Transboundary air pollution research

No other research institution in Norway has been paid off so well in EU's fifth framework programme as the Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU). 'Norway is of no importance to the Europeans', this is the opinion of Director Øystein Hov. 'It's no use promoting Norwegian special points of view in the EU.'

NILU is carrying out totally 24 EU-financed research projects in 2001. The Institute receives 8 million NOK this year from the EU, which represent the most important financing of the Institute. The amount surpass the basic grant received from Norwegian authorities. Five of the projects are co-ordinated by NILU.

Good international networks combined with high international orientation in the field, Hov thinks are important explanations of the good pay off. `NILU has for more than 30 years had a central position in the work on transboundary air pollution in Europe. The themes within the framework programme have suited NILU`s qualifications well. NILU has therefore established a good network among the most skilled European institutions. Through these networks we participate in the forefront of the research and are partaking in influencing this special field`, he says.

Transboundary air pollution research

Hov himself holds a position in several committees in Brussels where also the content of the sixth framework programme is on the agenda. He is therefore attentive to what is the concern of the Europeans. In Europe, climate change is also a matter of great concern. Here one of the major driving forces in the research is the impacts of climate change and measures that can be taken.

`It is no use promoting Norwegian special points of view in the EU`, says Hov. `To make polar research a priority is difficult. In Europe, the Mediterranean is of greater importance than the polar areas because more people live there.`

`Generally, the fact that Norway is a non-EU member will have great consequences for Norwegian research due to the fact that we are not on the European map. We are looked upon as a nation not willing to do our share together with the other nations in Europe`, he says.

The text above is a translation of an article in the periodical `Forskning` no. 1/01, dated February 2001, published by the Research Council of Norway.

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