About NIFU

The Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU) is an independent social science research institute, organized as a non-profit foundation. Sveinung Skule is the director.

NIFU aims to be a leading European research organization for studies of innovation, research and education at all levels. We collect, analyze and disseminate national statistics and indicators for R&D and innovation, and are active participants in statistical cooperation at European and international levels.

Our research and statistics offer a solid base from which policy makers can develop integrated knowledge policies. Through our projects and events, we aim to provide a vibrant meeting place for researchers, policymakers, the education and research sector and working life.



Sveinung Skule

Sveinung Skule has been the director of NIFU since 2010. He is a graduate of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and received his doctorate at the Faculty of Economics and Industrial Management in 1994. Skule has extensive experience working with skills and educational policy, as a researcher, research manager, and department manager.

research areas

  • Statistics & Indicators
  • Higher Education
  • Research & Innovation
  • Primary & Secondary Education


The research area has the national responsibility for collection, processing, interpretation and dissemination of national R&D statistics and indicators for the overall Norwegian R&D system. Tasks includes the preparation of R&D statistics and development of new indicators, managing the Register of research personnel, as well as facilitating and analyzing patent data and data on scientific publications (bibliometrics). The area aims to contribute to the development of better and more relevant indicators for the purpose of designing research and innovation policy in Norway as well as internationally.


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This research area covers a wide range of themes in Norwegian and international higher education. Higher education is studied from both individual and system perspectives. Key research themes are focused on universities and university colleges, their core activities, organisation and leadership, as well as students and staff in higher education. NIFUs research in this area is placed in a wider context of knowledge policies. Our aim is to produce knowledge that can enable quality enhancement across various levels of education, examining both the trajectories from secondary to higher education, and the role higher education as a means for employability and lifelong learning.

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The research area covers studies of research- and innovation policies, including bibliometrics, evaluations and studies of R&D and innovation systems. International cooperation and cross country comparisons are central elements in our work. The area is led by Head of Research Espen Solberg and counts 15 full time researchers and 7 associate professors from Norway, Denmark and Sweden.

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The research area comprises studies of all levels of primary and secondary education and training, as well as kindergarten and continuing education and training. NIFU conducts research within a broad educational policy framework and an overall goal is to provide research results and knowledge to improve quality at all levels of the educational system, from kindergarten through basic and higher education to employment.


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