Jump to main content

UiA granted their first national Centre for Research-based Innovation

The University of Agder (UiA) has won the jackpot, as their application to The Research Council of Norway’s Centre for Research-based Innovation (SFI) ”SFI Offshore Mechatronics” has been granted!

This article is more than two years old, and may contain outdated information.

From the left: Vice-rector of research, teaching and innovation Dag Gjerløw Aasland, Alf Holmelid, Rein Terje Thorstensen, rector Torunn Lauvdal og dean Frank Reichert.

From the left: Vice-rector of research, teaching and innovation Dag Gjerløw Aasland, Alf Holmelid, Rein Terje Thorstensen, rector Torunn Lauvdal og dean Frank Reichert.

Out of more than 50 applications, UiA, along with GCE NODE and other national and international partners, has won one of the fiercest competitions for funds to operate long-term research and innovation.

”This is a big day and a considerable lift for the University of Agder – as well as all of Southern Norway. It is very important for a university to host big national programs like this, and now we receive our second big program in one year. It is very joyous and it shows that long-term work and good cooperation with the business community gives great results,” says the pleased rector, Torunn Lauvdal.

Frank Reichert and Torunn Lauvdal

Pleased: Dean Frank Reichert and rector Torunn Lauvdal in the mechatronics lab at Campus Grimstad.

The Faculty of Engineering and Science – led by dean Frank Reichert – has for a long time worked on improving both content and partners around the commitment to mechatronics. The application is the result of a long-term cooperation with the business community, and regional and international partners. Last year, the faculty received 4 million NOK from the Regional Research Fund Agder to prepare for an SFI application. Today’s result shows that this has been a well-spent fund, and it shows that regional effort is the road to success.

The Research Council of Norway will contribute 12 million NOK every year for 8 years, given that the new centre passes a midway evaluation. With the regional effort, around 200 million NOK will go to research and development during this period. This lays the foundation for a predictability that both UiA and the business community can gain a lot from in furthering innovation within industries, such as the oil technology industry. Earlier this year, the oil technology cluster NODE received GCE status (Global Centre for Expertise) as one of two clusters. This is also a great, national priority, which will take this cluster further as a leading international participant with great innovative power. Everything is set to make Southern Norway the international leading knowledge hub within mechatronics in the future.

Frank Reichert, Alf Holmelid and Søren Kragholm.

Dean Frank Reichert and senior advisors Søren Kragholm and Alf Holmelid has been primus motors in the application process.

SFI Offshore Mechatronics will work with thematic structures like hydraulics, motion compensation, robotics, and automation and monitoring. Teknova and NTNU are important R & D partners, and they will be responsible for some of the work packages. GCE NODE is very important when it comes to technology monitoring and will derive advantage from what is produced by research and innovation – in cooperation, but also as an applied research that can be implemented in products and processes.

It is a fitting time for a great celebration of an important step on the road to establishing Southern Norway as the greatest international environment within mechatronics, and that the Universtiy of Agder strengthens its position in the national research elite.

Representanter for Fakultet for teknologi og realfag og ledelsen ved UiA er samlet i mekatronikklaben i anledning mottakelse av status som Senter for forskningsdrevet innovasjon (SFI).


SFI – Centre for Research-based Innovation is announced by the Research Council of Norway every fourth year.

Partners in SFI Offshore Mechatronics:

  • the University of Agder (project manager)
  • Teknova AS
  • the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
  • Aalesund University College
  • Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule
  • Aalborg University
  • Aker MH AS
  • Cameron Sense AS
  • National Oilwell Varco AS
  • Skeie Technology AS
  • Lundin Norway AS
  • ABB AS
  • Devoteam AS
  • Lockless AS
  • Stepchange
  • Applica AS
  • GCE Maritime