There is likely to be a comprehensive agriculture-related research collaboration between Norway and China. The two research groups have also signed a memorandum of a virtual research center. This will be in place in autumn 2011. Heilongjiang Province is located in the northeastern corner of China and has about 35 million inhabitants. The province is one of China's largest agricultural area, and there is great potato production in the area. The capital of Harbin has about 10 million inhabitants and is China's tenth largest city. The completion of an innovation center in Harbin is scheduled in 2013, and a virtual research center, headed by Bioforsk and Haas, is going to move physically here.
– We want Bioforsk to become a significant player internationally both by bringing home knowledge and also providing a real contribution to international arena "said Nils Vagstad, research director of Bioforsk. Today, India, Vietnam and China are the most important partners in Asia in addition to project cooperation in Africa and Latin America.
Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research (Bioforsk) is a national Norwegian R&D institute specialising in the fields of agriculture and food production, environmental protection and natural resource management. Furthermore, Bioforsk focuses on research-based innovation, value creation and sustainable resource utilisation. Bioforsk aims to be a regionally, nationally and internationally competitive knowledge producer and service provider.
Bioforsk was established on 1 January 2006, after a merger of the Norwegian Centre for Soil and Environmental Research, the Norwegian Institute for Crop Research and the Norwegian Centre for Organic Agriculture. Bioforsk has a staff of about 500. Bioforsk is organised under the Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture and Food. The institute consists of seven research divisions, a laboratory and numerous branches spread throughout the country, thus ensuring proximity to both market and challenges. Bioforsk’s management team and central administration are located in Ås, 30 km south of Oslo.