Medical and health science research is the largest research field in Norway, and activities have increased dramatically in recent years. About 129 million Euro (NOK 7 billion) is invested annually in this type of research.
The increase has taken place both at the level of the hospital trusts and within the higher education sector.
“Continually improving public health is resulting in a larger proportion of elderly among the population. In the years to come, more people will live with complex, chronic conditions,” says Jesper Simonsen, Executive Director of the Division for Society and Health at the Research Council.
“We need more research on diseases that strike many elderly people, such as diabetes, COPD, heart disease, stroke and cancer, and especially Alzheimer’s. We must also increase research and innovation to improve the health services and make them more efficient and to enhance coordination between the various service levels.”
Nordic health research
Denmark allocates the greatest amount of funding to medical R&D at EUR 300 per capita, while Sweden and Iceland invest about EUR 260. This is followed by Norway with about EUR 170 per capita.
The differences between the Nordic countries are mainly a reflection of the size of their individual pharmaceutical industries.
A unique feature of Norway is that it has the largest proportion of medical and health science research conducted by the public sector or the higher education sector, according to a new report on R&D investments in medicine and health sciences in Norway.
The report was commissioned by the Research Council of Norway and drawn up by the Nordic Institute of Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU).