The Norwegian Computing Center (NR) is an independent, non-profit and non-profit private foundation that carries out contract research for business, the public sector and private organizations both in Norway and internationally. The research areas are statistical modeling, machine learning and ICT.

NR is one of Europe’s largest environments in applied statistics. The largest applications are petroleum, finance / insurance, earth observation, climate and environment, health, management and image analysis. Within ICT, work is done with information security, universal design and smart information systems.

NR is always open for new assignments. We want the demanding issues that are important to our customers. NR has offices in Kristen Nygaard’s house at the University of Oslo. NR has about 85 employees, and the majority of researchers have a doctorate. NR’s subject areas are methodology, and we thus work closely with many other research environments, in addition to users in business and the public sector.

The story of the computing center that became a method institute

Ole-Johan Dahl, Kristen Nygaard and Simula

The Norwegian Computing Center was established with a main department at the Central Institute for Industrial Research and a local department at other major research environments in 1952. From 1958 NR and an independent research institute became part of NTNF and was later released in 1985. NR was a national computing center until the late 60s. When other environments got similar calculators, NR was changed to a method institute.

NR had Norway’s first electronic computer NUSSE which today stands at the Technical Museum. NR is known for having developed the first object-oriented programming language Simula in the 60s. In 2001, Ole-Johan Dahl and Kristen Nygaard received both the IEEE John von Neumann Medal and the Turing Prize for inventing Simula.

NR has traditionally been early developers of ICT in a number of areas. As the areas have become more commercial, NR has turned to new applications of ICT.

NR has been doing statistics since 1952. Statistics and ICT are methodological subjects used in a large number of areas. NR therefore has a large number of partners in many other research areas and other users of these subjects.

NR had a center for research-driven innovation, SFI, Statistics for innovation in the period 2007-2014 and has a new center, Big Insight, for the period 2015-2022.

Anniversary book

Anniversary book from 2002

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary in 2002, a book was made about the history of the Norwegian Computing Center. The book has contributions from almost 50 people, most of whom have been employees of the department. The book is richly illustrated, and is 392 pages long.

The book provides an overview of the department’s development from a computer center to a methodology institute and from a service body under NTNF’s selection committee for mathematics machines for independent research foundations. In addition, the book contains articles about the department’s contributions in a number of subject areas:

  • Detailed overview of the background, development and and results of SIMULA
  • Developments in quantitative methods, e.g. technical calculations, operation analysis, maps, remote sensing, image analysis and statistics
  • The development of computer technology and data communication
  • Computer technology in a societal perspective
  • The relationship to the surroundings
  • The conflict with NTNF in 1968 -1970 is covered by several authors with different points of view
  • The social life at the Norwegian Computing Center
  • Overview of the development
  • The development of the organization and a list of all employees in the main position through 50 years

The book costs NOK 200 (+ postage) and can be ordered from the NR: or phone (+47) 2285 2500