The aim of the challenge call is to establish innovative solutions through cooperation across Nordic borders and value chains. Here, innovative solutions can be business models, products, methods, or other concrete initiatives that meet the challenge. This call is a part of the Sustainable Ocean Economy program (2021-2024), the objective of which is to make the Nordics a leading region in the development of a sustainable ocean economy.
Nordic Innovation offers funding for two (2) projects amounting to 3 MNOK each, to be completed by the end of 2024.
The Sustainable Ocean Economy is a priority in many international and national policy settings. The OECD has a dedicated Ocean Economy Group working to enable technologies for sustainability in the ocean economy, increase ocean industry foresight and build knowledge and innovation networks. In the European Union, the Sustainable Ocean Economy is a vital component of the European Green Deal and the Recovery Plan for Europe, as well as a critical way of meeting global climate targets. In the Horizon Europe 2021-2027 framework “Restore Our Ocean and Waters” is one of five missions. The Sustainable Ocean Economy is also prioritized within the Nordic co-operation, and it is one of Nordic Innovation’s current work programs. Read more about the Sustainable Ocean Economy program on Nordic Innovation’s website.
Within this program, Nordic Innovation is focusing on ocean biomass. Here, there are a lot of innovative activities already going on, as well as strong Nordic know-how and huge future potential. The activities follow from a mapping of strongholds published in November 2021 (see here).
This challenge call aims to strengthen Nordic ocean-based industries by promoting cross-border collaboration and by creating new opportunities for growth, collaboration, and innovation in the region.
In 2022 Nordic Innovation financed four pre-projects on ocean biomass through an open call. Although it is expected that the consortia responsible for those projects will participate in this challenge call, they will not be given advantages in the evaluation of proposals in this call.
Building on Nordic added value, this challenge call seeks to establish innovative solutions through cooperation across Nordic borders and value chains. Innovative solutions can for example be business models, products, methods, or other concrete initiatives that meet the challenge. Proposals can include testing of new solutions, however, please note that basic research is outside the scope of this challenge call.
Nordic Innovation wants to speed up the transition to a more sustainable, innovative, and interconnected ocean economy. The overarching objective of the challenge call is to promote sustainable growth, innovation, entrepreneurship, and the global competitiveness of the Nordic Ocean Biomass industry.
Additional objectives could include developing lasting value propositions for the global ocean biomass market or scaling up Nordic initiatives and businesses and accessing new markets.
Who Can Apply
Applicants must be Nordic consortia, each headed by a Nordic Lead Partner. A Nordic consortium consists of partners from at least three different Nordic countries.1 Consortium partners from countries outside the Nordic region are welcome to participate, but only partners from Nordic countries can receive funding from Nordic Innovation.
The partners can be:
- Companies (SMEs and larger companies)
- Public sector organizations (e.g. regulators, procurers, innovation ecosystems)
- Cluster organizations
- Business networks
- Innovation institutions
As we emphasize the significance of active participation of industry actors, consultancies should not take the role of project leader.
The deadline for submitting a proposal is 29 March 2023.
Proposals must describe:
- What challenge is to be addressed
- How it will be addressed
- The anticipated benefit for the Nordic region
Proposed solutions can be anything from new instruments or production methods for seaweed to new market opportunities for biomass products—to name just two examples.
Nordic Innovation encourages participants to collaborate across sectors.
Please include a short summary of the project. This summary may be published on Nordic Innovation’s website.
The submitted challenge call proposal shall consist of (1) a Proposal Document and (2) a Complete Budget.
The Proposal Document shall:
- Not be longer than 10 A4 pages
- Clearly address the evaluation criteria
- Be written in English
- Be submitted as a single PDF file.
The proposal document may include curricula vitae for project participants as part of the 10 A4 pages.
The Complete Budget shall:
- Make use of Nordic Innovation’s standard budget template. (Please contact Innovation Adviser Emil Gejrot)
- Provide information on all partners and the whole project period
- Be in Norwegian kroner (NOK)
- Be signed by all project partners.
Partners receiving funding under this call shall be entities registered in a Nordic country.
The project contract will make use of Nordic Innovation standard template. The contract will be between Nordic Innovation and the Lead Partner. Nordic Innovation’s standard terms and conditions will be a part of the project contract.
All proposals that meet the formal requirements will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
- How does the proposal provide Nordic companies with new business opportunities, sustainable growth, more innovation, more entrepreneurship, and access to new markets?
- How does the proposal enable innovation across ocean economy sectors?
- How does the proposal address the program’s agenda, Vision 2030 for Nordic Cooperation, and the Sustainable Development Goals?
- How will impact and results be sustained after the project period?
Nordic Added Value (25%)
- What is the Nordic added value of the proposal (i.e., what is the benefit of carrying it out at the Nordic level rather than the national or regional level)?
- How does the proposal contribute to making the Nordic region leading in ocean biomass industries?
Value for money (15%)
- Is the total budget and cost structure realistic and in line with the project’s ambitions?
- To what extent will funding from Nordic Innovation enable activities that would otherwise not have been carried out in the same manner? (I.e., incentive effect)
- What is the potential economic impact on Nordic ocean biomass industries?
- A high degree of own investment in the project will be assessed positively as it demonstrates commitment to the project.
Consortium capacity (10%)
- How is the competence of the consortium demonstrated?
- How are the roles and responsibilities of the project partners described?