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Call: Research projects on user-driven innovation in health and welfare

The submission deadline for this call has passed
Application deadline
04.02.2015 13:00
Full call title

Funding for Nordic-Baltic research projects on user-driven innovation in health and welfare


The Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA), the Icelandic Centre for Research (RANNÍS), the Research Council of Lithuania (LMT), and the Estonian Research Council (ETAg), in collaboration with NordForsk, is launching a call for proposals for funding for Nordic-Baltic research projects on user-driven innovation in health and welfare.

The call is being announced under the framework of the Nordic Programme on Health and Welfare. The overall goal of the Nordic Programme on Health and Welfare (hereafter referred to as the Programme) is to improve health in the Nordic countries by finding solutions to societal and public health challenges through high-quality research. This specific call aims to fulfil these goals by applying user-driven innovation approaches in health and welfare research.

Who is eligible to apply?

Researchers and research groups at universities and other public research institutions in the Nordic countries, Estonia and Lithuania are eligible to apply for funding. The Nordic countries are defined here as Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and the Aaland Islands. The formal applicant must be an institution, organisation or other legal entity based in one of the co-funding countries (Estonia, Iceland, Lithuania and Sweden).

Thematic framework

The overall objective of the call is to enhance public health in the Nordic and Baltic countries by finding solutions to societal and public health challenges using a user-driven innovation approach.

Key objectives of the call:

  • Address societal and public health challenges with the help of a user-driven innovation approach in research projects.
  • Explore the use of various innovation concepts such as user-driven and open innovation to support research-driven innovation within the area of health and welfare.
  • Create a platform that supports transnational user-driven innovations. This includes components such as new partnerships, exchange of knowledge and experience, and common resources. The objective of these activities is to stimulate cooperation between research, industry and the public sector, leading to new knowledge and improved working methods.
  • Support the development of new, innovative products, services and concepts. Research and methods should be developed and implemented with a view to their practical impact on businesses and society at large.
  • Obtain critical knowledge about user-driven innovation that is publicly accessible, disseminate information about the development of new tools, methods and processes for active user-centric contexts, and strengthen the competiveness of the Nordic-Baltic user-driven innovation system.

The thematic framework of this call should be interpreted broadly. Proposals may address the distribution of and access to health and welfare, the benefits of user/patient/citizen involvement, and development of technology for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Multidisciplinary research themes are encouraged.

The call will support projects that conduct research and innovation activities and that involve effective interaction between research institutions, the public sector and businesses. The purpose of the funded projects is to establish environments and working methods that increase the competiveness of organisations and enhance the user's capacity to innovate.

Financial framework

The call is funded through a common pot provided by the funding partners, and is administered by NordForsk. The total budget for the call is NOK 11 million, and two to four projects will be granted funding for a period of two to three years. Each project may apply for maximum NOK 6 million.

Funding will be granted for Nordic-Baltic research and innovation collaboration, and this must be described and accounted for in the proposal.

Eligibility criteria
  • The Project Leader must be based at a public research institution in one of the co-funding countries (Estonia, Iceland, Lithuania and Sweden). NordForsk will enter into a contract with this institution, which will be responsible for the administration of the research project. This is also the legal entity to which NordForsk will disburse the grant.
  • Projects must have participants from a minimum of three countries; at least two participants must be from co-funding countries and the third, besides from a co-funding country, may be from a Nordic (non-funding) country.
  • The project should involve effective interaction between research institutions, businesses and the public sector and incorporate active, voluntary user participation. Participants from the private sector who wish to take part in the projects must use their own financing.
  • The research project must have a binding institutional commitment from at least three countries. Letters of intent are required from all partners in the proposal stage.
  • Participants who are not from one of the co-funding countries or from a non-funding Nordic country may be allowed to participate in projects using their own financing as long as the overall aim is to strengthen user-driven innovation in health and welfare in the Nordic and Baltic countries.
  • A budget showing the anticipated total costs of the project, including a specification of the requested funding from NordForsk, must be submitted. The partners' own contributions (cash and in-kind) must also be accounted for in the proposal.
  • Proposals must include plans for dissemination and implementation of the project results, including, if relevant, plans for market orientation.
  • The proposed duration of the research projects must be two to three years.
  • All projects that receive funding from NordForsk must maintain high ethical standards (good research ethics and adequate consideration of ethical questions of relevance to the project). Proposals must include a description of the relevant legal and ethical frameworks and procedures needed to perform the research.
  • In line with its gender policy, NordForsk promotes gender balance among researchers as well as gender perspectives within the research activity as important aspects of research quality. All projects that receive funding from NordForsk must account for how gender perspectives are incorporated or given consideration in the project.
  • Proposals must include plans for contributing to open science in accordance with Science Europe's Principles for the Transition to Open Access to Research Publications. An eligibility check of submitted proposals will be carried out by the NordForsk administration.
Assessment criteria

All proposals must be relevant to the call, must be of excellent scientific quality, and must describe how the Nordic-Baltic cooperation will create added value.

The proposals will be assessed in relation to the following criteria:

  • Relevance relative to the call for proposals;
  • Quality of the grant proposal, including the quality and innovative aspects of the project plan;
  • Competence of the applicants, including scientific merits and output, leadership, and experience and skills related to project management and operation;
  • Research environment (inclusion of relevant environments, cohesion, possibility for specialisation, economy of scale, international strategy and profile);
  • Active user involvement and private and public sector participation;
  • Expected results and impact, including long-term scientific, societal and economic impact of the cooperation;
  • Feasibility and rigour of the project plan in relation to the proposed resources (human resources, budget, schedule);
  • Feasibility of the proposed budget describing the total costs of and overall funding contributions to the research project, including the impact of the funding requested from NordForsk;
  • Added value of the Nordic-Baltic cooperation, including justification as to why the project should be carried out as a joint Nordic-Baltic effort and how the results will benefit the Nordic and Baltic countries;
  • Contribution to open science;
  • Gender perspective of research and gender aspects of the organisation.
Processing of proposals

Proposals should be submitted electronically through the NordForsk Application Portal no later than 4 February 2015 13.00 (CET). Proposals must be submitted in English. No attachments to the proposals are allowed, unless specifically requested in the application form. The application form is based on the eligibility criteria and assessment criteria stated above, and can be found in its complete form at NordForsk Application Portal. In order to access the application form you must register as a user at NordForsk Application Portal and create an application draft.

The NordForsk Board will make the final funding decision late spring 2015 following external peer review performed by an international panel of experts and the subsequent recommendation from a call committee specifically appointed for the call consisting of representatives from its financing bodies. NordForsk's Guidelines on Impartiality will be applied in order to avoid conflicts of interest in prioritisation and funding decisions. The assessment panel will provide written feedback to the applicants via NordForsk. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of the funding decision, and NordForsk will sign contracts with the approved research projects and their host organisations shortly thereafter. Preliminary start-up of projects awarded funding will take place early summer 2015.

Management and organisation

NordForsk will sign a contract with the host institution of the project, and this contract will set out the specific funding rates and details. The grant will be disbursed to this institution, and a consortium agreement regulating the rights and obligations of the various institutions/partners involved in the project must be drawn up. Implementation of the project will be monitored through annual progress reports comprising a scientific progress report and a financial report. A final report must be submitted to NordForsk at the end of the funding period.

The Project Leader will be responsible for the implementation of human resource strategies for researchers in keeping with the basic principles of the EU Charter for Researchers and the EU Code for the Recruitment of Researchers.

Max applied amount (NOK)
Responsible adviser

Lise-Lotte Wallenius, Senior Adviser
+47 915 81 993

Responsible adviser

Maria Nilsson, Senior Adviser
+47 993 80 264

Technical support

For technical support, please contact: or +47 905 51 520

NordForsk, Stensberggata 25, 0170 Oslo, Tlf: +47 476 14 400, E-post:, Organisasjonsnummer: 971 274 255