Digitalize or Die - NFR grants for new research project!

Norwegian Research Council have granted 10 Million NOK to the new research project «Digitalize or Die: Dynamic Drivers of Responsible Research and Innovation in Health and Welfare services”.

The funding and project is in the SAMANSVAR program. The project owner is University of Stavanger, Center for Innovation Research. Dr. Tatiana Iakovleva is a project leader of an international research team, including researchers from Portugal, USA, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Australia. Industrial partners, such as Lyse ASA, Smart Care Cluster, Greater Stavanger and Norwegian Center for Telemedicine will provide empirical basis for the project. Internal research team includes professor Rune Fitjar, professor Bjørn Asheim, dr Thomas Laudal from HHUiS and a PhD student Raj Kumar Thapa. We collaborate with international researcher partners from Australia, Netherlands, Portugal, UK and USA. Project started in March 2016 and will last for thee years.

“Digitalize or Die” says Roger Schjerva in IKT Norge in Dagbladet 8 Feb 2015. He further argues that “no one needs digitalization more than Norway and few can succeed better than Norway1”. The rapid global diffusion of information and communication technologies has greatly improved access to knowledge. General-purpose technologies such as mobile phones and 3D printers enable individuals to solve local needs and customize products. The combined effect of these changes is having a profound impact on the innovation landscape.

Meanwhile, the healthcare sector is facing unprecedented challenges, which are magnified by budgetary constraints, an aging population and the desire to provide care for all. On the other hand, patients themselves are changing. They are savvier about their diseases, they expect their relation with the healthcare professionals to be open and interactive, but above all they want to be part of the decision process. All of this is a reflection of what is already happening in other industries where customers have access to large amount of information and became educated buyers.

This proposal addresses the question of how ICT research and innovation may contribute to developing solutions to grand societal challenges in a responsible way. In particular, we address the issue of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in the ICT sector with the focus on welfare technology and telemedicine. This proposal addresses a central question confronting politicians, business leaders, and regional planners: