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Nordic countries step up research efforts

The Nordic countries of Europe do not falter in their efforts to stay abreast of competition in research and innovation. Under its ‘initiative for excellence’, the Nordic Council of Ministers has decided to provide an additional 480 million Swedish crowns (about EUR 46 million) for research into environmental technology and climate change in the period between 2009 and 2013. Aimed at meeting the challenges of the future, and also highlighted as a reaction to the financial crisis, the new research excellence programme consists of six ‘chapters’: studies on and adjustment to climate change; climate change interaction with ice, snow and glaciers; nanotechnology and energy efficiency; wind power; sustainable bio-energy; and elimination and storage of carbon dioxide.  In addition, there will be a focus on advanced climate models and Arctic research.

At the same time, the Swedish government is going to make available, under its Research and Innovation Bill, an additional amount of 500 billion Swedish crowns (EUR 480 million) for basic research in the years between 2009 and 2012. Most of the additional funds will flow into the country’s universities. According to recent OECD data, Sweden already has the highest investment in research and development of all 27 EU countries, at 3.82 of GDP, twice as high as the EU average. All Nordic countries are in the top group.

Nordic Council of Ministers
Swedish Ministry of Education and Research