Photo collage. Illustration.

New Collaboration Agreement for the national e-infrastructure  

The agreement means that basic funding doubles and a new committee will advise the board. 

Sigma2 is responsible for the national e-infrastructure for large-scale data- and computational science in Norway. This infrastructure is a result of a close collaboration between the four oldest universities in Norway (NTNU, UiB, UiO, UiT) and Sigma2. The collaboration was formalised in a Collaboration Agreement in 2015, which included yearly funding of 50 MNOK, in addition to 25 MNOK from the Research Council of Norway (RCN). 

In 2019, a committee lead by Professor Kenneth Ruud at UiT delivered a report suggesting a new model for the funding of this kind of e-infrastructure. In addition to restructuring the funding model, they recommended increasing the basic funding. At the same time, the four university rectors expressed their concern for the lack of resources in an article published in Khrono. Sigma2 was also evaluated in 2019 by an international evaluation panel. One of their recommendations was increased funding. 

The basic funding doubles   

The university rectors have now taken an important step to improve the funding situation. The four universities have recently signed a Collaboration Agreement with Sigma2 where they double the basic e-infrastructure funding from 50 MNOK to 100 MNOK yearly. The initial period for this contract is six years with an option to extend for another six years after a new evaluation.  

Currently, there are also some ongoing works with adjusting the final details for a new contract with RCN, which will double the basic funding from the Research Council to 50 MNOK pr year. 

This gives much better predictability for the researchers in Norway and improved conditions for long term investments in e-infrastructure. 

New committee to advise the Sigma2 board 

The Collaboration Agreement also introduces a new function – the Coordination Committee. An important responsibility for this committee is to advise the board of Sigma2 on issues related to strategy, investments and new partners. The new members of this committee are:

Sigma2 is pleased with the new agreement. We will continue to do our best to invest in e-infrastructure services that answer the needs of the wide range of science disciplines already using the services and new users to come. More than 2000 researchers spread over more than 460 research projects are currently using our services.