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Record high funding for basic research

Tina Todnem and Øystein Thøgersen signing the deal
Tina Todnem, responsible for Equinor’s technology strategy, and Rector Øystein Thøgersen at Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)
Photo: Hallvard Lyssand / NHH

Equinor has signed agreements for funding basic research at five Norwegian universities and the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) worth NOK 380 million over five years.

In addition to NHH, agreements have been signed with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), the University of Oslo, the University of Bergen, the University of Stavanger and the University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway.

“Collaboration with leading academic communities in various fields is important for us and society as a whole. To deliver safe, secure and sustainable energy today, tomorrow and in the future, we need the competence and capabilities being developed through academia,” says Hege Skryseth, Equinor’s executive vice president for Technology, Digital and Innovation.

Hege Skryseth - portrait
Hege Skryseth, Equinor’s executive vice president for Technology, Digital and Innovation
Photo: Sheyda Aalgaard / Equinor

The agreements cover the period 2024-28 and are part of Equinor’s academia programme that has been running for 15 years. Over the years, the programme has funded a great number of professorates, PhDs, scholarships and educational initiatives like field courses.

Strengthen research and education

“If the world is to achieve the climate goals, zero emissions and maintain biodiversity, there is a need for new knowledge and more usage of sustainable and renewable energy solutions. The academy agreement makes it possible for us to increase our research efforts and strengthen cooperation with other internationally recognized universities and thereby contribute with new knowledge and solutions towards a net zero society,” says Toril Hernes, Pro-rector at NTNU.

“The funds from this agreement enable us to strengthen research and education related to renewable energy, sustainable energy transition, and the green shift that we would otherwise not have had the opportunity to finance. We are pleased that the new agreement encompasses a broader and more interdisciplinary scope than ever before, where research groups from the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, the Faculty of Law, and the Faculty of Social Sciences have been granted funds for important research on climate change and energy systems, material technology, carbon storage, and the legal and political processes for the green shift,” says Svein Stølen, rector at the University of Oslo.

Foster better understanding

In 2023 invested Equinor more than USD 650 million in R&D including digitalisation efforts.

Much of Equinor’s external research funds are spent on contract research and commercial agreements with universities and research institutes. In addition, Equinor is funding basic research through the academia agreements, which is essential to foster better understanding of the basic principles and enable universities to develop new competence and capabilities.

The new 5-year agreements define various topics that each institution will conduct basic research on. They cover topics like Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), next generation of operations, Offshore Wind and Oil and Gas related research, but also subjects like fusion energy, robotics and robot organizations, materials technology, climate risk and energy systems.

Below you can read the individual agreements including the annual funding and the agreed topics for collaboration.