The Norwegian National Network Group for Oral Health Research and Innovation


The new norwegian National Network Group for Oral Health Research and Innovation just held it’s fourth meeting.

Simen E. Kopperud is a dentist in the Norwegian Armed Forces, as well as a senior scientist at NIOM.  He holds the position as secretary for the new national network group.





























In 2014, the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services published a white paper on the status of oral health research in Norway. The white paper emphasised that there were too many small research groups in the country, they focused on too many diverse subjects, and there was too little national and international collaboration.

In an effort to improve the situation, the Ministry decided to establish a research network group with representatives from oral health research institutions in Norway. Its purpose was to promote dialogue and collaboration. Network meetings would be a venue for updates, feedback and discussion. They would also assist the Ministry with advice related to oral health issues.

The network group representing all national oral health research institutions was established in 2018. It has representatives from the Universities of Oslo, Bergen and Tromsø, all Oral Health Centres of Expertise in Norway (OHCE), the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (INN) and the national TAKO-centre for rare oral diagnoses. The network group also recruited members from medical faculties (NTNU), the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, the Norwegian Dental Association (NTF) and the Norwegian Directorate of Health.

NIOM’s role

NIOM holds the secretariat in the network. NIOM director Jon E. Dahl is the leader of the group and senior scientist Simen E. Kopperud is secretary.

– We have held regular meetings since 2018, Simen E. Kopperud says.

During each meeting, they collect information from the institutions on planned, ongoing and recently completed research activities.

– The fourth meeting was held on Friday, May 15 2020. While the first three meetings were held at NIOM’s offices in Oslo, this meeting was held on a digital platform due to the Covid-19 situation, Kopperud explains.

Pictured: NIOM director Jon E. Dahl and senior scientist Simen E. Kopperud.

On the agenda

The first issue on the meeting agenda was a presentation of the HelseOmsorg21-monitor (HO21-monitor) by senior advisor Helen Engelstad Kvalem.

The HO21-monitor is developed and operated by the Research Council of Norway on behalf of the Ministry of Health and Care Services. It aims to provide a compilation of national statistics on health and care research.

– By presenting statistics on the population’s disease burden, resources spent on different fields of research and innovation, and results from the activities, the HO21-monitor can be a knowledge base for decision making at all levels within research, Kopperud says.

– I will cooperate with Engelstad Kvalem to ensure that our collected information on planned, ongoing and recently completed research activities within oral health gets incorporated in the HO-21 monitor.

Alliances formed

Another issue on the meeting agenda was to discuss possible joint research applications in response to a call for proposals from the Research Council of Norway. The topic is “Collaborative Project to meet Societal and Industry-related Challenges”. A total of NOK 35 million is reserved for research on oral health, multimorbidity and patient safety.

– We discussed many possible research projects in this regard. There was even some alliances made between multiple institutions within the group, Kopperud says.

The application deadline for this call is set to September 2.