“This will open up new business opportunities,” stated Sweden’s minister of education. The initiative is part of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ work to ensure Nordic competitiveness in the global market.

The Nordic Council of Ministers has just agreed to aim for high stakes in joint research and innovation.

The research and education ministers will now invest SEK 480 million in the period 2009-2013.

The aim is to achieve a global leading position in environmental technology and climate research.

“This investment will bring the Nordic countries into the front line for climate and environmental research and open up new opportunities for business and investment,” stated the Swedish minister for education, Jan Björklund.

The financial crisis demands investments in new areas of growth. At the same time there is pressure on requirements for adaptation and energy efficiency as a result of the climate crisis.

Joint Nordic solutions are necessary and the new top-level research programme is one common Nordic platform aimed at meeting the challenges of the future.

The total initiative in excellence in research consists of six programmes:

• Effect studies and adjustment to climate changes

• Climate changes interaction with ice, snow and glaciers

• Nanotechnology and energy efficiency

• Integration of wind power on a large scale

• Sustainable bioenergy

• Elimination and storage of carbon dioxide

In addition there will be focus on advanced climate models and Arctic research.

The initiative for top-level research is being led by a Programme Board with members chosen from the five Nordic countries and runs in the first instance until 2013.

The project will be launched in conjunction with the Globalisation Forum on Iceland 26-27 February 2009.

Photo: Minister of Education, Jan Björklund, announced an excellence in research initiative at the Nordic Council Session 2008 Magnus Fröderberg/norden.org

Nordic co-operation on research http://www.norden.org/forskning/sk/index.asp?lang=6