Nofima will participate in as many as 22 new research projects funded by the Research Council of Norway (NFR), and three projects funded by research funds for agriculture and the food industry. Never before has the institute been assigned so many new projects at once.
“The assignments prove that our expertise is both in demand and relevant. For Nofima, this year’s allocations prove that industry values our expertise,” says Øyvind Fylling-Jensen, Managing Director of Nofima.
The production and processing of food is one of Norway’s largest mainland industries. Research will support jobs, industry and settlement in rural areas. Covid-19 has made this even more relevant, because the significance of the national security of supply is important when world trade slows down. Small margins in the food industry show that access to collectively funded research contributes to strengthen businesses’ ability to innovate.
“In many ways, we are the research department of small and medium-sized businesses. In order to assist these businesses, we need a strong, applied and relevant research effort. We need research that supports green and blue businesses throughout the country,” Fylling-Jensen says.
The Research Council of Norway is clear that the funds are destined for solving the major challenges to society. Close cooperation between scientists, private business and the public sector is required. The new projects will develop new knowledge and build research expertise that society needs.
“We’ve maintained close dialogue with the industry, which focuses on research projects that contribute to making food production more sustainable and that also hopefully creates new jobs. I’m very pleased with the outcome. Now we will deliver applied research that strengthens the food industry’s competitive ability,” says Øyvind Fylling-Jensen.
Eleven of the assignments are innovation projects in industry (IPI projects). These are projects headed by industry with Nofima as research partner. In addition, there are eleven expertise and partnership projects of which Nofima will head eight. The final three projects are financed by the fund for research fees on agricultural products (FFL) and the Agricultural Agreement (AA funds).
The total amount for all of the projects Nofima will be involved in is NOK 274 million. Nofima’s share has not yet been determined, because the project funds are to be distributed among the partners, but there is no doubt that the allocation will strengthen food research in Norway.