Norway has top-notch research groups in biology, medicine and health sciences, but they would benefit from making even better use of the national health registries and biobanks.
In the course of 2011, more than 60 international experts carried out an evaluation of the Norwegian research communities for biology, medicine and health sciences. It is the largest subject-specific evaluation thus far conducted under the auspices of the Research Council of Norway; nearly 400 research groups were reviewed and appraised. The findings have now been submitted in seven review-panel reports and a joint evaluation report that integrates their findings, conclusions and recommendations.
Norway has large-scale national health registries, good biobanks, and health surveys extending across many years. These, in combination with the national personal identity number system, make it possible for Norwegian researchers to carry out research at the international forefront. Many of the research groups that receive top marks in the evaluation are among those that have successfully capitalised on this potential. The international evaluators recommended that even more groups take advantage of the potential afforded by this valuable data material.