Successful digital matchmaking – in the time of corona

According to a study from Stanford University in 2017, 39% of all couples found their partners on the internet, and only 20% “through friends”. What works for people who search for love should also work for those looking for a research collaborator. And in an ongoing pandemic, the internet is more or less the only way of finding that partner. It was therefore natural for SNS and NKJ to make the 2020 Matchmaking Day digital.

Text and photo: Mats Hannerz, Silvinformation

 

Malin von Essen was facilitating our first matchmaking day online. It all ended really well and was promising for future online events.

Matchmaking Day is a forum where SNS (Nordic Forest Research) and NKJ (Nordic Joint Committee for Agricultural and Food Research) invite researchers and stakeholders from a broad spectrum of disciplines to identify possible partners and ideas for cooperation. The forum, which has been held almost annually since 2015, was switched this year to a digital platform instead of the usual mingling in person.

Focus on reindeer husbandry

The theme of the Matchmaking Day on August 25 was Reindeer husbandry in the arctic bioeconomy. The original intention was to gather potential delegates at a meeting in Inari, Finland in May 2020. But – the corona epidemic made it impossible.

– We talked a lot about a plan B, says SNS’ secretary Mimmi Blomquist, but we soon realised that the pandemic would continue for a long time, so simply postponing the physical meeting was not an option.

Instead, the meeting was held digitally, led by the facilitator Malin von Essen. Altogether 48 people were present for the full-day event.

Digital possibilities

The meeting was conducted using the Zoom platform, one of several online meeting tools. Skype, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and other services have seen an explosion in users since the pandemic forced people to work from home and avoid travelling. In just the first week from 11-18 March, Teams attracted 12 million new users, and Zoom use increased by 169% during the first months of the year.

– There are hundreds of thousands of people who are now learning how to use video conferencing services in an effective way. The changes we have been talking about for 20 years have now been implemented at record speed, says Malin von Essen.

A new reality

In her business, she moderates and organises meetings and workshops with the aim of inspiring people and taking the results back to their organisations. The meetings are normally physical, but in 2020 she had to rethink the situation.

– We carried out several digital workshops during the spring, and we have learnt a lot about the technique and how to use the potential of the services to engage participants, she says.

The Matchmaking Day was organised as a traditional meeting with lectures, but also with several shorter workshops in smaller groups. The digital platform Zoom facilitates flexible group meetings. In “break-out rooms”, participants with a common research interest could discuss cooperation in a group size allowing more intimate discussions, and the results could be presented later to the entire audience.

– Since we have chat functions and can also assemble suggestions using the menti.com tool, everyone can make their voice heard. And afterwards, other people can look at the recorded presentations and the results of the discussions, all being posted on the SNS’ website.

Content with the outcome

Mimmi Blomquist at SNS was impressed with how well the meeting worked out.

– Of course, we need to meet in person, but this is definitely an option that our research networks could use for many of their workshops. SNS and NKJ provide financial support to research networks with partners from all the Nordic countries, and also neighbouring countries. So, partners are often located thousands of kilometres apart, and we can save lots of travel costs and reduce climate impact by using these digital services, she says.

Advices for your coming digital meetings

It is easy to start a video conference, and most researchers and business people are already used to them, but to make the meetings effective, Malin von Essen has some advice:

  • Be clear about your aim and goal – why is the meeting needed and what output do you expect? Then start to think of the content.
  • Before the meeting is live, become familiar with all the functions in the digital platform. Conduct a test meeting with some friends.
  • Ensure that the meeting will function technically. Not all participants are equally comfortable, encourage them to test the technique in advance. Tell the participants to use a headset and web camera, and to avoid distracting surroundings or strong backlight.
  • Schedule breaks in the programme. It is better to have several short breaks than one long one.

Nordic funding opportunities in reindeer research:

The Nordic Committee for Agricultural and Food Research (NKJ) and Nordic Forest Research (SNS) is calling for networks that will strengthen co-operation in reindeer husbandry research in the Nordic region. The applicant must be a researcher or communicator at a research institution. The network must include researchers from at least three Nordic countries.

SNS is calling for networks exploring forests and forestry in relation to reindeer husbandry. The application deadline is September 21, 2020. Apply here!

NKJ prioritises networks focusing on reindeer husbandry in relation to climate change and land-use change, but networks that focus on other aspects of reindeer husbandry are also encouraged to apply. The application deadline is November 20, 2020. Apply here!


SEE THE PRESENTATIONS:

Morten Tryland, professor in veterinary medicine, infection biology at UiT, The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø

  • After a period of clinical veterinary practice, he transitioned to research and has spent most of his research career investigating infectious diseases in arctic wildlife and semi-domesticated reindeer, in close cooperation with Fennoscandian research groups and reindeer herders.
  • Morten told us about reindeer health and supplementary feeding, which is a quite complex issue.

Mortens presentation


Jouko Kumpula, senior scientist at Natural Resources Institute (LUKE), Finland. 

  • He is an animal ecologist and is interested in changes of pastures, reasons for change and how the changes effect reindeer hearding. 

Joukos Powerpoint presentation


Sirpa Rasmus, researcher at the University of Lapland, Arctic center, Finland.

  • She is  agefophysicist and is focused on climate impact studies.  
  • For the last ten years she has been involved in reindeer research, both climate impact research and more general research concerning reindeer. 
  • She works a lot with other researchers in interdicsplinary

Sirpas Powerpoint presentation


Åsa Larsson Blind, Chair of Sámiid Riikkasearvi and vice president of Saami Council.  

  • She lives in Kiruna in the Swedish part of Sápmi. 
  • She comes from a reindeer herding family in Ran reindeer herding community

She is going to speak about her vision of reindeer husbandry in the arctic bioeconomy. 

 


 

Reindeer husbandry in focus for the next matchmaking day

NKJ and SNS jointly invite researchers and stakeholders interested in reindeer husbandry to a matchmaking day online, August 25, 2020.

 

We have invited prominent people to share their knowledge and resent research in reindeer husbandry. All participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and add information, for an  interesting time together online.

We will also discuss challenging issues and future research needs. Workshops will be carried out in smaller groups and we hope the chat will be a dynamic area during the day. We have designed the program with the hope that all participants will gain new contacts and find people in their own area of interest.

We will give you tips how to successfully apply for funding from NKJ and SNS for future networking activities. By this matchmaking day we envision increased cooperation in reindeer husbandry research in the Nordic region!


When
August 25, 10.00-15.30 CET
Connection and remote coffee from 9.45, lunch 11-12

Where
Online via Zoom, link will be sent out in advance of the meeting

Focus
Matchmaking including sharing the latest research related to Nordic reindeer husbandry, discussing possible future research and funding opportunities


AGENDA
Workshops
Networking with the participants in focus

Invited speakers:
• Future reindeer husbandry (Åsa Larsson-Blind, Svenska samernas riksförbund)
• Reindeer herding, forestry and land use (Jouko Kumpula, LUKE) 
• Reindeer herding and climate change (Sirpa Rasmus, University of Lapland) 
• Reindeer health and supplemental feeding (Morten Tryland, The Arctic University of Norway)  

Information
How to apply for our funding from NKJ and SNS, tips and tricks

DOWNLOAD THE PROGRAM


REGISTRATION:
Register before August 17


CONTACT
If you have any questions you are most welcome to contact us at nkj@slu.se 

Subscribe to the NKJ newsletter


NKJ IN SOCIAL MEDIA

Join the Facebook group for participants in the matchmaking day, for updates on registration, speakers etc.

Find NKJ on Facebook

Find NKJ on Twitter


 

NordCAW symposium: antibiotic resistance, animal welfare and sustainability

Foods produced by animals with poor welfare pose a serious threat to human health. The purpose of the symposium is to increase awareness and knowledge of the One Health concept and to show that animal welfare is closely linked with the use of antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance and thus human health.

Text: Margareta Stéen

 

Animal welfare and animal health affect the use of antibiotics in food production and thus the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Animals that live in poor conditions become stressed and can suffer from and spread infectious diseases. The use of antibiotics increases and the risk of antibiotic resistance arises.

The Nordic and Baltic Animal Welfare Centers (NordCAW) want to be a strong voice for animal welfare and work to reduce the use of antibiotics in food production. We work in the “One Health perspective” with the aim of protecting the health and well-being of animals, people and the environment.

With the symposium, NordCAW wants to share and disseminate knowledge about the consequences for poor animal welfare for the development of AMR in the Nordic and Baltic countries as well as in the rest of the EU.

When: Mars 24 2020,  10.30-17.10

Where: Audhumbla, VHC, Ultuna, Uppsala, Sweden

Program

Registration

Thank you for joining the digital future with us

Nordic Testbed Network got a real push forward when 40 participants met to set the course for the digital transformation in the Nordic bioeconomy. 

For NKJ, cooperation is the key. Therefore we want to gather Nordic testbeds to establish a network that can lead the way towards a sustainable society in a digital future. To facilitate the development of new and existing testbeds, the Nordic Testbed Network aims to unite and strengthen testbeds aimed at supporting the digital transformation of the bioeconomy.

November 12th our participants met to set the vision and structure of the network. More info here

Inspiration talks

Frida Magnusdotter Ivarsson kick-started the workshop with a very inspiring and energizing talk on the subject “Organizing for digital innovation”, followed by a very interesting talk by Monika Svanberg on “Mobilizing testbeds”. The different testbeds represented at the workshop were also presented with some inspiring talks about how they work to enhance bioeconomy.​

But this wasn’t a day for just listening. In workshops, the participants also worked hard to set the vision and structure of the Nordic Testbed Network. The economy of the network was also discussed; how do we use the resources at hand in the most efficient and effective way?

Next step

After the workshop, we now have an even better basis for the Nordic Testbed Network! We will now gather all good ideas harvested during the workshop and our coordinator, Maria Tunberg, will use it as a starting point for further development of the network.

There are already testbeds connected to the network and more will join. Spread the word and use the hashtag #nordictestbednetwork to reach out to interested actors in the digital transformation bioeconomy.​

More about Nordic Testbed Network
 

Join the SNS-NKJ network symposium about biocontrol

The NKJ-SNS network Dialogue Biocontrol wants to bring together researchers, commercial actors and end users with interest in biocontrol solutions for North European conditions and to strengthen the dialogue between these groups. Therefore they invite you to a one-day symposium with the titel “Biocontrol in Agriculture and Forestry – research, innovations and markets”.

The venue is Alnarp, Sweden, and the date November 13th. Ramesh Vetukuri, Johanna Witzell, Jarkko Hantula, Lars Moelbak and Birgit Jensen will talk and there will be a lot of discussions to find a way forwards.

Register by e-mail to network coordinator: ramesh.vetukuri@slu.se. Deadline for registration: November 5th.

Find the program here!

Bioeconomy and digitalization – Shaping the Nordic future

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

.
Annette Mellbye in talk with other seminar participants.

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.

Filip Lundin, consultant at MacLean, was one of the speakers, here in conversation with Kristin Borresen, Graminor.

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.

Find the presentations here!

  

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.

Erick Thürmer.

 

 

SNS and NKJ seminar: shaping the Nordic digitalized future

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
Annette Mellbye in talk with other seminar participants.

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.

Filip Lundin, consultant at MacLean, was one of the speakers, here in conversation with Kristin Borresen, Graminor.

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.

Find the presentations here!

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.

Erick Thürmer.

 

 

 

Climate change – an important issue for reindeer husbandry

Climate change is a challenge in many ways, and that applies to reindeer husbandry too. NKJ co-organized a seminar about future needs for research in the sector.

 

Reindeer husbandry Nordregio has written a report, Reindeer Husbandry in Sapmi, commissioned by NKJ. The report is a summary of the relevant research done the last ten years. It was presented at, and formed a basis for, a seminar about reindeer husbandry research in Tromsø, Norway, before Christmas.

Overview

The purpose of the seminar was to get a good overview of the problems and possibilities the reindeer husbandry is facing in the future.

– We want to develop the reindeer husbandry moving towards future, says Sunna Marie Pentha, adviser at the Norwegian Agricultural and food department.

Environmental issues

Anna Berlina, Nordregio, initiated the seminar with presenting the report to the participants. Ethel Seljevold, Fylkesmannen, Troms, talked about the opportunities there are in reindeer husbandry, and was followed by Carlos das Neves and Torill Mørch, Norwegian Veterinary Institute, who talked about the challenges the sector approaches when it comes to animal health.

But the most important and urgent issue to discuss might be the climate change, which changes the terms of reindeer husbandry. The warming up of the atmosphere makes the snow come later. That makes it harder for animal owners to gather their herd and transportations become difficult because the snowmobile can’t be used. It also interacts with the movements of the herd because lakes and other waters doesn’t freeze when it usually does. The possible effects of climate change on pastures was summarized by Kari Anne Bråthen, University of Tromsø.

Technical development

Rune Storvold, NORUT, och Erlend Vinje, NIBIO, gave some insight in the new opportunities technology brings to reindeer husbandry.

– The last four or five years, more and more animal owners use drones to handle their reindeers, says Sunna Marie Pentha.

The second day of the seminar was all about the future research needs in the sector. Marit Meløy from the Norwegian Saami Parliament initiated the discussions, and then the participants had discussions in smaller groups to pinpoint the needs and give their suggestions.

– The workshops gave some really useful concrete suggestions for further research, says Sunna Marie Pentha.

– NKJ can be important for the future reindeer husbandry because of the contacts you have, and the funding you can give, she says.

Download the report here!