The event is intended to promote increased cooperation between Norwegian and Japanese research groups in the areas of marine nutrition and research. This year, the Japan Fisheries Association, Japan Science and Technology Agency and Nagoya University were the key partners from Japan, and the Norwegian Seafood Council also helped to organise the event.
Marine Science Week was opened by State Secretary Amund Drønen Ringdal of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries. The main event was held on June 4 and was attended by close to 300 Japanese and 50 Norwegian participants.
Six parallel sessions were held on the topics of safe seafood, aquaculture, polar research, climate change/modelling and the development of coastal communities to safeguard co-existence between a variety of industries.
“The sea ties us together”
Professor Noel Keenlyside from the Geophysical Institute at the University of Bergen was among the Norwegian participants. He is studying the vital role of the sea in predicting climate change and is already working closely together with several Japanese scientists. Dr Keenlyside views science week as a good opportunity both for promoting Norwegian research and for finding new partners, pointing out that Japan and Norway share considerable interests with regard to the marine sector: “Both countries are dependent on and affected by the sea when it comes to climate and industry,” he says.
The year’s Marine Science Week confirmed that Norwegian research institutions are eager to take part in joint events with the Japanese research community – both as a means of strengthening existing cooperation and for discussing common challenges the two countries face.
Norwegian contributors to the event included the independent research foundation SINTEF, the Norwegian Polar Institute, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, the University of Nordland, the National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, Statoil (Norwegian state-owned petroleum company), the consultancy company SALT Lofoten and DNV GL.