Nordic research infrastructure cooperation
Nordic research infrastructure cooperation is a strategic priority for NordForsk, as a means of enhancing research quality and impact. The focus is on actions to increase joint Nordic use and access to RI at the national, Nordic and international levels.
The Nordic Research Infrastructure Co-operation Committee (NRICC) was appointed by the NordForsk Board in 2016. Its primary objective is to support joint Nordic research infrastructure efforts and to highlight the potential Nordic added value inherent in such collaboration. The committee serves in an advisory capacity to the NordForsk Board on issues relating to research infrastructure. The committee’s activities include examining Nordic funding mechanisms for research infrastructure; ways to expand the use of, and access to, research infrastructure across national borders; and, ultimately, how to strengthen international cooperation.
|Riitta Maijala||Vice President||Finland||The Academy of Finland|
|Solveig Flock||Director||Norway||The Research Council of Norway|
|Björn Halleröd (Chair 2021)||Secretary General||Sweden||The Swedish Research Council|
|Margrét Helga Ögmundsdóttir||Chair||Iceland||National Infrastructure Fund|
|Johnny K Mogensen||Head of Division||Denmark||Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education|
NordForsk funds Nordic research infrastructure cooperation through open calls for proposals announced via the NordForsk newsletter.
NordForsk’s activities within Nordic research infrastructure cooperation has been initiated following recommendations from advisory groups such as the NORIA-net Nordic Research Infrastructure Network (NRIN), the NOS organisations and the present NRICC committee.
Nordic RI Hubs
The overall objective of the NordForsk call for Nordic Research Infrastructure Hubs is to strengthen international competitiveness and facilitate the development of world-leading Nordic research infrastructure environments. Seven RI hubs were funded in 2020.
NordForsk hosts the Nordic e-Infrastructure Collaboration (NeIC), an organisation that facilitates the development and operation of high-quality e-Infrastructure solutions in areas of joint Nordic interest. The NeIC is a distributed organisation consisting of technical experts from academic high-performance computing centres across the Nordic countries.
Registers and Biobanks
NordForsk has during the years focused on activities to facilitate Nordic cooperation on register and health data. Working groups such as the NORIA-net on Registers and Biobanks and NOS-M have been central. More recently focus has been on how health data could be FAIR and shared in the Nordic region in research, innovation and health care: The Nordic Commons.
Joint Nordic Neutron Research Initiative
The Joint Nordic Neutron Research Initiative’s objectives are to increase the number of Nordic-region researchers skilled at utilising neutrons in scientific analysis, as well as raise the competency level regarding neutron scattering, particularly among younger researchers and other groups without extensive experience in this field. The programme is designed to support long-term use of the European Spallation Source (ESS) among the Nordic countries. The ESS is one of the priority European Research Infrastructures identified by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI).
NordForsk also serves as the secretariat for the Joint Committee of the Nordic Research Councils for Natural Sciences (NOS-N) and the Joint Committee of the Nordic Medical Research Councils (NOS-M). The NOS organisations are collaborative bodies for the national research councils in the Nordic countries and RI issues are often on their agendas.
Nordic eScience Globalisation Initiative (NeGI)
The Nordic eScience Globalisation Initiative (NeGI) promoted Nordic collaboration on eScience through focused efforts on eScience research and graduate education. The NeGI also took part in the development of research collaboration and Open Science. In 2014, three Nordic Centres of Excellence and three projects were awarded funding under the NeGI initiative.
The NeGI Programme is not longer open for calls.
NordForsk has provided support to Nordic research infrastructure networks that strengthen Nordic cooperation on specific, large-scale international research infrastructure projects, including efforts to increase joint Nordic use of international research facilities.
The aim is for the networks to become a Nordic platform, thereby facilitating more coordinated Nordic participation in international RI projects. Several of the networks have focused on Nordic coordination in connection with ESFRI Roadmap projects.
Most of the RI networks were active 2014-2016
Nordic networks targeting international research infrastructure projects
- Kjetil Taskén, University of Oslo: Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine – coordinated action as a translational research infrastructure
- Göran Karlsson, University of Gothenburg: Nordic NMR Network
- Taina Pihlajaniemi, University of Oulu: Nordic Infrastructure for Mouse Models (NorIMM)
- Sanna Sorvari, University of Helsinki: Research Infrastructure Network for Nordic Atmospheric and Earth System Science
- Bente Maegaard, University of Copenhagen: Nordic CLARIN Network
- Jón Egill Kristjánsson, University of Oslo: NordicESM
- John Eriksson, Åbo Akademi University: Bridging Nordic Imaging – Enabling Discoveries from Atoms to Anatomy
- Mikael Elofsson, University of Helsinki: Nordic Chemical Biology Consortium
- Tomas Lundqvist, MAX IV and Adrian Rennie, Uppsala University: Coordinated and enhanced usage of neutron and synchrotron techniques
- Kristian Hveem, Norwegian University of Science and Technology: Nordic Biobank Initiative
- Dag Kiberg, Norwegian Social Science Data Services: Making Nordic Health Data Visible
- Bengt Persson, Linköping University: Nordic ELIXIR
When properly coordinated, Nordic registers and biobanks provide policy-makers and other actors with new, research-based knowledge. Nordic register-based research attracts international interest and has the potential to achieve a world-leading position. NordForsk therefore facilitates activities to increase the use of the unique data registries and biobanks in and among the Nordic countries, thereby strengthening Nordic cooperation on register-based research.
The NORIA-net on Registers and Biobanks working group (2011–2014) focused in the publication Joint Nordic Registers and Biobanks - A goldmine for health and welfare research on overcoming existing obstacles that impede Nordic data-sharing and proposed ways of enhancing coordination to strengthen Nordic register-based research.