Overview: Public funding for startups and scaleups

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Published by Oslo Business Region, 04 May 2021

Here is a recap of the funding webinar hosted last week by the City of Oslo and Norway Health Tech in collaboration with Oslo Business Region and other partner organizations. Photo: Shutterstock

The session presented public funding opportunities for startups and scaleups across industries such as health & life sciences, circular economy, and digitization and digital transformation

Many of the public organizations allocating funding for innovation and R&D are actively seeking project proposals and have specialists on hand to connect companies to relevant networks and guide the application process.

Following are just a few of the public funding programs that were highlighted (watch the full webinar here):


The City of Oslo offers NOK 100,000 -1 million support for pilot projects that solve significant challenges in areas such as climate, mobility, and social welfare. Applications are submitted by district offices, agencies and city council departments in partnership with companies. Projects need to be implemented within an 8-month period and structured for scalability.

Regional Research Fund Oslo

RRF Oslo aims to increase public and private sector participation in national and international R&D. They presented several funding schemes at the webinar.

Companies with limited experience in R&D can seek funding for pre-projects, or “forprosjekter,” to develop new products, processes or services that can be strengthened through research. RRF provides up to 70% of the funding per project in the range of NOK 100,000 - 200,000.

Companies interested in this scheme should contact a "competence broker" to apply. Oslo has five competence brokers with expertise in the following areas:

Health and life science, internationalisation: Trine Radmann
Digitalization: Eirik Andreassen and Gupta Udatha
Green transformation and circular economy, innovation in the public sector and innovation across industries:
Per Olve Tobiassen and Ola Rostad.

RRF Oslo funds user-driven research

“Kvalifiseringsstøtte,” is an open-ended call. The aim of regional qualification support is to develop user-led research and innovation projects that can qualify for further support through a main project. RRF funds from NOK 100,000 - 350,000 (up to 70% of the project budget) in project support for experimental design and development of new or improved products, processes or services.

RRF Oslo will publish a call for main projects in mid-June. For information about RRF programs, contact Anne Solheim.


Siva is a governmental organization that accelerates time to market through support of the national innovation ecosystem of incubators, business gardens, industrial real estate, and innovation centers. The “catapult” scheme offers facilities, equipment and expertise to help companies develop prototypes, test, simulate and verify products. Focus areas include manufacturing technology, future materials, ocean innovation, and sustainable energy. For information, contact Jon Johansen.

The Research Council of Norway

The Research Council promotes competitiveness and growth in Norwegian trade and industry by providing financial support and advice for research and innovation projects. Their website includes calls for proposals for projects such as “Digital Security and AI, Robotics and Autonomous Systems” with a funding range of NOK 4m -12m. Contact: Tom Skyrud


SkatteFUNN is a tax deduction scheme that stimulates Norwegian investment in research and development. SkatteFUNN is designed to support companies that are developing a new or improved product, service or production process. Projects are highly targeted and independent of a company’s usual activities.

Capacity Lift 2022-2027

“Kapasitetsløft” is part of the FORREGION program for increasing research and educational capacity in R&D institutions. The next application deadline is September 15, 2021. Contact: Kai Mjøsund.

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