National marine research strategy underway
A report proposing a collective strategy for future Norwegian marine research will be completed by the end of 2012. A strategy committee has begun the process of drawing up the strategy report, which has been dubbed Hav21.
The aim of the Hav21 strategy is to identify the areas in which Norway needs new knowledge to strengthen management of and industrial development based on marine resources.
The strategy committee was appointed by the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, on behalf of the Norwegian Government. The committee is chaired by Monica Stubholt of Aker Clean Carbon AS, who has extensive policy, management and industry-related expertise.
“I have high expectations for the Hav21 process,” said the Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs Lisbeth Berg-Hansen at the initial meeting of the strategy committee at the end of November.
Seafood in focus
The strategy process will encompass four thematic areas: Aquaculture, Fisheries, Food (i.e. bio-based industries, including bioprospecting), and Management.
Research in all four areas will help to advance Norway’s objective of becoming an even more cutting edge seafood nation. The Hav21 strategy will provide key input for the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs’ new white paper on seafood, which is planned completed in spring 2013.
Major knowledge needs
At present, Norway spends around NOK 2.8 billion annually on marine research.
“The main question is whether we are using these allocations to our best advantage,” said the minister, going on to ask, “is Norway equipped to successfully compete for international funding, which comprises an increasing share of all research funding?”
“The mandate for the Hav21 strategy initiative reflects Norway’s position as an export-oriented seafood nation that is seeking to exploit its oceans and marine resources in the most constructive and innovative manner possible, also in future. To do so, Norway must obtain the insight needed to enable it to take the right decisions and ensure that the country can continue to harvest its ocean riches,” said Liv Monica Stubholt.
The Research Council’s role
The secretariat for the Hav21 initiative will be located at the Research Council of Norway. With experience from similar strategy processes in other fields, the Council understands the importance of active, broad-based participation for the final result.
“Of course, the membership of the working groups and steering group is essential. However, we also have to reach out to and involve a wide range of other relevant players by means of information activities and dialogue meetings and by providing open channels for input and views. In this way we can attract the attention of all marine stakeholders and raise awareness about the strategy process,” said Fridtjof Unander, Executive Director of the Research Council’s Division for Energy, Resources and the Environment at the initial meeting of the Hav21 strategy committee.
|Commitee members and reference group|
The Hav21 strategy committee comprises representatives from a broad range of key research institutions, industry, the public administration and other types of organisations:
The reference group consists of representatives of the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, Ministry of Education and Research, Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Health and Care Services, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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