About NordBio

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The Nordic Bioeconomy Initiative – NordBio

A three-year program under the Icelandic chairmanship of the Nordic Council of Ministers

The Nordic bio-economy initiative (NordBio) is a collaboration program involving the following five Nordic Councils of Ministers: Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Trade, Energy and Regional Policies, Education and Research and Culture. Nordic experts in these fields will pool their efforts in working on projects promoting sustainable utilisation of the living natural resources. The focus will be on the interests of both society at large and the environment per se, and on facilitating the structuring of a competitive economy as well as new methods in youth education.

What is NordBio?

Three governmental ministries in Iceland, the Nordic Council of Ministers, and the collaboration network under whose umbrella they fall will work together under Iceland’s chairmanship programme on improving conditions for the Nordic bio-economy. The Icelandic ministries in question are the Ministry of Industries and Innovation, the Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources, and the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. The implementtation of the programme will therefore require close multidisciplinary collaboration.

The focus will be on projects aimed at adding value for the environment and society. The Nordic countries are in a strong position for clearing the way to a stronger biobased economy, so it is important that they lead the way in this field.

Objectives of NordBio

  • Develop and improve methods of sustainable production and utilisation of products in order to stimulate innovation and economy, and to reduce strain on the environment in the Nordic countries.
  • Strengthen knowledge that is beneficial in policy-making in economic and environmental affairs by increasing collaboration in research, development, and innovation.
  • Strengthen innovation in energy efficiency, food safety and public health, and facilitate Nordic production in markets to meet the growing need for food as world population increases.
  • Report the achievements of projects in the field of education for sustainable development.
  • Make research and academic work in the fields of sustainable production and utilisation more attractive to future generations.
  • Bring together science, technology, education and culture at various school levels, in institutions and the economy.
  • Offer a joint Nordic venue and platform for cooperation, collaboration and exchange of views across ages and fields of expertise.

Outcome of NordBio

Projects will be carried out under the umbrella of NordBio, supporting its objectives. These include:

  • Innovation projects aimed at creating added value, improved efficiency and increased sustainability in food production, as well as increased production of biomass. Increased diversity in the utilisation and added value of forestry products.
  • Examination of opportunities afforded by the adoption of more eco-friendly fuels and power supplies on marine vessels.
  • The education project, Biophilia, where new teaching methods will be developed that use modern technology, and use creativity as a teaching and research method.
  • Strengthening ecosystem resilience for mitigation of natural hazards.

New Nordic Bioeconomy Panel

In addition to these projects, Iceland is proposing the establishment of a multidisciplinary consultation venue – the Nordic Bioeconomy Panel, whose role includes promoting and coordinating Nordic cooperation within the bioeconomy, mapping opportunities for international funding of research and development, and strengthening the Nordic voice in international policy formulation and cooperation.

Responsibility for NordBio

The Nordic Council of Ministers for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Agriculture, Food and Forestry (MR-FJLS) is responsible for the implementation of the programme, in cooperation with the Nordic Councils of Ministers for the Environment (MR-M), Trade, Energy and Regional Policies (MR- NER), Education and Research (MR- U), and Culture (MR-K).

Contact information
Hólmfríður Sveinsdóttir, Program coordinator
Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources 
Skuggasund 1, 150 Reykjavik
Tel: 354-545 8600
e-mail: holmfridur.sveinsdottir@uar.is