News story | Date: 2015-02-06 | Ministry of Agriculture and Food
The Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO) will be Norway’s largest interdisciplinary research institute in the agricultural and environmental sphere, and one of Norway’s largest research institutes. Alvhild Hedstein has been appointed Director General.
On 6 February 2015, the King in Council of State approved the establishment of the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), effective 1 July 2015. The new institute will merge the tasks and staffs of the Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research (Bioforsk), the Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute, and the Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research Institute. NIBIO will be Norway’s largest interdisciplinary research institute in the agricultural and environmental sphere, and one of the country’s largest research institutes.
“The Norwegian agriculture and food sector needs effective resource centres and research groups to be able to develop competitive products and services and safeguard other societal needs. The name of the new institute stresses the Government’s high ambitions for its activities and the key role it will play in developing the bioeconomy in the green sector,” said Minister of Agriculture and Food Sylvi Listhaug.
NIBIO, which will be the institute’s designation in its day-to-day activities, will begin with a team of roughly 650 work-years and an annual turnover of roughly NOK 680 million. The new institute is a public administrative body with special powers of authority. Its headquarters will be located in Ås, with a branch in Oslo and regional offices.
“It is my hope that the institute’s name will provide a good starting point for building a common identity and culture across the three existing institutes,” continues Ms Listhaug. “At the same time I wish to commend the employees, who have been working very hard to realise a viable, cutting-edge institute from 1 July.”
“The name ‘Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research’ implies a platform on the offensive,” says Einar Steensnæs, chair of NIBIO’s provisional board. “The bioeconomy encompasses central administrative and research tasks relating to agriculture, food and the environment. The bioeconomy is also an important part of the framework for clarifying the global conditions needed for a sustainable future. The provisional board is therefore seeking to shape NIBIO not only as the leading national institute for the bioeconomy, but also as an international leader in selected scientific areas.”
“It is an inspiring and challenging job for the provisional board to lay a foundation that enables NIBIO to achieve the ambitious scientific goals that have been set.”
The Ministry of Agriculture and Food has adopted the following social mission for NIBIO:
The Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO) will be the country’s leading institute for development of knowledge about the bioeconomy. The institute will promote food security, sustainable resource management, innovation and value creation in the value chains for the food, forestry and other biobased industries. The institute will deliver research, administrative support and knowledge to be used towards national preparedness, public administration, trade and industry, and society at large.
The website of the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research will be www.nibio.no.
Alvhild Hedstein has been appointed Director General of the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO). Ms Hedstein will be coming from the Ministry of Transport and Communications, where she has been Director General of the Department of Environment and Coastal Management. She was previously Managing Director of the Foundation for Ecolabelling (a national branch of Nordic Ecolabelling) and has held a number of positions with the environmental management authorities and at Bellona. Ms Hedstein also has broad-based political experience, including having served in the Storting and as a political adviser to Lars Sponheim when he was Minister of Agriculture and Food. She has served on the boards of a variety of organisations, including the corporate boards of Norgesgruppen and the Rainforest Foundation Norway, and has been a member of two government-appointed committees: the Norwegian Commission on Low Emissions and the committee on reducing emissions of environmentally hazardous substances.
Ms Hedstein received her education at the Norwegian College of Agriculture (now the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)) in Ås, where she studied natural resource management, environmental protection and resource economics.