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Norway to Establish 4–6 New Research Centers for Artificial Intelligence and National Coordination

The board of the Research Council of Norway has decided on an approach to the ‘AI billion’ funding scheme and the need for coordination

Alex Moltzau
Ethical AI Resources
4 min readFeb 8, 2024


It was in September 2023 that Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre announced that the Norwegian government would set aside one billion NOK for research into artificial intelligence (AI).

There has been an inclusive process to shape this funding that I have covered over the last year. You can read more in my six previous articles on this topic:

How was the funding shaped and what are the next steps?

As described in the previous articles — and simplified in eight steps.

  1. The funding was announced by the Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and the Minister for Higher Education and Research.
  2. The funding was set to be shaped by the Research Council of Norway and they launched an inclusive call for comments and an expert group.
  3. A first note was delivered by the expert group.
  4. 112 different actors delivered written comments.
  5. The Research Council of Norway held a board meeting where a proposal was rejected (in brevity — the idea was to spread it across a series of existing mechanisms).
  6. The second note from the expert group outlining four different approaches was made.
  7. On the 7th of February 2024 the second approach with multiple centers was agreed on, with an added section for funding of national coordinating initiatives to ensure the centers operate in a cohesive manner.
  8. The next step is for the Portfolio Board for enabling technologies to shape the detailed funding scheme. Also for the administration in the Research Council of Norway to present mechanisms for coordination mid-2024.
  9. Funding scheme is announced and research groups will apply.
  10. Research centers are awarded (and national coordinating mechanisms could potentially be appointed).

What was decided by the board?

The following was agreed in the board, translated from the minutes from the board meeting (‘vedtaksprotokoll’):

“The board refers to assignments on artificial intelligence from the Ministry of Education and Research. This is a solid addition to the existing portfolio within artificial intelligence in the Research Council. The organisation of the “AI billion” will complement other ongoing activity in the field.

The board asks the Portfolio Board for enabling technologies to include the following guidelines in its work:

  • The AI billion will mainly be set up as challenge-oriented centers for artificial intelligence.
  • 4–6 five-year, interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral AI centers are to be advertised within a framework of NOK 850 million. The centers can be of different sizes.
  • Allocation of remaining funds may include, for example, research school, international cooperation and coordination.
  • All three tracks in the assignment must be taken care of in the centers. The board asks the administration and the portfolio board to identify opportunities for supplementary funding for the centers and the investment.

The Board asks the administration to propose mechanisms for coordination, dialogue, national and international visibility of Norwegian AI research and innovation, and present this to the Board in mid-2024.”

This means Norway is set to Establish 4–6 new research centers for artificial intelligence and national coordination.

I hope this helps you get a better overview of what is going on in Norway.

This is also part of my personal project #1000daysofAI and you are reading article 527. I am writing one new article about or related to artificial intelligence for 1000 days. The first 500 days I wrote an article every day, and now from 500 to 1000 I write at a different pace.



Alex Moltzau
Ethical AI Resources

Policy Officer at the European AI Office in the European Commission. This is a personal Blog and not the views of the European Commission.