Nofima, the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) and the latter’s subsidiary Akvaplan-niva signed a cooperation agreement yesterday afternoon that will ensure the aquaculture industry gains more knowledge and expertise. The three leading institutes were gathered in Tromsø where they signed the binding agreement.

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The three directors – Bente Torstensen from Nofima, Merete Kristiansen from Akvaplan-niva and Pål Molander from NIVA – will contribute to long-term and sustainable value creation within the field of aquaculture in Norway.

The collaborating institutes all have specialist expertise within their respective fields. A cooperation agreement helps them to complement each other more easily, and thus contributes to quicker knowledge enhancement in the aquaculture industries.

To ensure that the agreement leads to concrete results, each institute has appointed a contact person who is responsible for drawing up action plans. The directors are to meet twice a year to ensure that they cooperate in a way that is beneficial for both management and the aquaculture industry.

The institutes have defined a number of areas in which they possess knowledge that they can share among themselves, and also with the industries. These include:

  • biosecurity,
  • area planning and management,
  • environmental impact,
  • fish welfare and
  • new marine species.

New marine species include low-trophic aquaculture and circular utilisation of waste from bioindustries.

“In reality, we have been collaborating for a long time and the development of joint projects has shown that we have complementary expertise and that we work well together”, says Merete Kristiansen from Akvaplan-niva.

Nofima’s Bente Torstensen is interested in applicable research and says: “We all have an important social mission. We will deliver on that. It is important that food industry actors are constantly provided with new knowledge. Knowledge from research projects must be of such a nature that it can be put to use.” 

Pål Molander from NIVA gives a clear message:

“Entering into an agreement like this obligates us to set aside time in order to further develop and utilise our expertise together. The fact that we know each other well and trust each other at both management and researcher levels means that we can spend less time on administration. This enables us to deliver results from the projects we are part of in a more efficient manner.”

The cooperation agreement between the three institutes will also help ensure that infrastructure can be utilised in a joint manner.

  • NIVA has laboratories in Oslo, Bergen, Grimstad and Hamar, and a research station at Solbergstrand near Drøbak.
  • Akvaplan-niva has laboratories in Tromsø and a new and modern research station just outside Tromsø.
  • Nofima has laboratories in Tromsø, Ås and Bergen. In addition, they have a large research station at Sunndalsøra and the Biotep production facility in Kaldfjord outside Tromsø.

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