The SMN strategic plan for 2010-2016 sketches out four priority areas: sustainable energy utilization, development of research talents, innovation, and the administrative group Team SMN.
Sustainable energy utilization
Massive research efforts on renewable energy and climate-friendly use of fossil fuels will eventually provide the necessary sustainable solutions. As a result, a great international knowledge-based industry will evolve. SMN wishes to have a central national role based on a strong and broad education platform. Based on this foundation, SMN will support interdisciplinary research and cultivate new major research projects in cooperation with research institutes, industrial partners and other universities.
Development of research talents
Approximately 120 people are currently associated with SMN. Only 13 of these are permanent academic staff. We thus have a major responsibility to contribute to the development and recruitment of a large and diverse group of young, talented master students, PhD students, postdocs and researchers. Research education is for this reason one of SMN's main focus areas for the upcoming strategy period.
Creativity is a central aspect of all research. SMN’s goal is that this creativity will be reflected in commercial applications of the research. Already today SMN constitutes one of the most innovative research environments at UiO. Three of the four UiO spin-off companies related to renewable energy, Protia AS, Baldur Coatings AS and NorEcs AS, have originated from SMN.
The work burden for researchers with success is today considerable. The competition is very hard, and much work is placed into a large number of applications that often involve many partners. When they are won, the projects are to be directed – and the task of supervising the PhD-students is substantial. In addition, there are reports and dissemination of results. This implies that the permanent academic staff is vulnerable. It is therefore, to a greater extent than previously, important to organize good administrative support. World class research requires administrative support of corresponding quality.