Enabling Sustainable Transition to a Biobased Economy – The BioWiseTrans Network meets for the 2nd time in Hamar.
18-20 June, BioWiseTrans partners Nordregio, NIBIO, LUKE, Oslo University and Karlstad University came together in Hamar and sorroundings for its second workshop. Like last time and importantly, different stakeholders from Norway, Sweden and Finland joined us.
Study the bumps in the road
The excellent program set up by Norwegian partners focused on the need to address and study conflicts and synergies in the ongoing transition towards a fully biobased economy. Foremost focusing on forests, the group of 15 researchers and practitioners jointly experienced and discussed balancing goals of economic uses (e.g. production), social uses (e.g. recreation and tourism) and environmental concerns (e.g. conservation, restrictions and regulations). Discussions were also fuelled through the bioeconomy strategy in Hedmark, county and municipal planning, usages of common land for forestry and grazing, outdoor life and forestry, second home developments, and a visit to the gene bank of the forest seed centre.
Both new and old
It is clear that the biobased economy consist of both new and old land uses within forests, agriculture and fisheries. To adopt governance and management practices to the current land, water and resource uses, it is important to use sustainable development as a basis. The governance structures in place together with local participatory processes have been more or less functioning for decades (not without conflicts and dialogues however). In the current transition process it is therefore important to ask the following questions: What to sustain? What to develop?
In addition to thought provoking discussions, the group also enjoyed a tour to the tallest wood building in the world, the beautifully and innovatively restored dome in Hamar, and dinner with a Napoleon touch and some farm produced beer.
Don’t change what is functioning
One of the most vivid memories remain from visiting the Åstdalens forest associations by the book example of management of the common land (with reference to Elinor Ostroms theories on common resourse use). The head of the board told the group about the ongoing negotiations between the land owners about how many cattle heads are going to be allowed per farm unit. A research project in the area also indicates the synergies between clear cuts in forestry and agriculture, as the cattle tend to prefer to graze on the clear cuts. This shows that there is no need to transform anything that is functioning.
The BioWiseTrans network also discussed its final conference to take place in Karlstad 27-28 March. Stay tuned for any updates in this regard.
Text: Elin Slätmo, Karen Refsgaard
Photo: Michael Kull
Nordic bioeconomy is heading towards a future with refreshed energy! Since Wednesday there is a strategy to lift and support every Nordic step for a sustainable society.
The new action plan gives the Nordic Region a still leading role in the work to create a sustainable society. It is meant to facilitate the transition from traditional agriculture and forestry to technologically advanced industries that optimize the use of biomass to access its full potential and create added value.
“We are facing a new era of bioeconomy where new industries can arise and jobs are created. If we do it in a good way, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture industries can benefit greatly from upgrading biomass to more valuable products”, said Sven-Erik Bucht, Swedish minister for rural development, to norden.org.
The Nordic Bioeconomic Panel has elaborated the strategy. The vision is to accelerate the development of Nordic bioeconomy through strong political support at both national and Nordic levels. The strategy has four legs:
∙ Competitive biobased industries
∙ Sustainable resource management
∙ Resilient and varied ecosystems
∙ Including economic development
The program identifies fifteen ways to work for bioeconomy. Download the strategy and read about all of them!
NKJ will fund and take part in the work of the Nordic Food Partnership, a recently founded cooperation for synergies and exchange in the agricultural and food sectors in the Nordics.
June 1st the Nordic Food Partnership had its founding meeting. NKJ will fund the cooperation with 300 000 DKK. The chairman of NKJ, Nina Solheim Flæte, will also take place in the steering committee were also representatives from all Nordic countries will contribute.
The Nordic Food Partnership will gather key stakeholders of the Nordic food system to develop a common agenda for research, education and innovation. The partnership wants to identify common challenges and establish Nordic collaborations and synergy. It wants to be a unified voice to drive the transformation of the Food System in the Nordics, in Europe and in global interaction. There are a few areas where the challenges are the same across the Nordic countries and can be handled more efficiently together. The countries have world-class excellence in individual areas and it would be of great interest to spread and share this best-practices.
Except for the 300 000 DKK from NKJ, the Food Nexus Nordic will add 200 000 DKK. The administrative host will be RISE in Sweden.
The vision of the Nordic Food Partnership is…
…“to build on Nordic strengths in order to drive the transformation of the food system towards a system that enables the production, packaging, distribution and consumption of safe, affordable and nutritious food with as little harm as possible. We will target the challenges of the food system, such as security, sustainability, health and knowledge provision in the Nordics, in Europe and in global interaction.”
These are the partners:
- ETL, Finnish Food and Drink Industries’ Federation
- HK Scan
- LUKE, Natural Resources Institute Finland
- Danish Food and Drink Federation
- Danish Agriculture and Food Council
- University of Copenhagen
- Aarhus University
- NHO Mat og Drikke
- Sweden Food Arena
- Skåne Food Innovation Network
- Tetra Pak
- Food Science Sweden
- Lund University
In september there will be a conference about Landscape Management in Prague.
The conference will be about new ways of gathering and processing data and remote sensing, the impact of climate change, modelling and how to bridge the gap between science and practice.
Kristina Blennow, professor of Landscape Analysis, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp, Sweden, is one of the keynote speakers. Another is Lluis M. Plà-Aragonès, associate professor, Department of Mathematics and a Senior Researcher at the Agrotecnio Research Center at University of Lleida, Spain and Pete Bettinger, professor, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources University of Georgia, USA, is also coming.
Deadline for abstract submission is June 30. Read more about that here!
Read all about registration and program here!
NKJ got new exciting assignments and we are financing to eleven networks in 2017.
On February 6 last year, the seminar “Digitalization of agriculture – when and how is the big revolution?” was arranged by NKJ together with Partnership Alnarp, SLU. NKJ was also co-organizer of ICT Agris Conference 24 November 2017 in Copenhagen: “ICT-AGRI Conference on ICT and Robotics for a Sustainable Agriculture”. Digitalization is and has been a priority issue, and the emphasis in the latest NKJ call was digitalization. There is a lot going on in this important issue, and NKJ wants to contribute to the development.
In December, NKJ also attended a seminar on the reindeer husbandry. This was based on an report initiated by NKJ. The seminar set the course for the future of the reindeer husbandry.
During the year, NKJ continued the work for increased knowledge and Nordic cooperation in the agricultural and food sector, and these arrangements are part of this striving.
Last year we also received new assignments. One came from Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation and the Nordic Council of Ministers and deals with the digitalization. NKJ will plan for activities in 2018 to bring the matter forward.
The Nordic Council of Ministers has also commissioned NKJ to coordinate a project on carbon storage in land. It will be exciting to develop and arrange activities on the subject!
NKJ has deepened its cooperation with Food Nexus to strengthen Nordic contacts in the food sector. We are also co-applicants in an application to the Social Fund. The Swedish Farmers’ Association is the main applicant and we want to look at how we can supply the industry with labor.
In order to strengthen the Nordic position in agricultural and food research in Europe, we actively participate in European contexts such as JPI FACCE, SCAR and ERA-NETs.
The networks that have received funding from NKJ for 2018-2019 are:
Added value to Nordic Baltic sustainable food research with quality and health perspective, coordinator: Gerd Vegarud, NMBU, Norway
Nordic feeding recommendations for horses, coordinator: Rasmus Bovberg Jensen, NMBU, Norway
Effects of extreme weather on agricultural production and environment, coordinator: Marianne Bechmann, NIBIO, Norway
NORWAY – Nordic Ovine Research, Surveillance and Epidemiology, Coordinator: Clare Phythian, NMBU, Norway
The Nordic Rye Forum, coordinator: Rikard Landberg, Chalmers, Sweden
Healthy Outdoors for Sustainable Milk Production, Coordinator: Päivi Rajala Schultz, University of Helsinki, Finland
Together with SNS, NKJ finances in 2018-2019:
NKJ-SNS 05: Advancing the bioeconomy transition in the Nordic Region (BioWiseTrans), coordinator: Karen Refsgaard, Nordregio
NKJ-SNS 06: DIALOGUE BIOCONTROL – Improving utilization of biocontrol research for practical plant protection solutions in agriculture and forestry, coordinator: Ramesh Vetukuri, SLU
NKJ-SNS 07: Neonectria cankers on trees – meeting changed climatic conditions and increased problems in Nordic horticulture and forest production by interdisciplinary networking, coordinator: Jorunn Børve, NIBIO
NKJ-SNS 08: Genes4Change: Adaptation, mitigation and breeding of trees and crops for future climate, coordinator: Katri Kärkkäinen, LUKE
NKJ-SNS 09: FiberTies – The use of fibrous materials from biomass, coordinator: Anne Christine Steenkjær Hastrup, Danish Technological Institute
SNS and NKJ have initiated the work to prepare the roadmap for the digitalization of the Nordic bioeconomy.
April 17th SNS and NKJ gathered people with expertise in the agricultural, forest and digital sectors to learn, discuss and take a step forward in digitalization of the bioeconomy. Experts say we are on the edge to a structural shift paramount to the industrial revolution – digitalization is around the corner.
Annette Mellbye visited the seminar
Our very competent moderator Malin von Essen kept focus and speed the whole day. She first welcomed Anette Mellbye, consultant at Rekode, board member, advisor and digital influencer, as a speaker under the headline “No longer business as usual: digitalization in the bioeconomy”. Her point was how digitalization challenges the operating assumptions of any business, and how this requires organizations to transform both their business models and culture.
Next speaker was Filip Landin, consultant at Maclean, talking about ”Internet of Things in agriculture and forestry” and Erick Thürmer, CEO Thürmer Tools, about “Digitalization trends and the art of 3d printing”.
All three speakers were highly appreciated by the audience and their speeches planted new thoughts with their different perspectives at the digitalization question.
Workshop for creating the roadmap
During the afternoon the almost 50 participants were divided into five groups. Each group had some time to discuss five focus areas: competence, safety, technology, organization and infrastructure. A discussion leader kept the discussions on track and took notes for each focus area, so the participants could fully engage in the discussions.
In the workshop all participants had the chance to discuss and affect the way the digitalization process will take. We got the opportunity to gather valuable opinions and get new aspects of the digitalization process in the bioeconomy. This will be the basis for the roadmap for the coming minister meeting in Haparanda this summer when our Nordic ministers will meet and decide on joint way forward to meet the huge opportunities and challenges in a future, digital bioeconomy.
It seems the participants were very pleased after the seminar which was loaded with knowledge, power and ambition. We hope it will serve as a big and positive step in digitalization of the bioeconomy.
Maybe the Nordic and Baltic milk production is a little bit more sustainable now compared to a year ago? That is what the participants in the NKJ network hope for after one year of network activities.
Nordic and Baltic researchers have been networking for a year within the frames of the NKJ network to increase the knowledge about native cattle breeds milk and reindeer milk. This research could give new opportunities in the Nordic and Baltic dairy sectors and be of help in product development.
The networking gives advantages in creating synergies between research groups and coordinating resources in an effective way. It is also important in giving young researchers possibilities to train and work interdisciplinary.
One practical example of the advantages of the networking, is that milk samples have been exchanged between countries and institutions. Milk samples from native Swedish cattle breeds have been exchanged between Lund University in Sweden and AU Food in Denmark for analyses of protein composition using LC-MS to generate research data on native cattle breeds.
M.Sc. Tora Asledottir from NMBU in Norway visited AU Food, Denmark, in January and March 2016. The exchange of research data and mobility of Tora Asledottir involved experiments regarding digestability patterns of beta-casein A1 and A2 variants with human gastric enzymes and detection of peptide fragments, caseinomorhins 7 in both variants. The visit involved analyses of flourescamine, peptidomics, SDS-PAGE and protein content. The visit also gave a good chance to discuss the data and paper writing.
Another exchange of brains and data was the visit of the PhD-student Kajsa Nilsson from Lund University in Sweden at NMBU, Norway, in December 2017. The visit involved experiments regarding rennetinduced coagulation phases of coagulating and non-coagulating milk from the Swedish Red breed. It also involved protein profiling of para-κ-casein and genetic variants of caseins and whey proteins using capillary electrophoresis as well as zeta-potential measurements. Analyses, discussion and paper writing was done too.
Workshops, meetings and a PhD course have been arranged by the network. A major outcome has been to promote advanced research and research training for PhD students and young researchers in the region through various organized activities. The network has improved transfer of scientifically based information on dairy technology and food for health science to the industry and established new research collaborations in the Nordic-Baltic region, which is of great importance for future research within the research field of dairy and health.
To facilitate future research exchanges and mobility after the end of the network, a portfolio of research techniques and methodologies have been established between all the network partners.
SNS Nordic Forest Research and NKJ Nordic Agri Research will arrange a workshop about digitalization in the forest and agricultural sectors. June 27th the Nordic ministers make the decisions – April 17th we prepare the roadmap. We will shape the Nordic future!
Experts talk about a structural shift paramount to the industrial revolution. But what implications does digitalization have for the Nordic bioeconomy? Join our workshop and take this opportunity to influence the political agenda!
At the workshop April 17th we will discuss opportunities, challenges and ways to keep the Nordic bioeconomy at the forefront of the development. Areas of common strategic interest will be defined, with the purpose of strengthening the competitive advantage of the Nordic agriculture and forestry.
The day offers short inspiration talks, discussions with experts and a creative workshop were we together shape the agenda going forward and prepare input to the ministers’ meeting in June.
Join us in shaping the future of the Nordic bioeconomy!
Time and date: 9.30-16.00, 17th of April
Place: Nordens Hus, Ved Stranden 18, Copenhagen
Info: Maria Tunberg at email@example.com or +46 736 14 15 97
The SNS-NKJ network FibreTies will be having a meeting to prepare for a large grant application.
The workshop and network event will be held at VTT, Espoo, Finland, May 15-16 2018.
The purpose of this meeting is to establish one or more project groups for a large grant application. The outcome aim is that it will result in project applications for H2020, Nordic Built, research councils within the EU and Nordic countries. The focus will be on new possibilities, alternative materials, interesting products and business development in the area of biobased fibers.
FibreTies welcomes companies and institutions to participate. Young researchers/PhD students are encouraged to join the project meeting workshop and thereby contributing to the discussion on the way forward for more industrial use of non-fossil, non-food biobased fibres.
The deadline for registration is May 1st 2018.