Industrial Research and Development Contracts (IRD)

The Industrial Research and Development Program is a strategic grant programme offered to both industry and the public sector. The objective is to promote the development of new products, services and solutions for the national and international market.

IRD has two main directions
  • Industrial research and development contracts is a binding agreement between one or more innovative Norwegian SMEs and a pilot customer (foreign or Norwegian) or a public entity;
  • Public research and development contracts is a binding development agreement between one or more innovative Norwegian companies and Norwegian government entities, i.e. municipalities, counties, state agencies, hospitals or the military sector.

The cooperation must be a genuine partnership where both parties contribute with the resources and competence necessary to carry out successful industrial development projects. The pilot customer should be a “demanding customer” in the sense that the development of the new product or service requires high competence and industrial R&D skills.

Funding opportunity
Innovation Norway has an annually budget of nearly MNOK 300 for IRD projects and the average funding per project is MNOK 1.5. The size of the grant is assessed from project to project, depending on what is needed to trigger the projects and of the limitations given by the EU state aid rules.

Within the two main approaches one can either submit an application to a preliminary search (involves analyses and assessments needed to take the decision to implement the main project) or apply directly to the main project. The following funding rates are applicable:

Small enterprises (< 50) Medium-sized enterprises (50-250) Large enterprises (>250)
Preliminary study / pre-project 40% 50% 40%
R&D-development / prototyping 45% 35% 25%
The support for R&D projects can be increased by 15% if there is a real collaboration between two independent partners and one of them is an SME, and none of the companies is holding more than 70% of the total budget. Maximum project duration for a R&D project is three years.

Evaluation criteria
Each project proposal will be evaluated according to the following:
  • Degree of innovation and novelty
  • Market potential and profitability
  • Capacity of implementation, technical and financial capability
  • Collaboration, individual partners
  • Project impact
  • Environmental impact
  • Female Profile
  • Social responsibility ('Corporate Social Responsibility')

Programme homepage: Industrial Research and Development Program

Nordic Innovators has good experience with this type of applications and can assist in all aspects of the application process. Please contact Kenneth Junge Hermansen on +45 3120 5538 or write an e-mail to kjh@nordicinnovators.dk to learn more about how we can help realise your R&D project.