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Pilot Projects

Pilot Projects


NTNU Sustainability has defined four pilots in a limited period (April–December 2015). The aim of the pilot projects is

  • to work on some themes that involve researchers across the boundaries of academic environments at NTNU
  • to establish a position in relation to research programmes at the national and international level
  • to help in highlighting new key areas at NTNU


Sustainable cities, local communities and regions

The aim of this pilot is to test and develop indicators of sustainable societal development by applying existing Norwegian indicators and new international standards for sustainable development of communities in a set of case studies / living laboratories: the city lab in Trondheim, the urban and regional labs in Steinkjer and Ålesund, the fjord lab Geiranger, the island lab of Frøya, the island lab/village lab at Stokkøya, the campus lab of NTNU, the megapolis lab of Xixian (China), and the village lab of Serengeti (Tanzania).

Work is being done in partnership with local organizations and research environments and with Standards Norway. Students are involved through vacation work, through projects and master's theses. 


Sustainable business models

The aim of this pilot is to establish a national centre for green value creation and sustainable business models.

This centre's mission is to develop knowledge related to new business models to inspire the green transformation in Norwegian business and industry, including modelling and analysis of value chains, value networks and value workshops with a view to sustainability, as well as to develop prototypes and demonstrate effects and opportunities through experiments in manufacturing companies.

The aim of the pilot is to help create new knowledge through research and doctoral education. An application has been submitted to the Research Council of Norway for a national research training programme.

Partners in addition to NTNU are the universities of Oslo, Stavanger and Nordland, BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo, the Norwegian School of Economics, the research communities of SINTEF, Møreforsking and Standards Norway, as well as a number of international partners.


Centre for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services – CeBES

The aim is to establish and develop a centre that will be a national hub for innovative and interdisciplinary research on biodiversity and ecosystem services. The centre will: 

  • meet knowledge and capacity-building needs linked to global, regional and national challenges
  • gather researchers from different disciplines and organizations to develop new interdisciplinary knowledge and propose solutions
  • further develop Trondheim as an important biodiversity capital.

An interim board has been established with representatives from NTNU, SINTEF, NINA and the Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre. A representative from Bioforsk (Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research) / NIBIO (Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research) is participating in interim board meetings as an observer. A consortium agreement will be in place by 1 November 2015.

CeBES will be in a favourable position to apply for major national and international programmes with biodiversity and ecosystem services as central themes.


Responsible research and innovation - RRI

RRI involves explicit inclusion of values when we develop new technologies. The objective of this pilot project is to identify challenges for NTNU and explore opportunities to develop knowledge related to technology, ethical dilemmas and social issues.

During this pilot, we have developed the following applications: 

  • Horizon 2020: Developing a Reference curriculum for responsible research and InnoVation education for Engineers (DRIVE) (Delft University of Technology (coordinator), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, KTH Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), NTNU, Aalborg University, University of Zurich) – high rating, not funded. Partners are continuing work on future applications, as part of RRI cooperation under the CESAER umbrella. Application submitted in October 2014. Achieved a good evaluation, but no funding. Interesting links to upcoming application Horizon 2020 Supporting structural change in research organisations to promote Responsible Research and Innovation.
  • Ministry of Education and Research: National centre for learning analytics at NTNU, an interdisciplinary and internationally oriented centre. Application submitted to the Ministry in March 2015.
  • Research Council of Norway: Value chain responsibility and implications of ICT innovation (VRIII). Application submitted to the Research Council of Norway in February 2015.
  • An evaluation of Environmental Goods (EGs) for the WTO EGA: EGs for Developing Countries

Two applications under Horizon 2020 are being developed, with the deadline for applications 16 September 2015:

  • Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in an industrial context.
  • Supporting structural change in research organisations to promote Responsible Research and Innovation.
26 Jan 2016

Pilot project reports 2015

Pilot project reports 2015

Pilot 1: Sustainable cities, local communities and regions

Pilot 2: Sustainable business models

Pilot 3: CeBES

Pilot 4: Responsible research and innovation - RRI