22 September marks the official opening of SINTEFs Brussels Office, located in Brusselhuset, right in the heart of the city’s European Quarter. We will share the premises with NTNU and the University of Bergen.

Why are we opening an office here? Well, the aim is to create many more exciting research projects for Norwegian and European industry, with increased research funding.

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The EU programme Horizon 2020 (H2020) is the largest research and innovation programme in the world. Through it, 70 billion Euros will be allocated over a seven-year period.

Compete on equal footing

Norwegian businesses and research institutes will be able to compete for these funds on an equal footing with applicants from EU countries. The Government hopes that Norwegian projects will net at least 2 per cent of the available funding.

Of all Norwegian research institutes, SINTEF has so far been the most successful in obtaining EU research funding, but we know we can do even better. Norwegian energy researchers are expected to be awarded a total of NOK 600 million per year of the H2020 energy funding.

Creating global energy systems for the future

The vision of SINTEF Energy Research is to create the future’s energy solutions. In other words, our aim is to tackle the challenge of future energy needs not only in Norway but also in Europe and around the world. To do this, we need to work hand-in-hand with European industry and leading international technological institutes. Adequate financing is the life-blood of research and international collaboration is essential for the success of our vision.

Having worked with the EU and the Brussels establishment for some time, Research Director Petter Støa has now moved into our offices in Rue de Trône 61. Petter is to focus on energy research throughout SINTEF, and we believe we will benefit greatly from working alongside NTNU, our close ally in the energy field.

A well-written application is not enough

Carrying on successful research in Europe means more than just writing good applications. You also need to be involved in agenda-setting processes while increasing your involvement in important networks. Having a physical presence in Brussels enables us to do this more effectively, and this is perhaps the greatest benefit of the new office. In Petter Støa’s blog (in Norwegian) he explains how and why we are getting involved in H2020.

Up to now, Petter has been alone in the office in Brussels, but he will soon be joined by representatives from NTNU and UiB. The office will be formally opened on 22 September by Vidar Helgesen, the Norwegian Minister for European Economic Area and EU Affairs.

Need to know more about H2020? SINTEF Energy Research is in charge of the following projects:

GATEWAY: Connecting CO2 from sources in Europe to a central storage site in the North Sea

CEMCAP: CO2 capture for a low-emission cement industry

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