CIP program is now about halfway through the program period and the Norwegian participation have been audited. The evaluation shows that participation in CIP provides learning for policy development in Norway and the Norwegian authorities have strengthened their professional network in the Commission and the participating member countries by sending national experts to the European Commission.
However, Norway has fallen behind the other Nordic countries in terms of project participation and access to financing.
Lack of Norwegian business participation was attributed to limited use of financial resources and largely overlapping nature of CIP with the tools available in national convention, Innovation Norway.
CIP is a 6-year EU program for the period of 2007-2013. The goal of the program is to strengthen innovation and competitiveness in European industry, creating an innovative and inclusive information society and promote efficient energy use and increased use of renewable energy in Europe. The program has a particular focus on small and medium sized businesses.
Norwegian parliament discussed and decided Norway's participation in the CIP on 8 May 2007 and Norway was formally included in the CIP from 30 June, 2007. CIP has a budget of approximately 3.6 billion euros for the period 2007-2013. The total contingent liability for the Norwegian participation in the CIP is estimated to be approximately NOK 625 million or an average of approximately Euro 89 million per year.
The program is currently carried out under these sub-programs:
• Innovation and Entrepreneurship program (CIP-EIP)
• The application of Information and Communications Policy (CIP ICT-PSP)
• Energy Program (CIP-IEE).
Trade and Industry Ministry has overall responsibility for coordinating the Norwegian participation in the program and is responsible for activities on innovation and entrepreneurship pillar. Oil and Energy Ministry is responsible for the energy field, while the Ministry of Government Administration and Church Affairs is responsible for the ICT pillar.