Norway and Estonia strengthen business and research ties
May 11,Oslo: Norway and Estonia are signing MoUs on new cooperation programmes under the EEA and Norway Grants that total EUR 68 million. Priority will be given to research and innovation.
'In line with the Government's priorities, nearly half the funds have been allocated to business and research. The cooperation agreements that will be signed today are an open invitation to Norwegian actors who are interested in taking part in creating a green, competitive and inclusive Europe,' said Minister of EEA and EU Affairs Frank Bakke-Jensen. He will sign the MoUs on behalf of Norway in the Estonian capital Tallinn this morning.
Zoom in on imageMinister of EEA and EU Affairs Frank Bakke-Jensen signing the new cooperation programmes under the EEA and Norway grants. Here together with Iceland’s ambassador to Helsinki, Kristin A. Arnadottir and minister of health and labor, Jevgeni Ossinovski. Photo: Maria Martens, MFA
A total of seven Norwegian agencies – the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, the Norwegian Directorate of Health, Innovation Norway, the Norwegian Environment Agency, the Research Council of Norway, the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage, and the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education – will be involved in implementing the programmes in Estonia. They are responsible for recruiting Norwegian partners for the various projects.
'We are thus further strengthening our already close cooperation with Estonia. This also reflects our mutual interest in enhancing cooperation within the sectors covered by the agreements,' said Mr Bakke-Jensen.
EUR 68 million, or around NOK 638 million at today's exchange rate, has been distributed between a total of seven programmes and funds:
- Business development and innovation (EUR 23 million)
- Research and education (EUR 7.1 million)
- Local development and poverty reduction (EUR 18 million)
- Climate change and environment (EUR 6 million)
- Civil society (EUR 4 million)
- Decent work (EUR 0.4 million)
- Bilateral fund (EUR 1.36 million)
The local development programme includes efforts relating to health, violence against women, children and young people, and cultural cooperation. Emphasis will be given to measures that support the Estonian authorities' efforts to integrate the Russian-speaking minority.
In the months ahead, relevant Norwegian and Estonian agencies will develop the programmes. The first open calls for project proposals will be announced at a later stage.
Facts about the EEA and Norway Grants.
- Under the EEA Agreement, Norway is part of the European internal market.
- The EEA Agreement sets out the common goal of working together to reduce social and economic disparities in Europe and to strengthen cooperation between European countries. Norway contributes to this through the EEA and Norway Grants.
- EUR 2.8 billion will be available under the grant scheme for the period 2014-2021, to be distributed between 15 beneficiary countries. Estonia will receive EUR 68 million of this total.
- Norway provides some 98 % of this funding; the remainder is provided by Iceland and Liechtenstein.
The Oslo Times International News Network