Nordic cooperation for adaption: forests and fields in climate change

The NKJ & SNS funded project Adaptation, mitigation and breeding of trees and crops for future climate, Genes4Change, organized a scientific seminar in Oulu, 18th-19th March, 2019.

The aim of the Genes4Change network is to combine Nordic researchers and stakeholders to discuss adaptation, mitigation and breeding of trees and crops for future climate. Climate will be similar for plants and trees, and enhancing collaboration will be beneficial for both.

 

The network gathered together people from different disciplines to discuss together adaptation, mitigation and breeding of trees and crops for future climate in Oulu Science Garden  in 18th-19th March, 2019. The number of participants was limited to 80 due to space, but excellent representation from both agricultural and forestry side, high quality invited speakers together with excellent contributors.

Genetics is crucial

Basic research on local adaptation is increasing our understanding on possibilities to mitigate the effects of climate change. Genetics of most crucial issues on climate change: changes in growth rhythm and increasing need for resistance against biotic and abiotic factors were discussed, influencing both forest tree species and for agricultural plants.  Methodologies already used in model species to study genes and gene networks are becoming available also for other species. Need for large scale international collaboration with multidisciplinary approaches is evident.

It takes time

While evolutionary process needs several generations, the studies on genetics of local adaptation, breeding and optimal deployment of genetic material are also time demanding, and should continue across several generations of researchers.

In the meeting, we also celebrated long careers of outstanding researchers in the field, Outi Savolainen, University of Oulu, Bengt Andersson-Gull, Skogforsk, and Antoine Kremer, INRA, who all have contributed much to our understanding on genetics of local adaptation, and possibilities to mitigate effects of climate change via breeding and optimal deployment.

In the panel, the honorary speakers presented their views on climate change: what have we learned and how to proceed, and discussed these issues  together with “next generation researchers”, JP Verta (University of Helsinki) and Delphine Grivet, INIA,  The honorary speakers’  take home messages were recorded and stored in the web.

See the discussion

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
 

New NKJ networks in One Health

Five networks get funding from NKJ for networking activities in One Health. The decision was made in the board meeting in Lysaker, Norway. 

 

The board has decided which of the applicants will get funding to develop Nordic research in One Health. Five networks will arrange workshops, meet and write joint large scale applications, all to bring Nordic researchers closer together  and make the best out of our common knowledge.

The call has been opened in two rounds.

Animal welfare

One of the funded networks, NordCAW, is into how animal welfare is interconnected to human wellbeing and environment. A few Nordic and Baltic institutions will be active in the network. Workshops and seminars will be organized and the Nordic/Baltic voice will be stronger in an international perspective. We are pleased to see that the network actively will involve young researchers!

Another of the newly founded networks, Nordic vets against antimicrobial resistance (AMR), will organize workshops and seminars in three Nordic countries to share thoughts about research activities and form a platform for future collaboration on different aspects of antimicrobial resistance. The network is also aiming to longer-term collaboration and to proceed to scientific joint research calls such as H2020.

Three additional networks was accepted for funding in this call with the focus area One Health. We hope you will gain a lot of knowledge, cooperation and good ideas through your new networks!

New board members

The NKJ board has got two new members. Kirsti Anker-Nilssen is one of them. She represents Norway and works on a daily basis on Landbruks- og matdepartementet. The other one is Sæmundur Sveinsson from Iceland, working on MATIS. You are most welcome to join the work for Nordic agricultural research!

Last chance to join the configuration of the Nordic Testbed Network

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.

All about the network!

 

AGENDA

  • Inspiration talks – what’s the latest in the digital bioeconomy?
    • Organizing for digital innovation in the bioeconomy. University of Gothenburg/Swedish Center for Digital Innovation
    • Mobilizing a testbed – how to reach out and facilitate Nordic innovation. The Bioeconomy region.
  • Testbed presentations – get to know testbeds engaged in the digital transformation in the Nordic bioeconomy.
  • Setting vision and structure for the network – together we discuss and decide on vision and structure for the network.
  • Allocating seed money – joint discussion on how to allocate existing funding for supporting the digital transformation in the Nordic bioeconomy.
  • Networking – meet Nordic stakeholders from public and private sector.

REGISTER There are a limited number of seats available!


CONTACT
Maria Tunberg, PhD
maria.tunberg@analysysmason.com
Senior consultant
+46 730 21 75 30

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.