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This CBC operation dealt with the Top-level Research Initiative (TRI), a project on the part of the Nordic countries to find solutions to global climate challenges. The Top-level Research Initiative is supported by national institutions and agencies, in particular those financing research and innovation. They have set up a common funding source for projects under the initiative.
Three Nordic institutions – NordForsk, Nordic Innovation Centre and Nordic Energy Research – act as secretariat for the initiative, contributing their combined competencies in the fields of research, innovation, technology and energy. The three institutions are all under the auspices of the Nordic Council of Ministers.
The main obstacle for the TRI process regards governance issues. Nordic research funding systems are to some extent structured differently which at the beginning of the process was an obstacle regarding funding of the programme. The recent mid-term evaluation points to a complex and bureaucratic organisation with a discrepancy between levels of ambition and level of resources. The broad scope of the six sub-programmes also inhibits a close cooperation between these.
The TRI is comprised of six sub-programmes encompassing the entire solution chain from research on climate change and its impact on society, to innovation and the development of solutions within environmental technology, energy efficiency and new forms of energy. TRI aims to develop reliable climate models to predict future climate change, while at the same time better preparing society to deal with the impacts of climate change. The projects that are funded by the sub-programmes are still in early stages and it is thus not possible to report on concrete results yet.