Soft money funding in Life Sciences



Published 23 November 2020
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Life sciences are booming like never before. In the last decade, the life sciences sector has experienced a dizzying growth, leaving behind remarkable new discoveries addressing previously unmet medicals needs and improving the life quality of humans all around the world. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, even more attention has been drawn to the sector, creating a tailwind of opportunities for new inventions and an increasingly desire of investors and governmental authorities to place capital in new ideas within the sector.

By Knut Sverre Skurdal Andresen & Anuschka Teresa Hager-Thoresen

Whether you have an innovative new idea or you already have placed such idea for further development in a company – in this month's newsletter Schjødt's practice group for life sciences provides you with an overview (in alphabetical order) of some of the soft money options inventors within the life sciences sector are presented with.

Soft money funding within the life sciences sector secures to increase the viability of innovative and potentially lifesaving ideas for the benefit of all human kind. It provides a great option or addition for companies asides from raising capital. Our life sciences practice group at Schjødt assists companies throughout their entire life circle and regularly advices on research and development processes and funding options. Contact our team of specialized lawyers to find out more how we may assist you realizing and developing your invention.


This large-scale programme on Biotechnology for Innovation by the Norwegian Research Council provides funding for research and innovation to promote the development and application of biotechnology. Read more about the programme here and take a look at their latest call for proposals here.

Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe is an ambitious EU research and innovation framework programme with a proposed budget of € 100 billion running from 2021 to 2027. Its overall objective is helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and boost the Union's competitiveness and growth. Follow Innovation Norway for relevant call outs once the programme launches in 2021.

EEA Funding

As part of the EEA, Norway is bound to contribute economically to reduce economic and social disparities and to strengthen relations. Focus is on Central and Southern Europe and the Baltics, but if you are a Norwegian company collaborating with companies in those areas, you may get funding for the partnership. Innovative technologies, processes and services by SME companies, i.a. within the health sector, are eligible.


Eurostars is a programme for SME companies who want to collaborate on R&D projects that create innovative products, processes or services for commercialization. It is co-funded by Eureka national funding bodies and the European Union. Support for Norwegian companies is provided through the Norwegian Research Council.


This large-scale strategic initiative on information technology and digital innovation by the Norwegian Research Council provides funding for ICT related research and enabling innovation, i.a. within the biotechnology industry. Read more about the programme here and see their latest calls for proposals here.

Innovation Loan

Innovation Norway offers loans to help cover the needs of SME companies for risk reduction in investment projects. Such loan may cover up to 50% of the capital requirement for a project. Not all sector are eligible for such loan, but projects within life sciences may in general be qualified to apply. To apply click here.

Innovation Norway

State-owned Innovation Norway supports companies in developing their competitive advantage and to enhance innovation. It offers funding throughout several life stages of a company, starting from market analysis for new products, commercialization of new ideas, scale up companies and companies collaborating with a pilot customer on an innovation project.


In accordance with the Norwegian regulation on innovation funding certain municipals and regions may fund local business initiatives through this fund. Both startups and existing companies may receive funding. Contact your municipal for further information and application procedure.


The MABIT-programme is an industrial R&D program for northern Norway with one of the three focus areas being Marine Biotechnology. Applications may be submitted four times a year with a deadline of February 2021 for the next call for proposal.

NANO 2021

The large-scale Research Programme from the Norwegian Research Council provides funding for research and innovation on microtechnology, nanotechnology and advanced materials. Activities to develop knowledge and technology are i.a. targeted towards improved health and medical technology. Read more about the programme here and take a look at their latest calls for proposals here

Norwegian Innovation Clusters

This government financed cluster programme aims to contribute to value creation by sustainable innovation. The Life Science Cluster is located in Oslo with a network of companies and organizations within the sector. The aim is to develop and support talents and share experiences, knowledge, resources and facilities.

Norwegian Research Council

The Norwegian Research Council runs several funding programs (see above), but invests also through their portfolios in research and innovation projects. Read more about their Life Science portfolio and investment plan here and see their latest call for proposals here.

Oslofjord fund

The Oslofjord fund covers the municipalities Viken and Vestfold and Telemark and provides funding for projects i.a. within the health sector, which are contributing to solve challenges in the region for the benefit of both the private and the public. Calls for proposals are published here.


This governmental program covers all industries and is designed to stimulate research and development by tax incentive. The incentive is a tax credit and comes in the form of a possible deduction from a company's payable corporate tax. There is no deadline to apply for this tax incentive.

University of Oslo

If you are conducting research at the University of Oslo you may qualify for funding from UiO:Life Science. This funding aims at projects with potential to promote University of Oslo and secure and strengthen international competitiveness in the life sciences. The programme runs both an open call and currently a call for support to strengthen the collaboration with international research environments for which you may apply here within March 2021.