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New report: Over NOK 3 billion for Nordic COVID-19 research

Arne Flaoyen
The Nordic countries combined have allocated more than NOK 3 billion for COVID-19 research reports NordForsk. The bulk of funding has targeted medical research, and Sweden is by far the largest funder, describes NordForsk in a new report. The report, compiled by NordForsk in the period February–April 2021, encompasses both ongoing and planned initiatives from public as well as private research funders in the Nordic region. Initiatives from 18 public and 13 private organisations are included. It is based on information collected from all public and relevant private research funders in the Nordic countries, states NordForsk. "The overview is not necessarily exhaustive, given that funding announcements and programmes are under constant development and new aspects and needs are continually being identified," adds NordForsk. Quick reactions and opportunities for better coordination “This report shows that the Nordic research funders are capable of reacting quickly to a situation that demands rapid production of new knowledge to address major societal challenges,” says Arne Flåøyen, Director of NordForsk. “The question is whether the system has been sufficiently able to conduct good quality assurance of all these activities planned within such a short time span." "I believe it would have been advantageous to coordinate more activities across the Nordic region and establish more Nordic-wide projects. That would make it easier to cooperate on using data from multiple countries, as well as raise the quality of the research.” Arne Flåøyen also points to the opportunity for better coordination. “The vast majority of these research activities now underway are being carried out within just one country each. I believe it would have been advantageous to coordinate more activities across the Nordic region and establish more Nordic-wide projects. That would make it easier to cooperate on using data from multiple countries, as well as raise the quality of the research.” Read more: Interview NordForsk – The potential of joint Nordic life science efforts Most funding for medical research Fully 58 per cent of the projects are in the realm of medicine and health. A total of NOK 1.9 billion has been allocated for research of this type, states NordForsk in its report. The next largest category is the social sciences, with 23 per cent of projects and NOK 751 million, followed by innovation (10 per cent, NOK 319 million). Large differences by nation The Nordic countries differ greatly in how much and what type of research they are funding. Sweden has allocated NOK 1.552 billion for COVID-19 research, which is 47 per cent of the total NOK 3.3 billion allocated or earmarked for COVID-19 research. Finland has allocated NOK 608 million (19 per cent), Denmark NOK 522 million (16 per cent), Norway NOK 506 million (15 per cent), Iceland NOK  8 million and the Faroe Islands NOK 4 million, while NordForsk and oth
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