The Nordic Working Group on Agriculture and Drought will work to coordinate Nordic knowledge and projects for increased crisis preparedness across national borders.
At our last meeting, the working group agreed on that the most important issue for increased crisis preparedness for Nordic agriculture, is to create open channels between researchers and other stakeholders in the various countries. The existing knowledge and ongoing projects need to be Nordic rather than national, to be utilised effectively. The potential for co-operation between the Nordic countries is great thanks to the similarities in climate and political systems, and we should take advantage of that! Therefore, the network will map relevant projects, and work for increased collaboration between them.
In order to enable enhanced cooperation in future crisis, it will be important to identify and remove any barriers in advance. This was pointed out by the network as an important way forward, to improve the opportunities to handle future crises together effectively.
Den Nordiska arbetsgruppen för jordbruk och torka kommer att arbeta för att samordna Nordisk kunskap och projekt för ökad krisberedskap över landsgränserna.
Vid gruppens senaste möte beslutades att den viktigaste frågan för ökad krisberedskap för Nordiskt jordbruk just nu, är att skapa snabbspår mellan forskare och andra intressenter i de olika länderna. Den kunskap som finns och de projekt som bedrivs, ska vara Nordisk mer än nationell, så att den kan utnyttjas effektivt. Potentialen för samarbete mellan de Nordiska länderna är stor tack vare likheterna i klimat och politiska system, och det bör vi utnyttja! Därför kommer nätverket att kartlägga relevanta projekt och arbeta för ökade kontakter mellan dessa.
För att möjliggöra ett utökat samarbete i händelse av kriser, är det viktigt att i förväg kartlägga och undanröja eventuella gränshinder. Det togs av nätverket upp som en viktig väg framåt för att förbättra möjligheterna att hantera framtida kriser tillsammans på ett effektivt sätt.
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
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.
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 for SNS networks 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 NKJ networks 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.
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!
August 25, 10.00-15.30 CET
Connection and remote coffee from 9.45, lunch 11-12
Online via Zoom, link will be sent out in advance of the meeting
Matchmaking including sharing the latest research related to Nordic reindeer husbandry, discussing possible future research and funding opportunities
Networking with the participants in focus
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)
How to apply for our funding from NKJ and SNS, tips and tricks
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.
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?
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.
Nordic Testbed Network – supporting the digital bioeconomy An initiative by Nordic Council of Ministers
WORKSHOP Malmö, Nov 12
Facilitating knowledge transfer, allocating seed money, running Nordic projects… What do you think the network should focus on? Join us in setting the vision and structure of the Nordic Testbed Network.
New contacts, a business modell and a push to get closer to realize their dream project. That was what the participants at our Matchmaking day in Reykjavik brought back home. And of course a lot of new experiences!
Our special guest this day was Dr Hannes Ottosson, project manager at Innovation Centre Iceland and adjunct lecturer. He teaches innovation and business development at the University of Iceland, and his fields of interest is innovation, entrepreneurship, social capital, social innovation, cluster development and innovation education. He shared his business modell with the researchers at the Matchmaking day, for them to think new when it comes to communication of their knowledge. We heard quite a few positive words about it later on so we thank you so much Hannes for your contribution to the day!
During the day the participants joined small workshops and were active in developing their dream project and to improve their professional networks. They also acted as mirrors and were of good help in the creative processes for their colleagues. There where also time in the schedule for mingle, so in the evening many new friends and colleagues had found each other.
Iceland in an afternoon
In the afternoon we left for a tour by bus to see a small part of Iceland and the Icelandic forests. Our very much appreciated guide A∂alstein Sigurgeirson teached us about the reforestation of Iceland, Icelandic history and a lot more. We ended up around the campfire, chatting and trying some Icelandic specialties.
Thank you all, for joining us and contribute to this great day! We hope you are as happy as we for having the opportunity to meet, learn and having new contacts!
Develop your dream project and make your professional networking even more creative at our matchmaking day in Reykjavik! Register and join us September 19th 2019.
We have prepared our Matchmaking Day for you to not just dream, but to realize your dreams. You will get to know more about our funding opportunities and how to write successful applications, and develop your best ideas in various workshops during the day. And all of it is back to back with the NordGen conference Future Forest Health – Early detection and mitigation of invasive pests and diseases in Nordic forests!
As our guest we have invited an expert on creativity: Dr Hannes Ottosson, project manager at Innovation Centre Iceland and Adjunct lecturer at the University of Iceland where he teaches innovation and business development (fields of interest; innovation, entrepreneurship, social capital, social innovation, cluster development and innovation education). He will give us insights in how to make our research networks creative and help us enhance and improve our networking skills in a hands-on way.
We will cover the travel and accommodation costs for 10-12 PhD students! More info below.
In the afternoon we will go on a half-day tour to Geysir, a geyser that can hurl boiling water up to 70 metres in the air, and Gullfoss, the famous waterfall in the river Hvítá in southern Iceland where the waterfalls in two rounds: first 11 meters and then 21 meters down into a gorge that is 20 meters wide and 2.5 kilometers long. We will make various short forest stops (including some forest research sites) along the way.
DETAILS Matchmaking Day Iceland Date: September 19th, 2019 Cost: € 0 (PhD students can apply for travel reimbursement) Venue: Grand Hotel Reykjavik Adress: Sigtún 38, 105 Reykjavík, Iceland See Googlemap for the Matchmaking day
08:00 Welcome 08.25 Creativity Workshop: My Dream Project 08.50 Information from Nordic Forest Research (SNS), Nordic Agri Research (NKJ), The Forest Bioeconomy Network and NordGen Forest: How to apply for our funding, tips and trix 09.15 Coffee, tea and mingle 09.35 How to be more innovative and entrepreneurial as a researcher, Hannes Ottósson from Innovation Centre Iceland and University of Iceland will help us explore creativity 10.20 Mingle 10.30 Group exercise: “Networking treasures” 11.20 Mingle 11.30 Speed Dating: How to advance My Dream Project 12.10 Wrap up 12.30 Lunch, field trip and continued networking
Register before September 2nd. Our Matchmaking Day is free of charge and PhD students can apply for travel reimbursement for up to € 550 per person! Note that you need to submit your application for travel reimbursement at June 24th, at the latest.
You can change or delete your registration until September 2nd. Please note that those who are not granted travel reimbursement need to arrange accommodation in Reykjavik.
Our Matchmaking Day is especially (but not only!) designed for PhD students to get in contact with experienced colleagues and to expand their research networks in an inspiring environment. Therefore we will support 10-12 PhD students with travel reimbursement for the Matchmaking Day.
Apply latest June 24th if you want to apply for the travel grant! The granted PhD students will be reimbursed with up to € 550 for travel costs to Reykjavik (return ticket). The accommodation for two days will be paid by SNS in advance. There is a limited number of grants that will be distributed evenly between the Nordic countries.
Successful travel grant applicants will be contacted June 25 and asked to sign a contract, that should be returned July 22 at the latest.
If you are not among the granted for travel reimbursement, you are most welcome to register here again (without travel reimbursement this time) before September 2.
Nordic Forest Research (SNS) is a co-operating body under the Nordic Council of Ministers that strives to enhance benefits for the Nordic region and to contribute to a sustainable society. We provide funding to interlink researchers and to facilitate exchange of brilliant ideas within sustainable forest research in the Nordic countries.
Forest Bioeconomy Network (former EFINORD)Forest Bioeconomy Network (ForBioeconomy) will primary focus on the forest-based bioeconomy in the context of northern Europe, addressing both regional diversity as well as emerging challenges and opportunities. Within that, specific scientific focus of the Research Network lays in: (i) sustainable and efficient production and use of biomass, (ii) securing sustainable provision of forest ecosystem services and (iii) promotion of supply and demand for bio-based products.
The primary objective of the Nordic Joint Committee for Agricultural and Food Research (NKJ) is to contribute to promote and coordinate a knowledge-based agriculture and food sector in the Nordic countries. To meet this end, NKJ encourages and provides support to joint Nordic cooperation within agriculture and food research, including forestry and fishery.
NordGen Forest is a Nordic body dedicated to forest regeneration, plants, seed and genetic resources. NordGen Forest addresses conservation and sustainable use of forest genetic resources, by being a forum for researchers, practitioners and managers working on forest genetics, seeds, planting stock and regeneration, and by facilitating the flow of scientific information and knowhow between these groups.
The Nordics need to find ways to meet climate change. Primary production in agriculture and forestry are already facing new situations and we will most effectively meet them together. NKJ has arranged a workshop to make it happen.
LECTURES further down
The nordic working group for agriculture is now creating a powerful front to make agriculture stand ready for a new climate. February 28th the group had their third meeting, and this time accompanied by Nordic and European experts in agriculture and food. The purpose of the meeting was to learn from each other, broaden the perspectives and develop methods and processes to cope with extreme weather events. And such extreme weather will occur more often as the climate is changing. We experienced it already last summer when drought and heat put severe pressure on agriculture and forestry in the Nordic countries.
Now it’s urgent not just to stop climate change, but also to make sure we can handle the new situations that the primary production unquestionably will face.
Networking is crucial
The meeting pointed out the importance of networking to be well prepared for the future climate. To learn from each other and share experiences makes everybody stronger, and we need to make cooperation smooth and effective.
The meeting also found it crucial to have the right perspective when trying to adapt agriculture to the changing climate. It is a matter for the whole society, not only for agriculture itself.
Water is a problem
There is a need for Nordic cooperation in the water issue (drainage, irrigation). What knowledge are we lacking? And how to make different disciplines cooperate in the best way? The working group wants mapping and analysis of the issue.
Plant breeding was also discussed as an important matter when the climate is changing. Maybe NKJ, Nordforsk and NordGen can make a joint effort to gather stakeholders to breed plants that can thrive in a climate with more extreme weather. There were a few thoughts about how to go on with a common effort.
To learn from experience and train for the unknown
The meeting asked for deepened discussions about parts of the issue, as well as discussions with more professions, stakeholders and authorities. They also talked about the need for strategies for different hypothetical scenarios. Common Nordic training and simulations could be useful.
Concrete suggestions to reach the goals were:
seminars for evaluation of and to learn from the effects of the drought 2018
a network and a series of seminars about the future management of water (for example irrigation and drainage) in the Nordic countries
a conference for advisors with extreme weather in focus: what did we do? what could have been done?
a call for funding of networks, for example with focus at management of water
During April the report on Nordic cooperation in extreme weather events will be completed. That will form the ground for future work with preparing the Nordics as a unified front to meet the future climate.
Klimatförändringarnas roll för matproduktionen – risker och möjligheter Arne Bardalen, Specialrådgivare NIBIO, Norsk institutt for bioøkonomi Arne Bardalen presentaion (PDF)
Extremväder och dess effekter på jordbruket – vad görs på EU-nivå för att hantera riskerna? Bengt Johnsson, Enheten för handel och marknad, Jordbruksverket Sverige Bengt Johnsson presentation (PDF)
Finansiell resiliens – torkans effekter ur ett företagsekonomiskt perspektiv Torben Wiborg, Chefkonsulent Udvikling, LMO Future, Danmark Torben Wiborg presentation (PDF)
A workshop is coming up to engage stakeholders to identify ways to improve data and data use for documenting sustainable forest management in wood pellet supply chains.
The workshop under the long title “Adequacy of spatial databases for conducting risk assessments of sustainable wood sourcing practices of the U.S. industrial wood pellet industry supplying European energy demand” will take place 1-3 May 2019 in University of Georgia, Athens, GA USA. It is a follow-up workshop from the conference “Biomass feedstocks for energy markets”, co-arranged by the SNS-NKJ network “Governing sustainability of bioenergy, biomaterial and bioproduct supply chains from forest and agricultural landscapes” and CAR-ES III “Centre of Advanced Research on Environmental Services from Nordic Forest Ecosystems”.
The workshop aims to identify ways to improve data and data use for documenting sustainable forest management in wood pellet supply chains through the following:
Review current wood sourcing practices and state-of-art practices for conducting company level and regional risk assessments of the U.S. industrial wood pellet industry supplying European bioenergy demand, based on the findings of a new study and company experiences.
Identify new ways in which existing regional databases and data collected by use of new technologies can help conducting supply area, regional and national level risk assessment.
Identify possible needs for improved or new data.
Discuss alternative approaches to certifying wood pellet feedstock sourced from sustainably managed forests in the southeast U.S., such as group certification.
Discuss proposals for improving the overall efficacy of Forest Management Unit level, group and risk-based certification for all stakeholders associated with wood pellet supply chains to Europe and other developing regional markets.
Researchers from several Nordic and Baltic countries met in Ås at the Matchmaking Day. The day started with tea and mingle, first contacts and interests were shared between the participants.
Theme of the day
Introduced to Lukasz Andrzej Derdowski, who’s also conducting research in the field of work-related creativity, the participants were invited to draw themselves and note their key interests. Pinned to the wall and done relations to the people they already knew participating at the Matchmaking day, this activity resulted in a low-tech social network, which got expanded throughout the whole day.
In presentations of SNS, NKJ, NordGen Forest and EFINORD the participants received a short insight into the organisations, the opportunities to receive funding from them and how to be successful in writing applications. Outlined from the EFINORD to be creative in this process and also use social medias, an inspiring speech from Lukasz Andrzej Derdowski continued on the red thread of creativity and the ingredients of a climate in working groups stimulating creativity.
New contacts and input
The intense networking day ended with a last coffee and mingle while completing the low-tech network to a real piece of art with many new, interesting and helpful contacts for the participants.