Norway is determined to increase spending on research and development (R&D) to capitalize on its strengths in life sciences, environmental science, and energy research, according to the country's Minister of Education and Research, Kristin Clemet.

In an interview with The Scientist, Clemet said that annual government allocations for R&D had risen 47% between 1999 and 2004, but that financing from private sources remains low compared with other nations, despite new tax incentives in 2002.

"The great challenge for Norway is to increase the R&D spending in industry," Clemet said. International panels had listed insufficient scientific leadership, a fragmented system, low mobility of Norwegian scientists, and insufficient financing as weaknesses of the Nordic nation, she said.

As for strengths, Clemet highlighted the fields of neuroscience, population biology, climate research, geology, informatics, mathematics, marine biology, polar research, and petroleum geology.

Clemet said the country was putting a "special emphasis" on long-term...

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