Funding for innovation hubs amid Covid-19

Published by Oslo Business Region, 28 May 2020

Here are support initiatives that are relevant for incubators, accelerators, coworking and hubs securing growth and innovation. We are collaborating closely with Oslo municipality, Innovation Norway, Investinor, Siva and The Research council of Norway to continuously keep information updated about different funding sources that could be relevant.

The City of Oslo

1. Smart Oslo - Support for test and development projects

The application amounts can vary between NOK 50 000 - 1 000 000. The support degree is 50% meaning that 50% needs to be funded by equity.

Target group
Businesses that have solutions for the municipality needs regarding city development, mobility, construction buildings, energy systems and welfare. The municipality can apply for development of new solutions, products and services together with business or research or knowledge community. It needs to be a solution that is needed from the municipality. The goal is to bring innovation while providing more jobs and growth companies.
Apply here

2. Internal business education (Bedriftsintern opplæring)

Maximum NOK 400 000 for training and additional employees salary cost during the training. For example, covers course costs and also the salary for employees going through the training/education. This is to avoid employees to get laid off in a change process. The funds cannot be used on normal or obligatory courses/certificates. The course can be funded up to 26 weeks. Degree of project financing is 90%, meaning 10% must be covered by own equity.

Target groups
All companies that are not owned or financially supported by the municipality can apply if they have a high need of training employees. This is for companies that go through huge change processes and needs to educate employees during the change. It can be several businesses going together or clusters.

How to make a great application:
- Explain the explicit need for training/course because of changed situations,
- Describe how this the course can prevent layoffs,
Apply here

3. Regional innovation program

The Regional Innovation Program is a tool for innovation and business development in the Oslo Region, which is normally jointly managed by the City of Oslo and Viken County Council.

Funding can be applied for projects that help to solve business policy challenges for Oslo, given in the Regional plan for innovation in Oslo and Akershus until 2025.

The focus areas are: cluster and network development, entrepreneurship and growth companies, supplier development and service innovation, early-stage financing and commercialization of research results.

The criteria are:
- The project has clear regional relevance and social impact.
- The project has a clear foundation in the applicant and partners.
- The project must have a budget, activities timeline and financing plan, with at least 50% other funding (deductible or deductible).
- Project appears to be feasible within the specified project period.
- The project has a clear transfer value, and it is made visible how experiences from the project can be shared with others.
- When purchasing services and obtaining consultancy assistance, the Public Procurement Act applies.

Target group
Clusters and networks, Innovation Environments and Business Organizations. The program emphasizes collaboration between two or more of these groups. In principle, the applicant must have a place of residence in Oslo, but cooperation with external players is possible. Larger companies can be included in the projects.

This is how you apply
This is funding that based on one yearly call, normally in autumn. During covid there has been an extraordinary call closed 25 May. Next call will be autumn 2020 and you will find it at regionalforvaltning.

Fixed cost support

Fixed cost that cannot be avoided such as rent, electricity, water, insurance, renting of equipment or interest cost minus interest income. The costs need to be calculated or divided per month.
Target group
Norwegian companies that are tax registered in Norway registered before 1 March 2020. The business needs to have employees. except ENK, ANS, DA and not in bankruptcy process. The company needs to have lost turnover 20% in March, 30% for April or May and have fixed unavoidable costs.
Apply here. Deadline: 30 June.


Investinor has been granted 1 000 000 000 NOK from the government for investments in pre-early stage (presåkorn), earlystage (såkorn) and growth/venture funds in addition to 142 000 000 NOK for funds and match investments. Their goal is to invest in startups, scaleups and growth companies with capital, competence and network thus increase the value creation in Norway.

Pre-early stage (presåkorn) investments that go through funds, teams and angel investors. The companies that receive the investments need to be in early stage and have an international potential growth. The team for fund management should have experience in managing investments typical 1 000 000 - 6 000 000 NOK. The amount of investment from Investinor in this stage is normally 10 000 000 - 50 000 000 NOK.

Early stage (såkorn) investments. In this stage Investinor invests 50 000 000 - 100 000 000 NOK through funds and capital managers.

Growth stage investments (Fondsinvesteringer) is indirect investments through fund and fund managers. Established funds and first time fund managers are in target audience. This is for funds with goal to raise between 150 000 000 - 1000 000 000 NOK or more. The typical amount Investinor invest in these funds are 100 000 000 - 200 000 000 in Venture phase.

Matching capital. If you are investing in a company, Investinor have matching funds in commercialisation (2 500 000 NOK) and growth phase (10 000 000 - 80 000 000 NOK)

Evaluation and requirements for approval

There is no sector limitation. Investinor can maximum have 49% ownership in fund, investment company per round. They are looking for great investment experience, competence, network and ability to attract private capital. Investors and funds with experience in active and supportive ownership.

More information: Here and here