Norway signs bilateral agreement on science and technology with the United States

12/08/05

Norway will enter into a bilateral agreement on science and technology with the United States. The agreement was signed by the Norwegian Minister of Education and Research in Washington D.C. today, Friday December 9.

Entering into a framework agreement on science and technology with the U.S. will help ensure that Norwegian research groups are in an even better position to exploit the vast opportunities represented by the U.S. within research, technology and research-based economic development, says the Minister of Education and Research, Mr. Oeystein Djupedal. The agreement confirms that Norway wants to have active collaboration with the U.S. in the areas of research and technology.

Many of the world's leading milieus in science and technology are found in the U.S. The relations with the U.S. is a very important part of Norway's international research collaboration, and there is a significant potential to further develop this collaboration. Collaboration with North-America is a priority in Report no. 20 to the Storting (2004-2005) "Commitment to Research". The bilateral agreement may in many respects act as a door opener for Norwegian research interests in the U.S., for instance when it comes to access to research facilities.

The agreement consists of general guidelines for collaboration within science and technology, and does not mention any specific subject areas. In addition, there is an annex on intellectual property and an annex on security obligations. The agreement and the annexes are based on an agreement that the U.S. has used for several other countries, including Finland. Research groups and individuals may still enter into their own bilateral agreements with American research milieus, but the framework agreement will apply unless otherwise agreed in writing.

The agreement is an important step in the follow-up of Strategy for Norway's Scientific and Technological Cooperation with North America. The strategy was prepared by the Ministry of Education and Research in 2004, in consultation with 11 ministries, the Research Council of Norway, the Norwegian Council for Higher Education, Innovation Norway and the Norwegian Industrial Research Institute Association.

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