Norway has hitherto been strongly involved in the preparatory work of establishing an ESS ERIC. The Research Council of Norway as well as NSD has been members of the ESS Infrastructure Preparatory Phase Consortium, and the fact that Norway signed the Mem orandum of understanding at the Consortium's final meeting on November the 10th 2010 in Brüssel, and thereby became member of the ESS ERIC Steering Committee, reflects Norway's commitment to the new and permanent infrastructure. As the ESSprep project now comes to an end, it is high time to prepare for Norwegian membership in ESS ERIC and to establish an ESS Infrastructure in Norway, which will be essential for maintaining Norway's role in the ESS. NSD has therefore on behalf of the research communities i n Norway submitted a grant proposal to the programme Research Infrastructure in order to:
1. Ensure Norwegian membership in ESS ERIC
2. Fund a National Coordinator responsible for conducting the ESS surveys in Norway, and for establishing networks based o n ESS research, nationally and internationally.
3. Ensure that NSD's leading role in the development and operation of the ESS e-infrastructure is maintained. This leading role in an international context is central for maintaining and developing NSD as an efficient infrastructure resource for the Norwegian social sciences in general.