SNF - Centre for Applied Research at NHH is a market-based research organisation. SNF was formally established in 1991 as a research foundation with academic ties to the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH).

SNF was established through the amalgamation of three contract research units which were all located near NHH. These were:

  • The Centre for Applied Research (SAF), which was established as a research centre at NHH in 1973, and subsequently organised as a separate research foundation in 1984.
  • The Institute of Industrial Economics (subsequently the Institute of Business Economics), which was established as a research unit under the Ministry of Industry in 1975.
  • The Centre for International Business (CIB), which was founded as a research foundation affiliated to NHH in 1986.

The research foundation SNF was reorganised in 2002. Its research tasks are now carried out by the limited company SNF (SNF AS). Its fund management responsibilities are still attended to by the Foundation for Research in Economics and Business Administration (the SNF Foundation).

Institutional basis

SNF is part of the NHH environment and is responsible for initiating, organising, performing and disseminating contract research and research-based studies in economics and business administration disciplines. 

SNF employs its own researchers, but it also engages researchers whose primary employment is with the institutions that form SNF's academic base on contract research projects. SNF's ownership structure means that there are no institutional barriers to prevent researchers at SNF from collaborating closely with researchers at NHH in all economics and business administration disciplines, and with researchers at UiB on economics and in business-oriented research.

The basic idea behind SNF

The basic idea behind SNF is that through its activities it should be able to perform a twofold task. On the one hand, SNF shall offer applied research and research-based studies based on the foremost theory and methods in economics and business administration disciplines.

It is an important prerequisite that SNF succeeds in developing good relations with its academic base, i.e. the academic environments at NHH, Norway's leading school of economics and business administration. On the other hand, the contract research shall provide problems and challenges that challenge current theory and methods, thus stimulating scholarly development and teaching. It is an important prerequisite in this context that SNF is successful in developing relations with and carrying out assignments for the business community and the authorities.

Business concept

SNF's business concept is the creation of value for its clients by contributing research-based knowledge that is relevant and provides insight, both to its clients and the public at large. SNF is successful when the research it delivers strengthens clients’ decision-making basis, stimulates innovation and restructuring efforts and otherwise contributes to value creation. Through the years, SNF has developed cutting-edge expertise in several business economics fields.


SNF shall be a constructive and solution-oriented partner for its clients, and a guarantor for projects' academic quality. Work performed by SNF staff shall be research-based, of a high professional standard, be performed in compliance with time-honoured scientific criteria and methods, and build on knowledge of the foremost international theory and methods. Openness and curiosity shall be an important driving force at SNF.

High integrity is a prerequisite. Even though SNF lives from selling research and studies, responsibility for its approach, methodology and results is not for sale. There shall be no secrecy about assignments or research results. All research must be documented and made publicly available.