Under the leadership of Lars Sponheim, Norwegian Research Council has evaluated the research institutes under the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. The conclusion is that the departments need to focus on value creation and bioeconomy and establish a comprehensive and binding agreement with the new University in Ås.
In connection with the new message to Parliament on agricultural and food policy, an advosory report was prepared on how Norway can get an efficient department in the sector with high quality, good reputation and high international competitiveness. The evaluation began in spring 2010 and was led by County Governor Lars Sponheim. A special committee reviewed the departments' scientific quality. This work was led by Soren Frandsen, vice-rector at Aarhus University.
– I want to commend the Norwegian Research Council and the concerned departments for the work," said Agriculture and Food Minister Lars Peder Brekk. He also noted that the research institutes have a key role in the agricultural and food policy providing the essential knowledge and contributing to local, regional and national economic development.
– The report places very strong emphasis on the global challenges ahead. The departments of agriculture and food sector should be well equipped to meet these challenges, it is important that departments coordinate better, collaborate with external researchers and have more impact internationally, "said Minister of Agriculture and Food Lars Peder Brekk.
The world faces enormous challenges in terms of climate, food production and energy supply. The population is expected to increase to about nine billion by 2050. Food needs will increase by 70 percent, while energy demand will increase by 100 percent during the same period. Much of the research now going on in Europe and worldwide aim further development of the economy toward a more sustainable direction. The evaluation concludes that Norway should also put the development of a sustainable food industry on the map, where the bio-based industries have a new and more central role.