Simula Research Laboratory
Simula Research Laboratory (Simula) is a Norwegian research organisation located just outside Oslo, the capital of Norway. The laboratory conducts basic research in the fields of networks and distributed systems, scientific computing, and software engineering. It employs around 120 people, mainly scientific researchers, and has an annual budget of 100 million NOK (2009). Simula was established in 2001, and is headed by Professor Aslak Tveito. Simula has three main objectives; it carries out basic research at a high international level, explores ways to apply the research work carried out at the centre in both industry and the public sector, and educates master, PhD students and postdoctoral fellows, primarily in cooperation with the University of Oslo (UiO).
The laboratory is organised and managed as a private limited company in which the Norwegian state is the largest owner. The other owners of Simula or its subsidiaries are Statoil, Telenor, Bærum Municipality, SINTEF, and Norwegian Computing Centre.
The laboratory is named after the programming language Simula, a language developed by the Norwegian scientists Kristen Nygaard and Ole-Johan Dahl. Nygaard and Dahl received the A. M. Turing Award in 2001 and the IEEE John von Neumann Medal in 2002 for their contribution to the development of Object-oriented programming. The reasons why a new research laboratory at its birth took the name of an old programming language were twofold. First, it was intended to honour the outstanding scientific achievement of Dahl and Nygaard. The second reason was to demonstrate the laboratory’s ambition to perform important research that meets high standards of quality.
Dedicated to tackling scientific challenges with long-term impact and of genuine importance to real life, the laboratory undertakes research in networks and distributed systems, scientific computing, and software engineering.
The Norwegian government funds Simula through a contract with The Research Council of Norway. In addition, Simula seeks cooperation with industry in order to provide solutions, increase the relevance of the research, and in order to strengthen the funding of basic research. Simula’s policy is to base industrial alliances on long-term collaboration with partners that regard the laboratory’s research to be of strategic importance. The organisational and funding framework allows basic research to take centre stage, without any domination by constraints from pursuit of external funding typically found in industrial research institutes, or from the heavier teaching commitments found in the Universities.
The research is organised in large, focused projects. Complementing the portfolio of research projects, Simula hosts the Center of Biomedical Computing, which is a Centre of Excellence awarded by the Research Council of Norway for the period 2007 to 2017. The laboratory has also been awarded other prestigious projects by the Research Council of Norway, including two Outstanding Young Researcher grants. Over the past years, the laboratory has recruited internationally recognised researchers for all its three focus areas.
Simula Innovation (SI) is a separate limited company, fully owned by Simula, established to increase the return of national investment in Simula by promoting and facilitating the application of Simula’s research results in society and industry. To this end, SI assists the research departments at Simula in their efforts to realise their results in terms of applications.
Simula has collaborated with Statoil (prior to the merger between Statoil and Hydro, Simula collaborated with the oil and gas division of Hydro) since 2005, and the extent of this collaboration has increased. The cooperation entails research, education and commercialisation to a value of around 12 million NOK in 2009. Simula also works closely with other large industrial players including Det Norske Veritas and Telenor.
Consulting and technologically oriented projects are preferably organised as stand alone companies or conducted in cooperation with other partners. Simula has been involved in the creation and build-up of several companies that are based on research conducted in the laboratory. In total, seven spin-off companies have been established, with Kalkulo AS and Lividi AS standing out as particularly successful cases.
Since its formation in 2001 and through 2009, about 40 students have taken their doctoral degrees at Simula (through collaboration with University of Oslo, which is the institution awarding the degree). In 2007, Simula established a dedicated educational unit, the Simula School of Research and Innovation (SSRI), in order to improve and boost the research education. SSRI is responsible for all levels of education at Simula. In particular, these levels count master students, research trainees, PhD students and postdoctoral fellows.
There are currently over 30 PhD students and close to 20 postdoctoral research fellows at the school (2009). All students and postdoctoral fellows at Simula are associated with projects in the relevant research groups, and are working closely with the other project members.
- The Official Website
- A book published by Springer: Simula Research Laboratory - by thinking constantly about it
- Basic Research at Simula Research Laboratory
- Center for Biomedical Computing
- Research Education at Simula Research Laboratory
- Research Applications at Simula Research Laboratory
- Simula Innovation