The Nofima Food Research Institute was established on 1 January 2008, following a political decision to merge four research institutions. In 2011 Crown Prince Haakon visited Nofima's headquarters in Tromsø with then Minister of Fisheries Lisbeth Berg-Hansen. Photo: Audun Iversen/Nofima.

Nofima's background

The Nofima Food Research Institute was established on 1 January 2008, following a political decision to merge four research institutions. We are currently one of Northern Europe's largest industry-oriented research institutions in the areas of fishery, aquaculture and food industries.

This article was last updated more than two years ago.

Managing directors since 2008

2009 – Øyvind Fylling-Jensen

2008-2009 – Ørjan Olsvik

Nofima arose from a political desire to rationalize and strengthen the competitive strength of Norwegian professional communities in the area of industry-oriented research into fisheries, aquaculture and food production.

Long tradition of research

Our research activities date back as far as 1931, when “Norges Hermetikklaboratorium” (Norway’s canned food laboratory) was established. It was among the country’s first industry institutions, and was later renamed Norconserv. In the 1970s the research institutes Akvaforsk, Fiskeriforskning and Matforsk were established.

All of the four institutes made strong contributions to developments in their sectors, both domestically and internationally, until the merger in 2007/8.

From four institutes via a corporate group to a limited liability company

In the autumn of 2003 the then Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs and Ministry of Agriculture and Food took the initiative to review the research institutes in their sectors.

The following year a newly-established steering group presented a proposal on “The blue-green food alliance – coordinated efforts and new structure,” and in two white papers (2004-2005) proposals were forwarded to strengthen cooperation between marine research and agricultural research.

One of the arguments for combining “blue” and “green” research institutes was that consumers and authorities, both domestically and internationally, have the same demands toward food regardless of whether it is produced on land or at sea. Additionally, there were many of the same disciplinary challenges in agriculturally-based food production and the production of seafood, and one wanted to achieve disciplinary and market-related synergies, not least in order for the Norwegian professional communities to strengthen their international competitive capacity.

In May 2005 the government proposed the establishment of Nofima AS, and the Storting supported the proposal. Nofima was to comprise the four institutes Akvaforsk, Fiskeriforskning, Matforsk and Norconserv.

Extensive work on the various merger projects and organizational structure was planned, and on 1 January 2008 the group was operative.

In 2011 Nofima decided to simplify and rationalize the group’s corporate structure, and made the transition from corporate group to Nofima AS.

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