NKJ interconnects researchers in the Nordic countries

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!

Workshops

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!

For all the photos, click here and scroll down!

Nordic ministers will use soil as a carbon sink

Farmers and foresters in the Nordic countries can be crucial for the climate. Forest and agricultural land is a possible option for storage of carbon that otherwise would remain in the atmosphere and cause climate change.

 

The Nordic ministers for agriculture now want to make the farmers – whom are often blamed for parts of the climate change – to be their allies in the work for increased carbon storage in the soil. Changed land use will help mitigating climate change. HERE ARE THE FACTS!

NKJ and SNS have dug deeper in the issue. Find and enjoy our REPORT and the shorter BROCHURE!

Boardmeeting: New call in agriculture and climate

In the autumn, NKJ will open a new call for funding. The focus will be agriculture and climate.

 

The NKJ board have decided to make a new announcement of financing for research networks during the autumn.

One of the focus areas of the call will be how the soil can be used as a carbon sink. During the spring, NKJ has been working on this issue and our report can be read here. NKJ has also worked very actively with extreme weather and produced a report on how the Nordic countries, in the best way possible, can meet the new conditions that a changing climate imply – extreme weather will be another focus area of the call. Denmark has developed a new protein strategy. NKJ hooks up by making protein a third focus area in the announcement. A fourth focus area will be Arctic agriculture and climate.

More info about the call can be found on our website, social media and in newsletters (register here) in the autumn.

NKJ loves collaboration

NKJ expands its cooperation with relevant organizations and becomes an increasingly important advisory party to the Nordic Council of Ministers. Several new, exciting collaborations with other organizations have already started.

Responsibility for Nordic reindeer research has been adressed to NKJ via a cooperation agreement between Sweden, Norway and Finland. NKJ is now taking the lead in the work within Nordic reindeer research!

Climate KIC Nordic has expressed interest in cooperating with NKJ, and visited the NKJ board meeting in Akureyri in Iceland. There is already a concrete result of the collaboration; a side event with the theme “Sustainable alternative proteins” at the World Food Summit.

Increased gender equality in NKJ

Increased gender equality in the NKJ strategy is requested. There are several thoughts on how this could be done, such as extending the board with a youth representative and organizing workshops on the subject. As the strategy of the Nordic Council of Ministers is updated, the strategy of NKJ will be rewritten so that it also includes gender equality and social inclusion.

All reporting to be done March 1st

NKJ will also change its reporting system for financed networks. Today, reporting is to be done within the last three months after the project has been completed. In the new reporting template, the deadline is March 1, the year after the project’s activities have been completed. The purpose is to get more structured information that facilitates evaluations and communication of the results of the activities.

OPEN CALL: NKJ and Swedish Research Council together against antibiotic resistance

NKJ will fund activities 2020-2021 related to antibiotic resistance. The focus is on how low or no utilization of antibiotics can give positive effects on animals, food and environment.

The increased use of antimicrobial medicines in both human and animal healthcare has contributed to an increase in the number of disease-causing microbes that are resistant to antimicrobial medicines used to treat them, like antibiotics. This makes antibiotic resistance a growing threat that could lead to as many as 10 million deaths a year and over €85 million in losses to the global economy by 2050.

In the Nordic Region, we are experienced in keeping the use of antibiotics in agriculture at a low and responsible level because we know that their use can result in the development of resistant bacteria. Yet the problem of resistance is international, and this is why we would like to share our experiences so as to tackle the problem internationally.

For the use of less antibiotics

This call has a special interest in funding activities related to antibiotic resistance. The focus is on how low or no use of antibiotics can contribute to improved animal health, food security, sustainable management of biological resources, increased competitiveness, resilience and reduced climate impact from primary production and diversified rural economics.

With this call NKJ wants to increase North European regional synergy within agriculture and food research, strengthen and establish better contact between the agriculture and food research communities in the Nordic countries. We also wants to encourage Nordic researchers and institutions to apply for funding from larger funds.

Funding for two years

You can submit your application latest September 30th.

You can apply for maximum 400 000 SEK per network for two years. You need to have external funding of at minimum 50 %. We encourage young researchers and PhD’s to participate in the networks, and we strive for gender balance.

In the end of 2019 the applicants will have an answer from us.

 

Call text

Application form

More about applying here

Read NKJ strategy here

Matchmaking heaven in Reykjavik: networking for researchers

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.

 

Field trip

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
Map and directions

 

Program:

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

Registration

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.

 

Travel reimbursement

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.

 

Register

Program

Facebook group

Funded and ongoing networks

Matchmaking poster – forward it!

NKJ newsletter – for more events like this

About the organisers:

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.

Farmers fluent gold

In many parts of the world, water is a crucial resource for the cultivation and production of agricultural crops. During a visit to Australia, this became obvious.

Text: Per Hansson

When water has a clear price and value, the production calculation and the strategic decisions get a different colour.

During a study trip, I visited farms in southeastern Australia in the states of Victoria and New South Wales. The area has been hit hard by many years of drought, which has affected all agricultural production.

The rain isn’t sufficient

Characteristic for the area is that there is a tradition of using irrigation in farming. The water comes from rivers, groundwater and, to some extent, the collection of rainwater in connection with considerable rain.

Until 2002, the right to water was linked to the ownership of land. In a major reform, the right to water could be traded. This meant, among other things, that the state became an active buyer of water to ensure a sufficient quantity in rivers and other waters. The control and regulation of groundwater also became clearer.

The consequence for the cultivation was that water was traded as other means of production with drastic changes as a result. We went through an area that was completely dominated by milk production 15 years ago, based on irrigated pasture. In connection with a global milk crisis a few years ago, many milk producers sold their water rights to save the farm’s finances. They hoped to manage cultivation of crops based on the normal precipitation in the area normally.

The precipitation wasn’t normal, and the intended crops did not grow. The landscape has, of course, completely changed its character and the farmers’ economy is completely run down.

Money buys it all

In another area, the plan was to plant almonds on 10 000 hectares. The land was owned by a larger company which, with the help of a lot of capital, acquired the land, invested in planting almonds and, of course, water rights to this water-consuming cultivation.

The resource water is a crucial factor in many parts of the world to make it possible to produce food for a growing population. Australia is an example of an attempt at a market solution. It remains to be seen if it is a working solution.

Climate change adaptation: cooperation is the medicin

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.

Lectures/Video

Klimatförändringarnas roll för matproduktionen – risker och möjligheter
Arne Bardalen, Specialrådgivare NIBIO, Norsk institutt for bioøkonomi
POWERPOINT

Extremväder och dess effekter på jordbruket – vad görs på EU-nivå för att hantera riskerna?
Bengt Johnsson, Enheten för handel och marknad, Jordbruksverket Sverige
POWERPOINT

Finansiell resiliens – torkans effekter ur ett företagsekonomiskt perspektiv
Torben Wiborg, Chefkonsulent Udvikling, LMO Future, Danmark
POWERPOINT

Hur anpassar vi det nordiska jordbruket till klimatförändringarna? – växtforskningens roll
Lise Lykke Steffensen, CEO NordGen
POWERPOINT

Fruitful networking about Neonectria cankers

Now there is an overview of the status of Neonectria cankers in the Nordics. One of our SNS-NKJ networks produced it!

 

Meeting in Denmark at the arboretum with fruitful discussions.

The members of the NKJ-SNS network project “Neonectria cankers on trees” has gathered for a second meeting. The meeting took place in two participating countries, Sweden (hosted by SLU in Alnarp) and Denmark (hosted by KU at the arboretum in Hornsholm, Denmark).

A brief update on the status of the ongoing research projects in the participating countries as well as on the significantly improved epidemiological situation in apple orchards in Åland was accompanied by a fruitful discussion and knowledge exchange in the network “Neonectria cankers on trees – meeting of changed climatic conditions and increased problems in Scandinavian horticulture and forest production by interdisciplinary networking”.

Network participant visiting apple orchard in Sweden, Larisa Gustavsson explain details about the orchard and fruit tree canker on different cultivars.

Since the network is dedicated to the three Neonectriaspp; N. ditissimaon broad leaf trees (especially fruit trees) and N. neomacrosporaand N. fuckelianaon fir (Abies spp.) and spruce (Picea spp.), respectively, the meeting included on-siteexperience of infections on both, horticultural and forest crops.

The participants visited a commercial apple orchard where they could observe damages caused by N. ditissima in a range of apple cultivars differing in their levels of resistance. The observations and discussions were dedicated to the diversity of the symptoms as well as to the diversity of the defence reactions among cultivars. The attention was also drawn to the differences in the severity of damages related to differences in growing conditions within the same orchard as well as to the differences in the age of the trees. The participants stressed on the importance of good orchard hygiene for the improvement of the epidemiological situation in the apple orchards.

In the Arboretum in Hørsholm the focus was on symptoms of N. neomacrospora on different fir species. Abies lasiocarpa and A. concolor show severe infection, whereas traditional forest tree species such as A. alba and A. grandis are less affected. Symptoms of N. fuckeliana on spruce and N. ditissima on broadleaves have not been observed in the Arboretum, and only a few cases have been reported from Danish forests, however no systematic surveys have been carried out. An important discussion was to which degree aphids on needles, shoots and bark facilitate the entry of these pathogens in the hosts.

During the excursion in the Arboretum we looked at a spore sampler experiment and discussed whether this method could be used for other Neonectria species than N. ditissima, since several participants had experienced difficulties with obtaining spores.

An important task of the network is to bring all the collected information on biology, epidemiology and control of the three pathogens, including better utilization of the intrinsic host resistance by combining of breeding resistant genotypes with improved practices to the scientific community though a review paper. The participants agreed on the content and structure of the paper. The important knowledge exchange between the horticulture and forestry as well as a positive and open atmosphere within the group indicate good prospects for further collaborations and join projects.

Visit of the forest trees in the arboretum and two of the participants have a closer look on traps for Neonectria spores.

Workshop: Sustainable forest management in pellet supply chains

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.
Info, program and registration

 

Networking – crucial for bioeconomy? Conference in march!

Transforming the current economy into a “new” bioeconomy needs changed institutional frameworks at regional and national level, sensitive to and inclusive of place­based knowledge. The SNS-NKJ network BioWiseTrans arranges a conference seeks to better understand the role of people and networks in this transition. Welcome to Karlstad 27-28 of March 2019!

 

The name of the conference is “People and networks matter – enabling sustainable bioeconomy transition” and takes place in Karlstad in Sweden 27-28 March 2019.