In his strategic review on Nordic energy co-operation one of Jorma Ollila’s recommendations was to establish a Nordic research and demonstration program of 500 MDKK to promote Nordic positions of strength in sustainable energy solutions.

In May 2018 the Nordic energy ministers met in Lund, and mandated Nordic Energy Research to propose an action plan to:
• Establish a Nordic research and demonstration program of DKK 500 million to promote Nordic strengths in the development and utilization of competitive and sustainable energy solutions
• Use Mission Innovation to create and strengthen Nordic positions
• Create a Nordic doctoral program in energy

The following thematic areas were identified in collaboration with stakeholders in each Nordic country as the most relevant for Nordic energy research collaboration:

1) Digitalization of the electricity grid

2) Development of the Nordic electricity market

3) Energy storage

4) Sea, air and road transport

5) Bioenergy

6) Carbon capture and value creation.

Nordic Energy Research is examining the possibilities for creating new Nordic research programs within these 6 areas.

Principles that are considered most important in connection with prioritizing new Nordic energy research initiatives are:
a) Nordic benefits
b) Financeability
c) Thematic areas of cooperation interest

The goal of this initiative is to strengthen future national co-financing of Nordic research projects. The Nordic research councils have a key role to play, together with researchers and industry. As such, a key tool for reaching this goal could be the coordination of Nordic efforts within different thematic ERA-Net initiatives. ERA-Net is a collaboration platform for transnational calls for research and innovation funds under the EU’s Horizon 2020 program. Nordic Energy Research can contribute with a so-called ‘Nordic top-up’ funds to increase the number of Nordic projects that receive funding in the different ERA-Net calls. This will contribute to increased Nordic impact and influence on the international research and innovation arena in the energy sector.