What is an SFI?

What is an SFI?

SFI Autoship is a 8-years research-based innovation centre that will contribute to Norwegian players taking a leading role in the development of autonomous ships for safe and sustainable operations. 

The Research Council of Norway (RCN) administers a number of funding schemes to promote excellence in research. One of them is the SFI (Centre for Research-based Innovation) scheme. The overall objective of the SFI scheme is to enhance the ability of the business sector to innovate and create value through a greater focus on long-term research.

The SFI scheme seeks to:

  • Facilitate active, long-term cooperation between innovation-oriented, R&D-performing companies and prominent research groups.
  • Promote the development of outstanding industry-oriented research clusters that are an integral part of dynamic international networks and that enhance the internationalisation of the Norwegian business sector.
  • Encourage and enhance researcher training and the transfer of knowledge and technology in areas with major potential for future value creation.

The SFI scheme is characterised by broader objectives, a longer-term perspective and a more targeted focus than other innovation-related instruments administered by the Research Council. The scheme provides the R&D-performing component of the Norwegian business sector with the opportunity to take a longer-term perspective, enhance continuity and reduce risk in their research initiatives.

“Research and development will play a crucial role in enabling the Norwegian business sector to bring back the jobs we had before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, as well as in creating new jobs and promoting restructuring,” says Norwegian Minister of Research and Higher Education Henrik Asheim. “It is the Government’s ambition to make Norway one of the most innovative countries in Europe. Achieving this requires linking the research and business communities together, which is exactly what the SFI scheme entails.”

Behind each SFI centre is a consortium comprising multiple research organisations, private companies and, when relevant, public entities. One of the research organisations has the role of contractual partner with the Research Council and thus serves as the host institution for the centre. In our case, NTNU is the host organization.

The new centres represent the fourth generation of SFI centres since the scheme was established in 2005. Centres have a period of operation and funding of maximum eight years (an initial five-year period with the possibility of a three-year extension).

Source: NFR


SFI AutoShip:

The Centre host is Department of Engineering Cybernetics, NTNU and involve partners in segments like ship operators, shipping companies, suppliers of ship equipment and technology, ship classification and insurance, authorities, public infrastructure owners, and research.

Research partners are NTNU, SINTEF Ocean, SINTEF Digital, UiO, and IFE.

The Centre is also mentioned in Storingsmelding 10, page 90.