From Financial Crisis to Optimism in the Future

– The budget for 2011 shows that the effects of the financial crisis were scaled down. At the same time, there is an increased focus on measures that contribute to an innovative, knowledge-based and environmentally friendly industry, “said Trade and Industry Minister, Trond Giske.

He points out that Norway has fared better than most other countries through the financial crisis:

– To ensure the basis for its good welfare system, it will also, in the longer term, be a need for a sufficient competitive sector of our economy. It is therefore important to maintain our competitiveness, primarily by bringing a responsible economic policy.

Trade and Industry Ministry's budget for 2011 is 7.46 billion. Main Priorities:

• Innovation Norway

A total of 1.47 billion. The funds will contribute to innovation, internationalization and branding.

• Industry-Relevant Research

A total of 2.18 billion. 1.37 billion funding for the Research, 285 million for research and development contracts under Innovation Norway and 558 million for research and development in space activities.

• Environmental technology

Above Trade and Industry Ministry's budget, the Government proposes to allocate NOK 267 million for this purpose. This is an increase of 127 million from the consolidated budget of 2010.

• North

This is the Government's main strategic priority. Within the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Department budget priority bioprospecting, tourism, maritime operations, space-related infrastructure and mineral industry. It proposes, among other things, to increase its focus on bioprospecting to 29 million. Furthermore, it is proposed to increase the allocation for the Geological Survey at 25 million to collect geophysical and geological basic data in the three northernmost counties.

• GIEK

To ensure favorable conditions for export-oriented industry, the government continues the increased limits under warranty Guarantee Institute for Export Credits (GIEK): For the general scheme of 120 billion and developing countries the system of 3.15 billion. Warranty frame for construction loans to ships, vessels and offshore installations is proposed to 6.5 billion.

• Maritime industries

Government's commitment to maritime industries was continued. The budget for 2011 proposes, among other things, allocated 182.6 million kroner for maritime research and development and 1 645 million to the scheme for employment of seafarers.

Weak Research Budget

On the other hand, The NHO – Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise finds the proposed budget for research and innovation too weak.

NHO chief John G. Bernander suggested that the budget proposal is too little to strengthen Norway as an attractive country for research and innovation.

– It is important that the budget is tight, according to the guidelines, but this rule also implies that the maneuver will be used for growth promotion, including research. As in previous years, NHO believes that too little room for maneuver was used for research and innovation, “said NHO's Managing Director.

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