International R&D cooperation

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) cooperates with selected partner countries in accordance with stipulated national priorities in Norway. Cooperation in research and education is established with about 200 universities all over the world. Our prioritized geographical areas are the EU, the USA, Japan and China. NTNU has proved to be an attractive partner either alone or together with our on-campus neighbour, SINTEF, which is Scandinavia’s largest independent research institute.

European projects
NTNU is an active partner in the European Research Area, and has participated in the European Commission’s Framework Programmes (FP) for Research and Technological Development since FP4. Participation in FP7 is one of the highest priority areas for the university. NTNU and SINTEF are together involved in a large majority of the European Technology Platforms that are supported by the European Commission. In FP6, NTNU is a contractual partner in about 60 projects, which have a total budget of € 250 million over a four-year period.

Energy and Petroleum - Resources and Environment
Our proximity to the large oil and gas fields in the North Sea/Norwegian Sea and our close cooperation with the companies operating these fields has over the years built up world-class research teams and education in this sector at NTNU. Today’s focus on greenhouse gases and climate changes has created new research challenges for researchers in Trondheim to address together with industrial partners. The European Technology Platform ZEP (Zero Emission Fossil Fuel Power Plants) is a good example of such work. The mobility of researchers and transnational access to Research Infrastructures is a vital aspect of international research cooperation. Projects funded by the European Commission are designed to open up the scientific know-how and laboratory facilities in Europe for the benefit of the entire European research community. For example, ENGAS (Environmental Gas Management) has helped to put NTNU firmly on the international scientific map.

The renowned Japanese research institute AIST (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology) is cooperating with NTNU and SINTEF to build up leading-edge research and education in four areas: sustainability, energy systems, nanotechnology and biotechnology. NTNU is also closely involved with the Kyoto International Forum for Environment and Energy which is an international arena for strategic cooperation to realize sustainable society inspired by the Kyoto protocol. Another example is the Transition to Sustainable Energy Services in Northern Europe project. This is energy research network brings together NTNU, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. This project focuses on the supply of sustainable energy to northern Europe. NTNU also cooperates in energy research with Tsinghua University, China. This work is concentrated on hydrogen and fuel cells, materials technology and energy conversion, water resources, as well as environmental issues.

When disasters happen, what should the international aid agencies do? Researchers in NTNU's Internal Displacement Project at the Department of Geography have some suggestions concerning Sri Lanka’s post-crisis reconstruction. This project is funded by the Research Council of Norway.

North-South cooperation
NTNU has established international networks directed towards the developing countries. This work is coordinated by the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education in projects that form part of the Norwegian Cooperation Programme for Development, Research and Higher Education (NUFU). NTNU is doing research and development in solar energy with the Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique. Close cooperation is established with a corresponding project at University of Durban Westville, in South Africa. Another NUFU project is research in marine aquaculture in Vietnam.

NTNU's interdisciplinary profile is focused upon in its international work. A sector where NTNU enjoys high international standing is Water and Wastewater Engineering. This group at NTNU and SINTEF plays a major role in the Water Supply and Sanitation Technology Platform. Researchers in this group are renowned for their scientific R&D far beyond the borders of Europe.

Information and Communication Technology
Due to their central position in the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics network staff at NTNU are given easy access to the European research community and the European ICT industry. This strategic area participates in 6 networks of excellence in FP6.

Another European Commission-supported project in this sector at NTNU is PROMISE which brings together 22 partners in 9 European countries to focus on information tracking based on RFID, which is shorthand for Radio Frequency Identification technology.

Marine and Maritime Technology
The European Aquaculture Technology Platform was initiated by SINTEF and NTNU, with the aim to gather European stakeholders in the field to define future research needs and a vision for the sector. NTNU’s in-depth knowledge base and many years of industrial cooperation provided a firm basis for this initiative.

NTNU is also involved in other European Commission-supported initiatives to stimulate transnational R&D cooperation in this sector. For example, HYDRALAB III provides transnational access to the Trondheim Marine Systems Research Infrastructure .There is also Design-ACT that is designing the Aquaculture Centre of Technology - to face the unmet needs in European aquaculture

Marine research cooperation between NTNU and the University of Nagasaki, Japan is focused on aquaculture and the production of marine fry. There is also R&D cooperation in this sector between NTNU and the Ocean University of China in Qingdao.

Materials technology

Light metals have a long history at NTNU. This is due to the Norwegian aluminium industry. When used in cars, ships and aircraft there is a huge demand for light metals research and innovation. NTNU’s prominent scientific position in this field has led to participation in several European Commission-funded projects and the national Centre for Research-based Innovation (SIMLab) with the close involvement of the European car industry. Another project that is important for this strategic area is the Kyoto International Forum for Environment and Energy (see above: energy)

Medical Technology
Both NTNU and SINTEF are members in the European Technology Platform on nanomedicine, which is based on cooperation between the main European stakeholders in industry and academia aiming for improved, more efficient, and affordable medical care. NTNU contributes with high-level competence in nanotechnology-based diagnostics. There is also cooperation in medical technology with Harvard/MIT that results in the exchange of professors, PhD and master’s students in connection with joint research projects.