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Minister officially opens Nofima

NORWAY - Although Nofima has now been operating for several months, the smell of gun powder from the starter's pistol wafted in the Troms air on Wednesday.

The Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, Helga Pedersen, declared Nofima open and she had some clear ambitions for the group of companies.

Government Minister Helga Pedersen.
"Nofima shall advance our new world stars in research," said Pedersen during her opening speech. She emphasised the fact that the Government has big expectations for the new group of companies to add value nationally and solidarity internationally.

"As a wealthy and privileged country, Norway has an obligation to share our knowledge to assist a growing global population which will experience increasing food shortages."

Joining forces

Tromsø's Deputy Mayor, Gunhild Johansen, was also ambitious on behalf of her own municipality and the marine focus.

"I have complete confidence that Tromsø as a research city can house the management of Nofima well," she said, adding:

"I would also like to challenge the city's marine environment, of which Nofima is a part, to join forces in order to achieve increased energy and visibility, without going further into how any joining of forces in the marine sector shall be materialised."

Managing Director of the Norwegian Fishermen's Sales Organisation Trygve Myrvang (left), Nofima President - CEO Ørjan Olsvik and the Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, Helga Pedersen, during the official opening of Nofima in Tromsø on Wednesday.

Safe food, health and cod

Nofima's President - CEO Ørjan Olsvik used his presentation to outline to the outside world the background for Nofima's establishment, as well as providing an orientation about today's organisation. He then explained in more detail three research sectors that he believes will attract major interest in the future: safe food, food and health and cod farming.

"Safe food is an invariable requirement and we will contribute to the industry becoming even better in this area. With respect to food and health, I believe the focus on this will become stronger and stronger in a world where malnutrition, undernourishment and obesity are all prominent health problems," says Olsvik.

"Cod farming is Norway's new industry adventure and we are very much a part of this: Success relies exclusively on good research."

Poetry reading

Author Helge Stangnes started the séance by pointing to the historical interaction between the farming and fishing industries.

"Some will call Nofima a blue-green technological development, but it is perhaps more tempting to say it was about time," said the author before reciting a poem on the theme of fish, agriculture and the life of the fishermen-farmer entitled "Fesk og potedes".