Purpose, organisation, function, funding and appointment of UiO:Energy.
UiO's energy initiative has been established as a long-term, multidisciplinary and interfaculty programme for research, education and innovation in the field of energy. The initiative has been named UiO:Energi in Norwegian and UiO:Energy in English.
UiO:Energy has been established as a result of UiO's ambition to help achieve key research policy objectives and meet societal needs for new knowledge in health care, the environment, sustainable energy and the effects of global climate change on life and health (Strategy 2020).
UiO:Energy's main objective is therefore to develop and disseminate knowledge on moving towards sustainable energy systems. UiO Energy's activities are concerned with all aspects of the energy system: production, distribution and consumption.
UiO:Energy shall muster UiO's combined academic expertise, from the natural sciences and technology to the social sciences, law and the humanities. UiO Energy shall promote measures within the entire range of UiO's primary activities, from empirical research via education to innovation and communication.
UiO:Energy shall join forces with the private sector, the public sector, national and international research communities to promote the application of research-based knowledge to innovation and change in key areas such as technology, public administration and legislation.
UiO:Energy's ambition is that in ten years' time UiO will hold a central position in international energy research and education and make important contributions to resolving global energy and climate challenges.
UiO:Energy is organised as a venture reporting to the University Board represented by the Rector. It has participants from the faculties of law, social sciences, humanities, and mathematics and natural sciences. The Faculty of Social Sciences is the host institution while the dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences is head of the board.
The current period for which UiO:Energy is to run is estimated to 5 years, and the initiative will be evaluated in the course of this period. In accordance with The University of Oslo's annual plan, UiO:Energy will develop a strategic platform during 2016 to be approved by the board.
The evaluation will be crucial for deciding whether the programme should be continued or not, and also for the question of future core grants from the University Board.
The initiative has its own Board, a Director and administrative personnel. The Director reports to the Board of UiO:Energy on matters within the area of authority delegated to the Board, and to the dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences in administrative matters. The Chairman of the Board reports to the management of UiO.
In 2016 an extended network of leaders will be established, representing all the institutes and centres engaged in education and research within the field of sustainable energy systems. In addition, a combined scientific and strategic advisory board should be put together for the benefit of the strategic development of UiO:Energy.
UiO:Energy is to boost UiO's research, educational and innovational activities within specified main areas described in Section 1 (Purpose) by:
- acting as a catalyst by being a prime mover for initiatives aimed at quality and innovation
- acting as a coordinator, particularly for multidisciplinary initiatives, and for strategic interaction in connection with allocations of equipment and resources
- being a strategic body for the university management, the faculties and the institutes
- being an active partner in which the leadership of the law, mathematics and natural science, social science and humanities faculties and the Centre for Development and the Environment can both contribute and obtain strategic evaluations that in combination can strengthen research, education and innovation
- adding weight and visibility to UiO's research both internally and externally, in particular in relation to the Research Council of Norway, the authorities, the private sector and other potential business partners
- contributing to rendering the energy science education visible and accessible and to raise its quality
- strengthening international interaction, exchange and visibility
- strengthening external research financing from national and international sources
- developing strategies and appropriate measures for ensuring good recruitment of research talents, nationally and internationally
- strengthening communication and externally oriented activities
UiO:Energy has a particular responsibility to keep abreast of academic and technological developments in energy and climate and to pave the way for UiO communities to position themselves in relation to important emerging academic areas and implement important new technology. This applies, for example, to infrastructure (including IT infrastructure) and strategic coordination of investments, and in relation to large-scale funding schemes for research and infrastructure.
UiO:Energy shall evaluate, prioritise, initiate and allocate resources to new ventures within its academic area. UiO:Energy shall use various ways and means to renew and realign academic environments towards frontline research, for example the use of seed funding, transitional positions, shared positions, post-doctoral positions and adjunct professorships as well as seminars and conferences.
UiO:Energy shall maintain a high profile when it comes to rendering visible and showcasing the academic area, coordinate and further develop educational programmes at UiO and arranging good meeting places within the whole spectrum of UiO:Energy's catchment area.
UiO shall encourage projects that include master's theses and multidisciplinary supervision.
During the first 5-year period of its activity, UiO:Energy shall have one or more flagship projects which realise particularly powerful synergy effects of the type described above. The flagship project(s) should be concentrated on high priority areas in which UiO is well placed to make a real difference in terms of both state of the art research and the society's ability to master important energy challenges.
The appointment, function and composition of the board
UiO:Energy's board is appointed by and reports by way of the chairman to the University Management. The Board shall have up to nine members who are appointed for a period of five years, with the option of extension. The Board has a quorum when more than half the members ‒ including at least one representative from each of the participating faculties ‒ is present. The Board must aim for consensus on important matters, but decisions may be adopted with a simple majority. In the event of a tied vote, the chairman of the Board has the casting vote.
The Board shall deal with matters of importance to the establishment and realisation of the venture. Within the limits of UiO:Energy's mandate, budget and other overarching guidelines issued by the University Board or the Rector (see in particular decision on establishment, University Board, V-case 6, Case no. 2012/4296) ‒ the Board itself shall make decisions in the following cases:
- Approval of the budget for UiO:Energy's activities
- Approval of overarching academic framework and strategies and overall organisation of the activity
- Guidelines and principles for allocation of seed funding and strategic funding
- Initiatives for UiO:Energy's work of promoting research, education, innovation and externally oriented activity
- Approval of the annual accounts and annual report on UiO:Energy's activities
The Board shall deal with and advise on questions of major organisational changes that affect UiO:Energy (including any proposals to merge UiO:Energy with other ventures/units) and provide input to UiO on overarching strategies and dispositions that will involve or be of major importance to UiO:Energy's field of work.