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Funding call for new strategic research initiatives

The regional collaboration body between Helse Vest, the University of Bergen, the University of Stavanger and the University of Western Norway has set aside funds for the establishment of new strategic research initiatives in Helse Vest. Funds for the period 2025 to 2029 will be announced with a deadline the 7th of June 2024. There is a minimum limit of NOK 30 million per year for allocation to new strategic initiatives.

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Overall goal setting

The purpose of the research funds is that they should contribute to ensuring research activity in the healthcare environment, and increase the productivity, quality, and usefulness of the research. The research funds must be an incentive and financial contribution to ensure research and the development of research competence in the health enterprise. The following requirements are set for projects that apply for funds for the thematic areas, see also Principle for strategic initiatives .

Strategic initiatives must be more than an ordinary research project

The initiatives must increase knowledge within the research field in question, but also set a direction and influence or contribute to improving the health service and/or society as a whole (impact).

Regional cooperation

The initiatives must cover the entire region, and it is expected that the initiatives will include all relevant environments in the region. If this is not possible, reasons must be given in the application. Collaborative surfaces and the various environments/institutions' contribution to the initiative must be stated in the application and must be shown in the budget and list of participants.

Build expertise and networks

The strategic initiatives must set a long-term goal of building expertise and networks within the subject area in question with transfer value/learning also for other areas of study. The application should, among other things, describe how you will build expertise and networks during the project period, and outline how you will continue to be strategic players together beyond the project period.


What can be applied for?

Thematic area

The health authority, the universities, the university and the private non-profit institutions that have an agreement with Helse Vest were invited in January 2024 to come up with proposals for new strategic investment areas. Based on these proposals, the regional cooperation body for research and innovation has decided to call for funds for strategic initiatives in four areas.

  • Children and young people with complex and long-term health problems
  • Use of artificial intelligence and health data to improve health services
  • Health services research for better digital and holistic health services
  • New forms of treatment

Applications can be made for up to 4 million annually for 3-5 years. The funds can be used to ‘buy-out’ or backfill clinicians time (with up to 50% of the position during the entire investment period), research support personnel, operating funds and fellowship positions (doctorate and postdoctoral). Personnel financed by the funds must be employed in a health enterprise in the region or a private non-profit institution that has an agreement with Helse Vest.


Projects that require the development or improvement of the IT system in Helse Vest must highlight this in the application and describe how this is intended to be taken care of and planned. If applicable, the secretariat will obtain an assessment from Helse Vest IKT as part of the assessment of the application.


Who can apply - organizations?

The regional initiatives must be applied for from a healthcare company or a private, non-profit institution in the region. It is the health authority that is responsible for the investment of funding. The health initiative also gets a special responsibility for further developing the established research environment in the region even after funding from the regional cooperation body has ended. The project manager must be employed by a healthcare organization in the region or a private non-profit institution that has an agreement with Helse Vest.


If the employment requirements are not met, persons employed at universities and colleges in the region, as well as private drug and rehabilitation institutions with an agreement with Helse Vest, can still apply if there is an organizational agreement with a healthcare or a private, non-profit institution. The organizational agreement must clarify how the project manager's role and responsibilities are to be handled in the applicant institutions' management line.

Template for the project description

See template for the project description


Application form


Application process

If the application is within the subject matter of the call for proposals and meets the guidelines for strategic initiatives, the application is sent to an external assessment committee which evaluates the applications according to scientific quality and usefulness.

Note that it is open for several initiatives to be established under the same overall theme.

The final decision on the award is made by the regional cooperation body for research and innovation on the basis of the recommendation from the external committee and available funds. A decision can be expected in November 2024.

Questions can be directed to forskningsmidler@helse-vest.no .

Last updated 5/7/2024