Curt Rice, Halla Bjørk Holmarsdottir, Rune Halvorsen and Per Martin Norheim-Martinsen.

OsloMet Research Projects Awarded Prestigious Horizon 2020 Grants

Two international research projects coordinated by research teams at OsloMet have been awarded a total of six million euros as part of the European Union’s flagship research programme, Horizon 2020.

Pictured above from left: Curt Rice, Halla Bjørk Holmarsdottir, Rune Halvorsen and Per Martin Norheim-Martinsen.

The first of these projects, DigiGen, examines how digitalisation influences the lives of children and young people. The second project, EUROSHIP, aims to explore how social differences can be reduced across Europe.

Each project has been awarded three million euros.

"I’m tremendously proud of the fact that OsloMet-led projects have been awarded two Horizon 2020 grants," rector Curt Rice said in a statement.

One of the projects involves nine participating countries, while the other features no fewer than ten.

Horizon 2020 Grants are a Testament to Quality and Relevance

"A Horizon 2020 grant is a testament to the quality and relevance of the research being conducted here at OsloMet," Rice continued.

"The fact that we have been successful in organising large, interdisciplinary projects across our faculties and research centres also demonstrates the strides we have made in this area," said Per Martin Norheim-Martinsen, Vice-Rector for Research and Development.

The successful projects are led by Professor Halla Bjørk Holmarsdottir of the Faculty of Education and International Studies and Rune Halvorsen of the Faculty of Social Sciences, respectively.

"I’m very happy that OsloMet chose to support our work on this funding application. A successful Horizon 2020 application requires sustained efforts and close cooperation between the administration and the academic staff," EUROSHIP coordinator Rune Halvorsen reflected after learning the project had been awarded funding. Halvorsen is a professor of social policy in the Department of Social Work, Child Welfare and Social Policy at the Faculty of Social Sciences.

"Together with our partners in Europe, we now have the opportunity to advance the frontier of research and develop interdisciplinary knowledge about how young people’s daily lives are influenced by technology," says the project manager for DigiGen, Professor Halla Bjørk Holmarsdottir of the Faculty of Education and International Studies.

DigiGen: How Does Digitalisation Influence Children and Young People's Lives?

The project ‘The Impact of Technological Transformations on the Digital Generation (DigiGen)’ will take place over three years.

The name of the project refers to the ‘digital generation’, the generation of young people who have never experienced a world without the Internet, smart phones or social media. Over the course of three years, researchers from all over Europe will investigate how continuous digitalisation and technological development influence the lives of children and young people.

Among the project’s goals is to gain insight both into how young people's daily lives can be positively influenced by technology possible, as well as the challenges a digitalised world can pose for a young person’s education, family life, friendships, free time and social participation.

DigiGen takes an interdisciplinary approach and researchers intend to test out new and innovative methods for data collection and analysis, like involving children and young people as co-researchers. The project aims to contribute to the realisation of a number of the UN’s sustainable development goals that are focused on children. These include:

The consortium of participating institutions is led by professor Halla Bjørk Holmarsdottir at the Faculty of Education and International Studies, with the participation of NOVA and the Faculty of Technology, Art and Design. It consists of research institutions in seven European countries, in addition to a European network of civil society organisations engaged in the field of social policy that represent the interests of the families. 

Participating Institutions

EUROSHIP: Counteracting Inequality in Social Citizenship

The project Closing gaps in social citizenship. New tools to foster social resilience in Europe, or EUROSHIP, will also take place over a period of three years.

The aim of EUROSHIP to produce ground-breaking comparative research on how effective welfare policy measures are in reducing poverty and social exclusion in Europe.

The project team will investigate the importance of an income security system (including social assistance services), digitalisation in working life and social services, and to what extent three different groups who tend to have low levels of income and educational attainment—young people, workers who have care responsibilities and low or uncertain income, and older and disabled people with long-term care needs—are able to influence their own lives using social and political means.

The project also focuses on the instruments the EU wields in the fight against poverty and social exclusion in a Europe characterised by different levels of governance and considerable regional differences. EUROSHIP will seek out cooperation with European and national interest groups to reach the groups being studied and increase the project’s social relevance.

EUROSHIP researchers will employ a range of methods, data sources and academic disciplines (political science, sociology, economics, social policy) in innovative ways.

In present-day Europe, social rights are guaranteed by a political system with several governance levels: the EU, nationally, regionally and locally. Through the project, researchers hope to contribute to an improved understanding of the EU's socio-political role in this system of multilevel governance. In this way, the project will provide knowledge that can contribute to further development and implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights and the UN's sustainable development goals, and thereby raise the minimum standards for social rights in Europe.

EUROSHIP will be led by Rune Halvorsen of the Faculty of Social Sciences at OsloMet and will feature the participation of NOVA, a research centre that is part of OsloMet.  Eight additional research institutions from across Europe and a European network of civil society organisations engaged in the field of social policy will contribute to the project as well.

Participating Institutions