EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Innovation Norway

Phase: Anticipation
  • Access to finance
  • response to COVID-19
  • Support for digitalisation
  • Advice
  • Fostering innovation
  • Matching/Networking
  • Support of companies' growth
  • Support of internationalisation
  • Support of SMEs
  • Territorial coordination
  • Training
Last modified: 03 August, 2021
Оригинални назив:

Innovasjon Norge

Енглески назив:

Innovation Norway


This is available to companies, and to persons planning to or in the process of establishing a company. The typical applicant is a small to medium-sized company. 

COVID-19 response

To cope with the COVID-19 crisis, this instrument has been expanded to provide grants for companies operating in the sectors of local food, of agriculture-related tourism and of the reindeer industry, which are now experiencing a shrinking market and loss of income.

Main characteristics

Innovation Norway is organised as a special legislation company in accordance with the Act relating to Innovation Norway. The stated objective of Innovation Norway is as follows: 'Innovation Norway shall promote industrial development throughout Norway that is profitable from a business and socio-economic viewpoint, and trigger business opportunities for the various districts and regions by contributing to innovation, internationalisation and marketing.' 

Innovation Norway has activities both inside and outside the Norwegian borders. Its range of instruments include:

  • Financial instruments such as loans, guarantees, grants and equity;
  • Networking by establishing and developing regional, national and international networks for individual companies, industries and industry clusters;
  • Competence development measures for entrepreneurs, employees, managers board members and more;
  • Counselling on strategic decisions and dispositions to increase competitiveness;
  • Marketing together with stakeholders within the tourist industry to make Norway an attractive destination;
  • Economical contributions to research and development contracts.
In the strategy for 2020, six goals have been identified:
  • Prioritise areas where Norway has international competitive advantages;
  • Elevate the challenges with global growth potential;
  • Strengthen entrepreneurial and cooperative culture to fuel the jobs of the future;
  • Develop a strong national brand, to increase national competitiveness;
  • Trigger value creation based on regional advantages;
  • Advice and provision of knowledge on future-oriented innovation and industry policy.
COVID-19 response
The parliament granted NOK 4.7 billion (€446.19 million as at 26 August 2020) in extra funding for Innovation Norway in April 2020. The funds are spread over several existing grant schemes, more lucrative loans and two new grant schemes. 
The first new scheme gives companies the opportunity to apply for a second phase of commercialisation funding, on top of the existing 'phase 1' funding. The scheme finances commercialisation of products or ideas in new companies with a strong growth potential, documented marked acceptance and external investors. These projects can be supported with up to 75% for development costs, up to NOK 750,000 (€71,200.78 as at 26 August 2020).
The second new scheme is an extraordinary innovation grant to SMEs with growth potential, covering up to 80% of project cost. The innovation projects can include strategy development, competence development, consulting, pre-projects, investments or implementation of new production or distribution methods, and similar processes. 


    • Regional funds
    • National funds

    Involved actors

    National government
    Funding (Innovation Norway is organised as a statutory agency).
    Regional/local government
    From 2011 onward, the county municipalities co-own the programme.
    Employer or employee organisations
    Employer organisations and trade union confederations are represented on some regional boards.
    Innovation Norway cooperates with all major actors within innovation and business development, such as SIVA, the Research Council of Norway and a number of other actors, among them business organisations promoting exports. Innovation Norway has 15 regional offices. These offices are partners in 'regional partnerships', and cooperate with a number of actors at regional level, among others the municipal counties, industrial parks and 'industrial gardens' (i.e. business parks owned/co-owned by SIVA where several companies are located together); regional networks/efforts set up to help entrepreneurs/promote entrepreneurship, regional business organisations within different sectors.


    In their annual report for 2019, Innovation Norway calculated their own effectiveness by measuring and comparing sales, value creation and productivity among companies that received support from Innovation Norway and companies not having received support. The companies that were granted support in 2017 had 9 % higher sales, 4% higher productivity, 8.3% more value added and 3.1 % higher growth in employment, compared to companies not having received support. Nine out of 10 user companies reported that support from Innovation Norway was decisive in realising innovations. 

    Innovation Norway was evaluated by the government in 2010, looking at the activities between 2004 and 2009. The evaluation report concluded that Innovation Norway contributed to added value in Norway.


    The 2010 evaluation report pointed out that Innovation Norway acts professionally when it comes to providing financial measures. The establishment of Innovation Norway though the merger of several different agencies has led to positive synergies.


    The 2010 evaluation concluded that a greater proportion of the instruments should support innovation projects of national or international character. Its achievement would be strengthened if a larger proportion of its funds was made ​​available to enterprises in key districts.

    Innovation Norway only partly has become a knowledge based organisation and a supplier of terms for national industrial policy. 


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