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Evaluation of the HAVBRUK programme:

New knowledge to the aquaculture industry

An independent evaluation of the Research Council of Norway’s Large-scale Programme Aquaculture – An Industry in Growth (HAVBRUK) has concluded that the programme has achieved significant results and should be continued.

“I am pleased to be able to say that the HAVBRUK programme has generally reached its objectives,” says Fridtjof Unander, Executive Director of the Research Council's Division for Energy, Resources and the Environment. “The evaluation documents that the programme has enhanced the knowledge base for Norwegian aquaculture, an industry that is important both nationally and in relation to the global food supply.”

Photo: Andreas B. Johansen “The evaluation provides important input for the planning of a new initiative on aquaculture research,” says Fridtjof Unander. (Photo: Andreas B. Johansen) The evaluation also concludes that the programme has by and large reached the relevant research environments and has contributed significantly to recruiting new researchers within the aquaculture sector.

The consultancy company Oxford Research carried out the programme evaluation. The report includes a summary in English (chapter 2).

Initiative needs more funding

The evaluation report recommends continuing the HAVBRUK programme but states that the programme’s financial framework will need to be expanded to succeed in upholding the objectives set out for the current programme period.

According to Mr Unander the extra NOK 10 million added under the national budget for 2014 is not enough. This view is supported by the evaluation, which points out that the programme is under-funded given its aims and the size of the industry.

Large knowledge needs still exist

When the HAVBRUK programme was launched as a Large-scale Programme in 2006 the wide need basic research in the field of aquaculture was pinpointed. At the same time, the objectives set out at that time were to be largely targeted towards industry.

“A new initiative for aquaculture research,” asserts Mr Unander, “should continue to build on the principle of focusing on both basic and industry-oriented research activities at the national level, while at the same time addressing global challenges related to food security. Perhaps a new initiative should look at all the possible ways of producing biomass in the oceans.”

Aquaculture – An Industry in Growth (HAVBRUK)
The HAVBRUK programme is the Research Council’s most important funding instrument for aquaculture research. Launched in 2006, this large-scale programme funds both basic research and innovation projects. The HAVBRUK programme has generated valuable new knowledge in areas such as the environment and sustainability, technology, feed and feed ingredients, and fish health.


Written by:
Torkil Marsdal Hanssen/Else Lie. Translation: Darren McKellep/Carol B. Eckmann
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