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iFOODnet is a multi-disciplinary and inter-sectorial Norway-Japan Training and Research Network.

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01. Feb 2021


31. Jan 2024

Funded by

The Research Council of Norway


Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU); Tokyo University of Marine Science (TUMSAT); Tokyo University of Agriculture (TokyoNODAI)

iFOODnet Training school

Norwegian and Japanese students creating new food concepts together during 1-week international Training School 2021

Updated January 2022

Securing future food supply within the planet’s boundaries is a global challenge engaging students and researchers cross-borders. This societal challenge was chosen as an overall theme when NTNU arranged a 1-week Training School in 8-12 November 2021. The Training School was part of the iFOODnet project coordinated by Nofima and founded by the Ministry of Education and Research through Norwegian Research Council and Diku. 

The aim of the Training School was to increase awareness of the societal food challenges and to equip the students with an innovation toolbox, international network and cross-cultural and disciplinary skills in teamwork whilst designing future food concepts.   

“What will be the future protein sources?” and “How to reduce food loss and waste?” were the two topics the students worked in groups to develop food concepts on. The week comprised lectures in innovation, design thinking methodology, multidisciplinary project work, food trends and pitching of ideas as well as daily group work. On the last day, each group presented their food concepts. 

41 students joined the event from 2 universities in Japan (Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology; Tokyo University of Agriculture) and 2 (NTNU; University of Stavanger) in Norway representing 20 different study programs at Bachelor, Master or PhD levels. Twenty-two Japanese students and 16 Norwegians joined the daily program from 8-12 PM Norwegian time and 16-20 PM Japanese time. The program had a strong focus on collaborative group work: the students were divided into groups of 4 to 6, each group consisting of students from Japan and Norway and from the different universities. In the beginning of the teamwork, the Japanese students were more reticent in the discussions, but that improved during the week and the teams became an arena for creativity and knowledge sharing among students with different cultures and backgrounds.  The students reported high learning outcome and increased international network through the Training School.

Food concepts

  • Wastecraft – there is no waste only resources
  • Single cell protein
  • Insects as ingredient – protein hopper
  • Proteins for elderly
  • The green house
  • Spirulina as a protein source for elderly
  • Alternative protein sources for emergency products
  • Modified atmosphere cabinet

…. Since our group had the theme of developing yogurt for the elderly in Japan, we went on a fieldwork to show Japanese supermarkets [to the Norwegian students]. Norwegian students were very interested in getting to know the Japanese modern food culture, and I was impressed with their curiosity….. I realised that even we Japanese have different ways of thinking about the society and living styles.  – a MSc student at TUMSAT, Japan. 

The Training School was organised and led by Professor Turid Rustad, researcher and vice dean for innovation Catherine Taylor and assoc. professor Eva Falch at NTNU. The organizers were impressed about the student teamwork and the food concepts developed by the students. This was above all expectation and the teaching model developed here will be used in future training in international teamwork. Such collaboration will help our global food systems to drive in the right direction towards sustainability.   

The 2nd iFOODnet Training School in Tokyo, Japan

Updated November 2022

The students who participated in the Training School. Photo: Izumi Sone

iFOODnet’s goal is to build multidisciplinary and inter-sectorial training and research network for collaboration between Norway and Japan. The 2nd iFOODnet Training School 2022 was organised by Professor Shingo Matsukawa at Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (TUMSAT, Japan) and gave opportunities for Japanese and Norwegian students to learn more about food research and innovation and interact and work with each other. 

The event was held on TUMSAT campus in Tokyo from October 3 to October 7, 2022. The program was designed to incorporate virtual and live presentations from speakers. Furthermore, the program incorporated activities, such as presentations, demonstrations, group works, and tour to the university research ship, market, and museum, to have a meaningful understanding about food availability, utilization, stability, and accessibility.

Student presentation about the use of fish skin as a new source of gelatin.                Photo: Randi Sund

Four Japanese and Norwegian universities and one research institute were represented at the Training School: TUMSAT, Tokyo University of Agriculture (Tokyo NODAI, Japan), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU, Norway), University of Stavanger (UiS, Norway) and Nofima (Norway). Twenty-seven students from bachelor, MS, and PhD levels participated in the event: 17 from TUMSAT, 7 from NTNU, 1 from Tokyo NODAI, and 2 from UiS.

The training school served as an avenue for student participants to examine issues about global food security and sustainability and advocate ways to solve these issues by making a business plan. The participants were divided into 5 groups and presented their respective business plans at the end of the week:

Business plans

  • Wireless freezer for fish transport in developing countries
  • Bringing edible food back to the market
  • Jellyfish as new food source
  • The use of fish skin as new source of gelatin
  • Recycling edible oil for biodiesel

After the Training School students were asked to give feedback on how they experienced working in groups with fellow students from different science and international background and what they found most interesting and most challenging. The main challenge seemed to be communication, as the student’s knowledge of English varied within the group. However, despite this, the feedback was very positive with the students feeling that they were able to gain insight into new fields of science and another culture. Some quotes from the students are included below.

How was your experience to work in groups with fellow students from different science and international background?

“Working with fellow students from different science and international background was both fun and enlightening. I learned a lot of new things from the knowledge and expertise shared by my fellow students.”

“I was excited about working with different students, cultures, and science, which enabled me to increase my knowledge and experience.”

What did you find most interesting during the Training School? 

“Being introduced to a whole different culture, both at the university but also in Japan itself. It was interesting to see how the structure and lectures were at TUMSAT.”

“The group work. We decided to make our product in the lab. The process was simple, but designing the recipe, working in the lab and making a product was a valuable experience.”

Staff from Nofima and NTNU also travelled to Tokyo to teach at the Training School, meet with TUMSAT employees and students, and to participate in a project meeting. The staff joining from NTNU were Associate Professor and work-package leader of iFOODnet WP2 Eva Falch, Vice Dean for Innovation and Researcher at the NV faculty Catherine Taylor Nordgård, Researcher Kurt Ingar Draget, and Julia Zazhigina from the Office of International Relations. The staff joining from Nofima were Research Director in the Department of Processing Technology Morten Sivertsvik, project manager of iFOODnet Izumi Sone, and PhD-student Randi Sund.

Lunch at TUMSAT. Photo: Izumi Sone.

Morten Sivertsvik and Professor Jørgen Lerfall from NTNU held a hybrid lecture where Morten Sivertsvik was presenting live at TUMSAT and Jørgen Lerfall’s part was pre-recorded. Eva Falch and Professor Turid Rustad from NTNU also held a hybrid lecture with Eva Falch present at TUMSAT and Turid Rustad joining online via Teams. Additionally, both Catherine Taylor and Kurt Ingar Draget were present at TUMSAT and held a lecture together. 

Morten Sivertsvik, Izumi Sone, and Randi Sund met with professors from the laboratories of Food Thermal Processing and Food Microbiology within the Department of Food Science and Technology. In these meetings Nofima and their work was presented, and the professors from TUMSAT presented their laboratory and work. Based on these presentations, potential research collaborations were discussed. The meetings were interesting and have opened for continued contact and hopefully future collaborations.  

Julia Zazhigina, Eva Falch, and Catherine Taylor Nordgård, met with the Office of International Relations at TUMSAT to discuss how to increase student mobility from Japan to Norway. Julia Zazhigina explained the whole process of applying for an exchange to Norway, including requirements regarding English proficiency, how to find accommodation, financial guarantees required by The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration for visa application and study permit, and the possibility of joining a summer course in Norwegian. Cultural differences and differences in teaching methods between the two countries, as well as financial arrangements for exchange students between Japan and Norway, were also discussed. Additionally, Dr. Catherine Taylor Nordgård shared her experience of welcoming two Japanese master’s students through the iFOODnet program for a research stay in the spring of 2022. Both the staff from NTNU and TUMSAT found this very useful and informative, and hopefully it will help facilitate future exchange of students between the two universities. Julia Zazhigina also held a presentation about NTNU for a group of students from TUMSAT who were interested in an exchange stay in Norway. The students were very interested and asked a lot of questions.

Visit to the Norwegian Embassy in Tokyo. From left to right: Otto Malmgren, Shingo Matsukawa, Morten Sivertsvik, Julia Zazhigina, Eva Falch, Izumi Sone, Marianne Støren Berg. Photo: Norwegian Embassy in Tokyo

Julia Zazhigina and Eva Falch from NTNU, Morten Sivertsvik and Izumi Sone from Nofima, and Shingo Matsukawa from TUMSAT visited the Norwegian Embassy in Tokyo. Here they were met by Otto Malmgren and Marianne Støren Berg who are working with technology, research, and higher education at the embassy. The iFOODnet project was presented and possibilities for further collaboration within research, education, and industry, and financial arrangements for such collaborations were discussed. There was also a discussion on how to facilitate exchange from Japan to Norway and how to make NTNU a more popular exchange destination for Japanese students. The Norwegian Embassy posted about this on their LinkedIn page, the post can be seen here.

In addition to this, both students and staff were able to get to know fellow students and colleagues over dinners and sightseeing during the afternoons. Tokyo was thoroughly explored by the Norwegian visitors and new and exciting food was tasted. Overall, a great experience with opportunities to make new connections, expand our knowledge within the field of food science, and learn about Japanese culture and food traditions.

Student mobility

Interview with two MSc students from Japan 2022

Updated May 2022

Finally, two MSc students from Japan arrived in Norway for their 3-month research stay at NTNU. In this interview, we present Hazuki Takagi and Yumika Hayano. Their stay will be connected to [CIP#3] Biomaterials and Smart Packaging, under partner supervision of Prof. Shingo Matsukawa (TUMSAT), Dr. Catherine Taylor Nordgård and Dr. Kurt Inger Draget (NTNU). 

Hazuku Takagi

Picture of Yumika and Hazuku at Agdenes together with a daughter of their supervisor Dr. Catherine Taylor Nordgård, NTNU. Photo: Arne Nordgård. 

Please, tell us about you and your background. 

My name is Hazuku Takagi and I’m a Master student (22 years old) in TUMSAT. I’m from Kanagawa prefecture and my town has a beautiful sea. And my hobby is sailing. I belonged to a sailing club team for four years and I love it. So, I love sea. And I love the town, Trondheim because it has a beautiful sea also. And I’m very into J-pop musicians. I hope to make friend who has same hobby. 

Which institution (research group) and topics are you going to work in?

I study about gelatin (fish and mammal) for a year and I’m going to continue this study at NTNU in Norway. Fish gelatin is not used in general yet due to it has a very low melting point compered to mammalian gelatin. And many researchers are trying to use it as a substitute for bovine gelatin. But there is no solution about it yet. Our research’s aim is not making substitute for bovine gelatin. However, I think mixture of mammal and fish gelatin has interesting property. 

Photo: Hazuku Takagi

Why did you want to take part in iFOODnet student mobility? 

I first learned of this project just over a year ago. Prof. Mastukawa ask me to join this project. Then I was really excited about this. I thought that staying abroad for a long period of time was something I could only do while I was a university student. And, I thought it was a rare opportunity to experience another laboratory. It worth to do for me even though this staying abroad has difficult way due to this pandemic. I am hoping to talk with many professional people. In this university, there are many researchers with a lot of professional knowledge. And, I am hoping to make some new friends at NTNU.

What impressions do you have so far? 

I have been here for two weeks already. This has really crisp and clean air. And everything is new. I think this town is good for starting something new. Because everyone here is very kindly. All cars stop when I walk crossing. Strangers help me when I am confusing how can I use laundry. One talk to me ” Snowing is not special thing here!” when I am surprised the snow in April. But my study is started just now. I think everything is start from now. I’ll do my best both of study and life here. 

Yumika Hayano

Please, tell us about you and your background. 

Photo: Yumika Hayano

I am Yumika Hayano, 22 years old and currently taking a master’s degree at TUMSAT. The subject of my master thesis is “Gel formation mechanism of the mixture of mammalian gelatin and cold-water-fish gelatin”My hobby includes eating (especially sweets) and cooking and reading manga. 

Why did you want to take part in iFOODnet student mobility? 

One is to enrich my study in master course regarding fish gelatin. Fortunately, there are a lot of specialists of fish gelatin in NTNU, which is the university I go to through iFoodnet project. So, I thought it is a good chance for me to study a lot. The other is to improve my thinking ability and communication skill. When I joined the training school that was held by iFoodnet in last autumn, I was impressed by the high discussion skill of Norwegian students. This experience made me would like to try to gain experience at a higher level.

What are your expectations of living in Norway?  

One is to get a lot of knowledge about fish gelatin itself and the effective way of experiments. The other is to enjoy the life in Norway and understand the different culture from Japan.

What impressions do you have so far? 

Everyone who joins this project treats me kindly, so I really appreciate their help. Through this project, I’m happy to enrich my study in master course because there are a lot of specialists of fish gelatin and machines that I have never used before in NTNU. I try the experiments that I would not conduct if I just stay at my laboratory in Japan. In addition, it gave me a good chance to understand the different culture from Japan. Actually, I don’t have so much experience in foreign countries, so I’m glad to get such a good chance. Currently, I feel that I would not like to go back to Japan because Norway is the best place for me to live in.

Welcome home! –  Student interview upon completion 2022

Updated August 2022

The two MSc students from TUMSAT completed their 3-month research stay at NTNU and came safely home. In this interview, we asked them to share their experiences. 

Hazuku Takagi

What was it like for you to live and work in Norway for three months? 

Norway is really great place. The air is clear and crisp. I love such a great nature. I did hike some weekend. And people there are very friendly. So, I had spent life there very much. 

What did you learn most through your stay? 

It is how can I discuss in English. I discussed many times there. First time, it is difficult for me to discuss in English but for their kindly support, using figure and table and teach again and again, I could discuss in English and lean how can I discuss in English.

Would you recommend iFOODnet mobility to other students, and why?

Yes, I think if you are interested in studying abroad, it is good chance for it. We could take a keeping support during stay. And I think Norway is the best place to study trip because of kindly country. 

Yumika Hayano

What was it like for you to live and work in Norway for three months? 

It was a great experience for me not only for study but also for understanding of other cultures. I did enough experiments for my study and had a lot of chances to communicate with Norwegian. Norwegian culture and vies were very different from Japanese, so it was very interesting for me. I think that I would not know Norwegian cultures and values if I did not go to Norway, so I feel very happy to have had such a great chance and work in Norway!

What did you learn most through your stay? 

At first, I thought that it would not be so difficult to communicate with Norwegian because I spoke English every day in my lab in Japan, but it was difficult for me to get used to the accent, intonation and phrases of Norwegian English. However, fortunately, I had a lot of chance to talk with Norwegian colleagues, for example, my supervisors and flat mates. So, it did not take a long time to get used to Norwegian English (around 1 month and a half).

Would you recommend iFOODnet mobility to other students, and why?

I would like to recommend that students who are interested in study abroad would join the iFOODnet program. We can get enough financial support and a lot of information about housing in Norway. So, there were few things that we need to be worry about. Also, the life in Norway is great. Norwegian are very kind and friendly, so we have a lot of chance to communicate with them; not only daily conversation but also discussion about research topic. Furthermore, we do not have to wonder what to do when we have troubles because Norwegian always readily give us advice. I think that it is better for students who are interested in study abroad or international cultures to join this program because it takes too long time to go to Norway in private time, especially after getting job.

Interview with MSc student from Tokyo University of Agriculture 2022

Updated November 2022

Fumika working together with Ayda in the lab. Photo: Leena Prabhu/Nofima

Another MSc student arrived in Norway for research stay at Nofima, Stavanger. In this interview, we present Fumika Tomono who will be working under partner supervision of Prof Sagane Yoshimasa (Tokyo University of Agriculture, TokyoNODAI) and Dr Estefaníe Noriega Fernández (Nofima/EFSA), for research collaboration within [CIP#2] Innovative Food Processing and Functionality, on innovative extraction of microalgae. 

Next Spring 2023 there will be another MSc student Ayda Omar Mohamed from University of Stavanger travelling from Nofima to Tokyo NODAI, Japan. Her MSc thesis is closely related to Fumika’s and they will be working in collaboration at both places. 

Please, tell us about you and your background.

My name is Fumika Tomono. I am 23 years old and a first-year master’s student at Tokyo University of Agriculture. I am studying microalgae proteins. I am from Hyogo Prefecture. Osaka and Kyoto are close by, so I have no trouble finding places to play. I enjoy playing games, buying clothes, and taking trips.

Which institution (research group) and topics are you going to work in?

Photo: Fumika Tomono

When I was an undergraduate student, I studied botulinum neurotoxin at the Tokyo University of Agriculture’s Laboratory of Bioresource Science, and now I am studying microalgae proteins. With the growing interest in food problems and plant-based proteins, we focused on microalgae as one of the new protein sources other than meat. However, breaking up cell walls is a challenge, so my research focuses on how to solve this problem.

Why did you want to take part in iFOODnet student mobility? 

Originally, I wanted to live and study in a country other than Japan. After I earned my bachelor’s degree, I didn’t want to graduate without studying abroad, and then my lab instructor invited me to participate in iFOODnet’s student mobility program. I told him that I was very interested in participating because I was planning to go abroad myself if I did not have this opportunity.

Photo: Fumika Tomono

What are your expectations of living in Norway?  

To experience different cultures firsthand. Both in terms of research and living. I had only been abroad on trips, so I have only tasted superficial things such as the beauty of the landscape. I believe that living and researching there will be a great experience in my life.

What impressions do you have so far? 

When I am in Japan, I can only speak mostly with Japanese people, so it is refreshing to see a mix of people from different ethnic backgrounds. It is also interesting to see the differences in small things such as shopping at the supermarket. I sometimes feel confused, but everyone is very kind to me. Besides, as you would expect from a Scandinavian country, the houses are pretty

Welcome home, Fumika (Tokyo NODAI)  – Student interview upon completion 2022 

Updated February 2023

MSc student from Tokyo NODAI Fumika Tomono arrived home upon her completion of 2-month research stay at Nofima (October to December 2022).

She and MSc student Ayda Omar Mohamed from University of Stavanger worked side by side during the period on complementary topics under partner supervision of Prof Sagane Yoshimasa (Tokyo University of Agriculture, TokyoNODAI) and Dr Estefaníe Noriega Fernández (Nofima/EFSA) and have become very good colleagues and friends.

Ayda is now conducting her research stay at Tokyo NODAI until the end of March 2023, further extending their collaboration. Below Fumika shares her experiences of working and living in Norway.  

What was it like for you to live and work in Norway?  

I found it different in many ways. Norway has wonderful nature, and perhaps because of this, many people like to hike. I also thought the nature of the people and the way they work is different. Everyone is very kind, and many people value their time.  

Hike to Preikestolen (Photo: Fumika Tomono)

What did you learn most through your stay?  

A boat tour to a fish farm during Innovation trip (Photo: Fumika Tomono) 

The most important thing I learned in Norway is communication. Of course, I was conducting experiments with microalgae, so of course I learned how to conduct specific experiments, but communication was always necessary to learn that. For me, communicating in English was unfamiliar and scary, but as I asked questions and learned from everyone kindly, I became less and less afraid of communicating. It gave me confidence that I could interact even if my English was not perfect. 

Would you recommend iFOODnet mobility to other students, and why? 

I would naturally recommend joining iFoodNET. The only way to realize the good and bad points that you couldn’t notice if you just stayed in Japan, and the good and bad points that are unique to Norway, is to dive into that environment. I am sure you will discover something new in the country with a different language, working style, and culture. I would like you to attend meetings in English, shop at local supermarkets, and see for yourself the local plants. The experience will surely be an asset. 

Her stay was also shared at Tokyo NODAI’s Instagram account.   

Interview with Ayda O. Mohamed, MSc student from University of Stavanger 2023 

Updated February 2023

Another MSc student arrived in Japan for research stay at Tokyo NODAI. Ayda will continue her MSc work at Tokyo University of Agriculture, TokyoNODAI (Abashiri, Japan) under under partner supervision of Prof Sagane Yoshimasa and Dr Estefaníe Noriega Fernández (Nofima/EFSA).

She will be working on innovative extraction of microalgae, within [CIP#2] Innovative Food Processing and Functionality. Working with her is our previous iFOODnet student, Fumika Tomono, who stayed at Nofima last year working on the complementary topic for her thesis.  

Please, tell us about you and your background (subject of master thesis, where from, age, hobby etc)  

On a road trip with my colleague Fumika Tomono at Tokyo NODAI. Photo: Fumika Tomono 

My name is Ayda and I’m a 23 years old student from Norway. I’m a second-year master student at the university of Stavanger and doing my master thesis with Nofima in Stavanger. I have done a bachelor program in biochemistry and continued in the program in my master with specializing in molecular biology. My master thesis is about “Unlocking the potential of future proteins: Innovative strategies for enhanced extraction and functionality of microalgae proteins”. I spend most of my time studying and working, but I also enjoy exercising, photography and videography, going on trips and I lately started trying painting. Learning languages is fascinating, so maybe I will get the chance to learn some Japanese while I’m here.  

Which institution (research group) and topics are you going to work in? 

I have a background with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, where I completed my thesis with Nofima and studied the protein and polysaccharide interactions towards food applications. My master research is about microalgae, specifically Chlorella. Where the challenge is to find the optimum way of breaking the cell walls and experiment with different cell disruption methods. My first semester I worked in Nofima Stavanger and my second semester I will continue my work in Tokyo university of Agriculture.  

The City of Abashiri. Photo: Ayda O. Mohamed

Why did you want to take part in iFOODnet student mobility?  

I enjoyed working with Nofima in my bachelor studies, so when I had to apply for my master thesis, the iFOODnet project seemed very interesting. I always wanted to study abroad and try a different student environment in my filed. As a last year master student, it was the perfect chance for me to have this opportunity. Also, the iFOODnet training school in Tokyo made me more open towards trying living in Japan and work together with Japanese students and to obtain more experience both in my studies and in a different culture.   

What are your expectations of living in Japan? 

I will be living in the city of Abashiri, north Japan, which I heard will be very cold and a lot of snow. In Stavanger it does not snow much so that will be interesting to live in a snowy and cold city for three months. I will be learning and working in the laboratory here, so I will get a lot of knowledge through laboratory experiments and working with fellow students. Also, experiencing and enjoying the Japanese life and culture. 

Me and Fumika visiting the drift ice museum. Photo/Ayda O. Mohamed

What impressions do you have so far?  

It is a lot of snow here but good weather, almost sunny every day. My fellow student Fumika and the supervisor are kindly helping me with everything. It is very interesting to experience the life in a small city, there are language barriers but its part of the experience. I got introduced to many students and teachers at the university and everyone are kind and helpful. It is my first time living abroad and travelling alone, so far so good. I’m enjoying visiting famous places, trying new food and mostly excited for having the chance to experience the culture here.  

Innovation activities

iFOODnet Innovation Trip 2022

Updated September 2022

By Yumika Hayno & Hazuku Takagi

We helped preparing the dinner at Prof. Torset’s home. Picture taken by Prof. Torset

We had a great time during our trip to Ålesund. It was a 2-day program. On the first day, we visited NTNU in Ålesund. Surprisingly, I met a PhD student graduated from my university, TUMSAT! We were so excited to meet another Japanese student in Norway. We talked a lot about her research, the reason why she decided to live in Norway. We stayed at Prof. Torset’s home and had a dinner together. Her family welcomed and treated us kindly. On the dinner time, we enjoyed talking about Norwegian and Japanese culture, favorite Norwegian food and its recipe, lifestyle in Japan and so on. It was the best time during this trip.

Second day, we took a campus tour and went to the Aquarium Atlanterhavsparken. We found interesting that there were no bright color fish and blue back fish with glittery skin unlike Japan. This is because the sea in Norway is mostly deep sea due to the fjord. After the aquarium tour, we went to the central of the city and had a wonderful time. I bought a cheese cutter; it is very famous souvenir in Norway. On the way back to Trondheim we took a Hurtigruten boat. The trip on the boat offered a great viewing and comfortable seat and more great than what I expected before. We talked about these two months, this trip and future. At all, we had a great time in Ålesund.

iFOODnet Innovation Trip 2023, Bergen, Norway 
The view at the top of Fløyen (Photo: Ayda Omar Mohamed) 

Updated February 2023

By Fumika Tomono & Ayda Omar Mohamed  

We had a 2-day trip to Bergen and visited the Norwegian Fisheries Museum in Bergen.  The museum visit was planned for the second day, so we spent the first day exploring the city of Bergen. 

The city center was decorated for Christmas, so we took the chance and walked around the Christmas market. The market had many shops, food trucks and carousels, Fumika bought souvenirs from the market.

We took lunch at the fish market in Bergen center and had fried shrimp, very delicious. Then we rested at the hotel after having dinner in a local restaurant.

Lunch at the fish market (Photo: Ayda Omar Mohamed) 

In the evening, we decided to visit one of the most famous sights, Fløyen. We took the fløibane (a funicular railway) to highest point (400 m) and viewed the city of Bergen at the night-time, it was magical. 

On the second day, we visited the Norwegian Fisheries Museum.

There we boarded a boat and were taken to a salmon farm. There were several circular fish ponds floating on the sea, each about 50 meters in diameter.

Each pond is connected to a central facility by a hose, and dead salmon are automatically collected and stored in silage.

They are used as fertilizer for agriculture and other purposes. The inside of the hose is cleaned with a round sponge. 

Boat trip at Norwegian Fisheries Museum (Photo: Ayda Omar Mohamed) 

It was very interesting to actually see the cameras used to check on the salmon and the machine that automatically spreads the food.

We also had the unforgettable experience of walking along the edge of the fish pond to see the salmon, and being on a boat, and experiencing wind speeds of over 100 km/h.

It was a very fulfilling trip to Bergen! 

Spreading good news

Joint conference contribution 2022

Prof Matsukawa (TUMSAT, Japan) presented his joint work with Dr Catherine T. Nordgård and Dr Kurt Ingar Draget (NTNU, Norway) as oral presentation at 16th International Hydrocolloids Conference at Ontario, Canada (24-26 October 2022), under the title: “Physical properties of mixed gels of fish & mammalian gelatins”. 

Morten (Nofima), Takahashi sensei and Yuusa Nakamura (TUMSAT) together at the WEFTA conference in Rotterdam, in front of the iFOODnet poster. Photo: Morten Sivertsvik/Nofima

The join conference contribution is a result of the student exchange (May-July 2023) and join work between the two universities involving TUMSAT MSc students Hazuki Takagi and Yumika Yahano. 

Further, we have presented iFOODnet project at two international conferences for food science and technology. 

iFOODnet partners from Japan, Assist. Prof. Takahashi (TUMSAT) and his PhD and MSc students joined and presented poster and oral presentations at the 50th Western European Fish Technologists Association (WEFTA)  in Rotterdam, Netherlands (17th – 21th October 2022) together with Prof Turid Rustad (NTNU), Dr Morten Sivertsvik and Dr Izumi Sone (Nofima) from Norway. This pleasant meeting was jointly supported by iFOODnet and JSPS collaboration project between TUMSAT and Nofima.

iFOODnet project and our CIP-centered collaboration for research and education were presented again at the 36thEFFoST International Conference in the following month in Dublin. 

Image gallery

About iFOODnet

The project iFOODnet (Towards a Norway – Japan Innovative Research & Training Network Driving Next-Generation Food Systems) will develop world-class research and education in Norway upon long-term Noway-Japan (inter)national partnership on four cross-disciplinary/sectoral innovation pillars (CIPs) paving the way towards next-generation sustainable, resource-efficient, zero-waste food systems, and eventually, a smart, circular & resilient bioeconomy 4.0.

iFOODnet is anchored on the four strategic cross-disciplinary/sectoral innovation pillars (CIPs), expanding the scope of the NFR funded iNOBox project.

In iFOODnet, Nofima, the Europe’s largest applied food science & aquaculture research institute teams up with Norwegian University of Technology & Science (NTNU) to build long-term, international collaboration with Tokyo University of Marine Science & Technology (TUMSAT) and Tokyo University of Agriculture (TokyoNODAI).

iFOODnet’s International Training Research & Innovation Programme (ITP) will feature CIP-based student mobility with a short-term innovation mission, annual Training School and dissemination training events, to equip early-stage researchers with innovation-oriented & entrepreneurial mind-sets, in-depth research-enabling competences, transferrable/cross-cutting skills, and cultural diversity.

iFOODnet project is  financed by the Research Council of Norway and the Norwegian Agency for International Cooperation and Quality Enhancement in Higher Education (Diku), within the RCN INTPART programme – International Partnerships for Excellent Education, Research and Innovation.


In iFOODnet, Nofima, the Europe’s largest applied science food research institute teams up with Norwegian University of Technology & Science (NTNU) to build long-term, international collaboration with strong academic groups in Japan, at Tokyo University of Marine Science & Technology (TUMSAT) and Tokyo University of Agriculture (TokyoNODAI).

Logos iFOODnet partners

Work packages

The iFOODnet project is divided into three work packages (WP).

WP1: International Training Research & Innovation Programme

Contact persons: Izumi Sone

WP1.1. Training and Innovation 

iFOODnet will develop and implement International Training Research & Innovation Programme (ITP) in Japan and Norway, featuring annual Training Schools and short-term innovation missions as integral part of CIP-based student mobility (WP1.2). The Training School will engage students in network-wide training events to foster teamwork, interpersonal/-cultural communication and transferable skills with emphasis on internship training (challenge-based assignment; industry visits), innovation & IPR management and RRI implementation.

WP1.2. Research and Innovation  

We will establish Norway-Japan highly-collaborative platform for scientific cooperation through cross-disciplinary/sectoral innovation pillars (CIPs), to be at the international forefront of future food research. Student mobility will be instrumental to the research collaboration.

The primary target group is MSc students in both countries, envisaged for a 3-month research stay each year under partnership supervision. Student of the Year Award will be granted providing e.g. conference grant, work placement, upon excellence.

In addition, two Open multi-thematic workshops will be organised in both countries to enhance international research, education, innovation interface.

WP2 Formalisation of Institutional Partnership

Contact persons: Eva Falch and Ragni Nergård

To ensure long-term international partnership, iFOODnet will establish bilateral agreements between the iFOODnet partners as well as academic accreditation for the iFOODnet student activities. Furthermore, we will continously investigate possibilities for future joint programmes beyond the project lifespan.

WP3 Coordination and Communication & Dissemination

Contact persons: Izumi Sone and Estefanía Noriega Fernández

WP3.1. Network Coordination 

The project manager coordinates the efforts in the various work packages and ensures good progress and good internal communication among the project partners. iFOODnet will be built upon shared responsibilities among partners to facilitate the ownership and int’l relevance of the project.

Project managers
Dr Izumi Sone and Dr Estefania Noriega Fernández, Nofima

Project administrator
Dr Morten Sivertsvik, Nofima

Scientific coordinator
Dr Estefania Noriega Fernández

Local managers / WP leaders
Prof Turid Rustad (NTNU, LM)
Assoc Prof Eva Falch (NTNU, WP2 leader)
Prof Shingo Matsukawa (TUMSAT, LM)
Prof Yoshimasa Sagane (TokyoNODAI, LM)

CIP leaders
CIP#1: Prof. Kuda (TUMSAT) and Dr Estefania Noriega Fernández (NOFIMA)
CIP#2: Prof. Sagane (TokyoNODAI) and Assoc Prof Lerfal (NTNU)
CIP#3: Prof Matsukawa (TUMSAT) and Dr Nordgård (NTNU)
CIP#4: Prof Myoda (TokyoNODAI) and Prof. Rustad (NTNU)

WP3.2. Communication & Dissemination (CD) 

This WP is dedicated to communicating iFOODnet joint efforts and outcome through targeted, multilevel CD strategy to the wider scientific community, policymakers, the media, and society, thus maximizing the project impact and geographical coverage, also facilitating continuous recruitment and involvement of iFOODnet young talents.

Sectorial innovation pillars (CIPs)

1. Bioprospection of Novel Biomolecules & Microbiome Sequencing

Metagenome screening & omics tools will play a major role in identifying and targeting new genetic resources & biomolecules, and predicting changes in biodiversity, eventually unlocking the enormous potential of microbiomes towards public-health, food processing & biotechnology.

Promoting diversity within food systems will be crucial for healthy & sustainable diets, strengthened resilience and socioeconomic & environmental benefits.

2. Innovative Food Processing and Functionality

Resource-efficient, eco-friendly & climate-smart innovative technologies and functional ingredients will play a key role in the world supply of diverse, safe, high-quality & nutritious foods, ultimately contributing to public health & wellbeing and food loss and waste & emissions reduction.

Just 5% food waste reduction will save 207 MNOK and 0.02% emissions, with each extra-day’s shelf life accounting for 483 MNOK per year.

3. Biomaterials and Smart Packaging

Rethinking food waste and side-streams as a resourceful aid for inexpensive new-generation biomaterials (>$2.6 bill revenues from green plastics) and striving for smart food (nano-)packaging solutions (4% CAGR in 2017-2023) upon sustainable bottom-up zero-waste (minimal) processing will contribute to the EU 2020 target of 10% of market plastics being biomaterials and the UN SDG to halve food waste by 2030 (≈21 BNOK/yr, 24% from food industry).

4. Food Waste Biorefinery

FoodFirst zero-waste cascade biorefinery is a cost-effective cross-sectoral niche opportunity for valorisation of food waste & underutilised feedstocks into commercially-sound functional-food bioactives, besides biopolymers, precursors for animal feed, biofuel & fertiliser.

Macroalgae biorefinery is e.g. expected to disrupt the traditional value-chain (in 5 years, 50 SMEs / 500 new high-skilled workforce), while relieving pressure on ecosystem services and mitigating climate change.