Aanes. Photo: NordForsk

Guttorm Aanes

Head of Communications