The Ministeraddressed a group of about 100 Simula employees, introducing the purpose of his visit and openingthe floor to questions. Isaksen was then guided ina brief tour among the Simula employees, where he was able to gain insight into Simula's projects and discuss research and higher educationwith Simula researchers.
The revision of the long-term plan determines the policy of theNorwegian government concerning research and higher education between 2015 and 2024. One of the biggest areas of investment in the long term plan is the cultivation of more research groups working at an international level. The aim is to develop research environments where societal challenges can be addressed, and where the best researchers can develop their ideas.
Focus on the long term
During the Minister's visit at Simula, Deputy Director of Simula Kyrre Lekve presented Simula'sproposal that the Ministry of Research and Education should supportthe creation of long term National Research Laboratoriesthat can provide excellence in research. He arguedthat the Centresof Excellence (SFF) programme, albeit the longest lasting research programme in the Norwegian research system with a 10 year grant period, is not sufficientlylong-term for fundamental research. Simula proposes the creation of more national research laboratories such as Simula and the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment, but within new scientific fields. The proposal encourages an ambitious plan to launch 4-5 new National Research Centres before 2021.