The following is an excerpt.

“It was a very inspiring visit. We need more results from research, in line with what CASA has achieved,” said Henrik Asheim after his digital visit to the center.

The Norwegian Minister of research and higher education Henrik Asheim
Henrik Asheim, the Minister of Research and Higher Education in Norway, declared that he was impressed and inspired after the digital visit to SFI CASA. (Press photo )

The Minister of Research and Higher Education Teamed up with SFI CASA NTNU to learn more about research based innovation. In the meeting of 25 May, CASA´s director Magnus Langseth presented some of the Centre’s achievements. According to Universitetsavisa (University Paper), the Minister was impressed. It was a virtual Teams-meeting, but Henrik Asheim described the event as very inspiring. 
«I enjoyed seeing how they manage to crash a car digitally and thereby help industry worldwide», he said to the newspaper.

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Long-term Political Plan on Research

The visit’s backdrop is that the Ministry of Research and Higher Education has started the initial work on revisioning the long-term plan for research and education (2019-2028). This plan is one of the most important strategic tools in the Norwegian knowledge policy. The main goals are to strengthen the country’s competitiveness and ability to innovate. Further, the plan should meet significant societal challenges and develop professional environments of outstanding quality. When the Ministry was looking for an example of a research project that illustrates the plan’s goals, SFI CASA came up as an ideal place to visit.

Bridging the Gap

Director Magnus Langseth gave Minister Henrik Asheim an exclusive presentation on the Centre’s achievements. In addition, he talked about the importance of collaboration and the challenges of bridging the gap between advanced research and practical use.

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The Minister of Research and Higher Education Teamed up with SFI CASA NTNU to learn about research based innovation.

Collaboration Between Research and Industry

There was a conversation afterwards where the two discussed the importance of close collaboration between researchers and industry. However, the Norwegian industry sector invests much less in research compared to other countries. Thus, it is also a challenge to turn research into practical use.
Therefore, the Minister underlines the importance of cooperation. «In the work on the long-term plan, we must make sure to couple the substantial public funding of research to the needs of the industry and working life. This interplay is what we will live off in the future», Asheim said to Universitetsavisa.
Also, he found it «very useful to listen to CASA pointing out that money allocated to research should result in something that the industry can use».

Listens to the Needs of Research

The meeting served as a warm-up to the first of several regional conferences. Here, participants from the Eastern and Central Norway region provided input and priorities for further work on the long-term plan. In all, 17 representatives attended and gave 3-minute presentations. Among them, Professor Langseth and the Rector of NTNU Anne Borg. The assignment was to develop ideas on how the new plan could meet the needs of the various representatives.