<
<
Annual Report 2019

Annual Report 2019

Summary and key figures

2019 was the first year of operations for the newly-merged Norwegian Research Centre AS, NORCE. The year was strong from a scientific perspective, but financially challenging, as expected. Several large and international projects, and a new research infrastructure provide a strong foundation for further development.

The parent company at NORCE reported an operating income of NOK 939 million in 2019, which is an increase of NOK 83 million, compared with the year before, as a result of the merger with NORUT and Uni Research Polytec in 2019. At the same time, the parent company had an operating deficit of NOK 55 million.

It is NORCE's ambition that the research is of a high scientific standard, and in 2019 NORCE published 444 scientific publications. The research and innovation that is conducted is important to policy, administration, the business sector, and civil society.

The group's operating income increased, from NOK 1 061 million in 2018 to NOK 1 385 million last year, mainly as a result of the new research companies becoming part of the NORCE group in 2019. The parent company’s deficit was a contributing factor to the group's operating deficit of NOK 32.8 million.

NORCE has reported a profit for the parent company and the group of NOK 3.4 million and NOK 45.3 million, respectively, for 2019.

Increased cooperation with the four owner universities, international ventures, and even closer collaboration with the business and public sectors in every region provides a good foundation for further development of research and innovation along the entire coast, from north to south. Merging seven companies was a comprehensive and demanding process, but puts NORCE in a stronger position, with breadth in the disciplines and strong research communities in order to win large projects and centres.

Organisation

NORCE builds on the legacy of the research institutes Agderforskning, Christian Michelsen Research (CMR), International Research Institute of Stavanger AS (IRIS), Norut – Northern Research Institute, Uni Research Polytec, Uni Research and Teknova. The largest stakeholders in NORCE are the four universities in Bergen, Stavanger, Agder and Tromsø, either as direct owners or through regional holding companies. Other stakeholders are counties and municipalities, research foundations, and companies in industry and finance.

Strategy

NORCE devised its first strategy, which was adopted by the board, in August 2019. Its ambition is to create a large and effective research institute that is a national and international leader in selected areas. NORCE will work to:

  • Contribute to change and innovation in the private and public sectors.
  • Strengthen research-based innovation and development.
  • Increase its national and international competitiveness.
  • Increase use of its competence across disciplines and sectors.
  • Increase its chances when competing for EU research funding.

Research at NORCE

NORCE's research activities are organised under six departments: energy, health, climate, the environment, society, and technology. In 2019, the departments established and developed units and started working on departmental strategies. A number of measures were also implemented in order to strengthen cooperation between departments across disciplines and geography. The company's four strategic priority areas are:

  • Sustainable Energy Production,
  • Sustainable Oceans and Coasts,
  • Climate Challenges, and
  • Safe Communities.

The departments have collaborated on new project applications to the Research Council of Norway and the EU.

Dissemination

It is NORCE's ambition that the research is of a high international standard, and in 2019 NORCE published 444 scientific publications worth a total of 422.92 publication points. Sixty-four per cent of these are Open Access publications.

Finances

NORCE had an operating deficit at the parent company, as a result of a decline in income from parts of the operations, combined with increased operating expenses. Several of the companies that were merged into NORCE had poor finances, and part of the purpose of merging with a larger unit was to exploit synergies in order to achieve sounder and more stable finances.

The profit for the year for the parent company was NOK 3.4 million, impacted by the profit from the sale of investments and dividends from subsidiaries. The profit for the year for the group was NOK 45.3 million, which was generally characterised by financial profits from subsidiaries in connection with the sale of investments.

Key financial figures 2019
Parent companyGroup
Operating incomeNOK 938 millionNOK 1 385 million
Operating profit/lossNOK -55 millionNOK -32.8 million
Equity NOK 410 millionNOK 433 million
Equity share47 %38 %

It is proposed that the deficit at the parent company be covered by other equity. The parent company's liquidity was satisfactory at the end of 2018.

HSE

NORCE's objective is that all activities must take place without harming people and assets, and with a minimal negative impact on the environment.

NORCE's sick leave in 2019 was 4.3%.

Diversity, inclusion, and professional development

At the end of the year, the parent company NORCE had 773 employees, amounting to 629.3 full-time equivalents.

NORCE has employees from 49 different nations. This is an advantage, and a sign that NORCE is an attractive employer, also outside Norway, and is culturally and internationally diverse.

The staff at every department is highly competent, and 314 of the parent company's researchers hold doctorates. The company also has a number of employees in part-time positions that hold doctorates.

Future prospects

Increased cooperation with the four owner universities, international ventures, and even closer cooperation with the business and public sectors in every region provides a good foundation for further development of research and innovation along the entire coast, from north to south. The comprehensive merger of seven companies is demanding, but gives NORCE a stronger position, with breadth in the disciplines and strong research communities in order to win large projects and centres.