The project will establish research and innovation collaboration between Norway and Japan. Photo: Stefan Stefancik

Norway - Japan research and training network


 Processing technology  

The project iFOODnet (Towards a Norway - Japan Innovative Research & Training Network Driving Next-Generation Food Systems) will develop world-class research and education in Norway upon long-term Noway-Japan (inter)national partnership on four cross-disciplinary/sectoral innovation pillars (CIPs) paving the way towards next-generation sustainable, resource-efficient, zero-waste food systems, and eventually, a smart, circular & resilient bioeconomy 4.0.

Time:1. February 2021 – 31. January 2024
In cooperation with:Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU); Tokyo University of Marine Science (TUMSAT); Tokyo University of Agriculture (TokyoNODAI)
Contact person
Portrettbilde av Izumi Sone
Izumi Sone

Phone: +47 986 57 696

About iFOODnet

iFOODnet is a multi-disciplinary and inter-sectorial Norway-Japan Training and Research Network anchored on the four strategic cross-disciplinary/sectoral innovation pillars (CIPs), expanding the scope of the NFR funded iNOBox project.

In iFOODnet, Nofima, the Europe’s largest applied food science & aquaculture research institute teams up with Norwegian University of Technology & Science (NTNU) to build long-term, international collaboration with Tokyo University of Marine Science & Technology (TUMSAT) and Tokyo University of Agriculture (TokyoNODAI).

iFOODnet’s International Training Research & Innovation Programme (ITP) will feature CIP-based student mobility with a short-term innovation mission, annual Training School and dissemination training events, to equip early-stage researchers with innovation-oriented & entrepreneurial mind-sets, in-depth research-enabling competences, transferrable/cross-cutting skills, and cultural diversity.

Do you want to follow our iFOODnet young talents and their work and student life? Check out their stories and our Instagram.

iFOODnet project is  financed by the Research Council of Norway and the Norwegian Agency for International Cooperation and Quality Enhancement in Higher Education (Diku), within the RCN INTPART programme – International Partnerships for Excellent Education, Research and Innovation.

Work packages

The iFOODnet project is divided into three work packages (WP).

WP1: International Training Research & Innovation Programme

Contact persons: Izumi Sone and Estefanía Noriega Fernández

WP1.1. Training and Innovation 

iFOODnet will develop and implement International Training Research & Innovation Programme (ITP) in Japan and Norway, featuring annual Training Schools and short-term innovation missions as integral part of CIP-based student mobility (WP1.2). The Training School will engage students in network-wide training events to foster teamwork, interpersonal/-cultural communication and transferable skills with emphasis on internship training (challenge-based assignment; industry visits), innovation & IPR management and RRI implementation.

WP1.2. Research and Innovation  

We will establish Norway-Japan highly-collaborative platform for scientific cooperation through cross-disciplinary/sectoral innovation pillars (CIPs), to be at the international forefront of future food research. Student mobility will be instrumental to the research collaboration.

The primary target group is MSc students in both countries, envisaged for a 3-month research stay each year under partnership supervision. Student of the Year Award will be granted providing e.g. conference grant, work placement, upon excellence.

In addition, two Open multi-thematic workshops will be organised in both countries to enhance international research, education, innovation interface.

WP2 Formalisation of Institutional Partnership

Contact persons: Eva Falch and Ragni Nergård

To ensure long-term international partnership, iFOODnet will establish bilateral agreements between the iFOODnet partners as well as academic accreditation for the iFOODnet student activities. Furthermore, we will continously investigate possibilities for future joint programmes beyond the project lifespan.

WP3 Coordination and Communication & Dissemination

Contact persons: Izumi Sone and Estefanía Noriega Fernández

WP3.1. Network Coordination 

The project manager coordinates the efforts in the various work packages and ensures good progress and good internal communication among the project partners. iFOODnet will be built upon shared responsibilities among partners to facilitate the ownership and int’l relevance of the project.

Project managers
Dr Izumi Sone and Dr Estefania Noriega Fernández, Nofima

Project administrator
Dr Morten Sivertsvik, Nofima

Scientific coordinator
Dr Estefania Noriega Fernández, Nofima (project manager, the iNOBox project)

Local managers / WP leaders
Prof Turid Rustad (NTNU, LM)
Assoc Prof Eva Falch (NTNU, WP2 leader)
Prof Shingo Matsukawa (TUMSAT, LM)
Prof Yoshimasa Sagane (TokyoNODAI, LM)

CIP leaders
CIP#1: Prof. Kuda (TUMSAT) and Dr Estefania Noriega Fernández (NOFIMA)
CIP#2: Prof. Sagane (TokyoNODAI) and Assoc Prof Lerfal (NTNU)
CIP#3: Prof Matsukawa (TUMSAT) and Dr Nordgård (NTNU)
CIP#4: Prof Myoda (TokyoNODAI) and Prof. Rustad (NTNU)

WP3.2. Communication & Dissemination (CD) 

This WP is dedicated to communicating iFOODnet joint efforts and outcome through targeted, multilevel CD strategy to the wider scientific community, policymakers, the media, and society, thus maximizing the project impact and geographical coverage, also facilitating continuous recruitment and involvement of iFOODnet young talents.

Sectorial innovation pillars (CIPs)

1. Bioprospection of Novel Biomolecules & Microbiome Sequencing

Metagenome screening & omics tools will play a major role in identifying and targeting new genetic resources & biomolecules, and predicting changes in biodiversity, eventually unlocking the enormous potential of microbiomes towards public-health, food processing & biotechnology.

Promoting diversity within food systems will be crucial for healthy & sustainable diets, strengthened resilience and socioeconomic & environmental benefits.

2. Innovative Food Processing and Functionality

Resource-efficient, eco-friendly & climate-smart innovative technologies and functional ingredients will play a key role in the world supply of diverse, safe, high-quality & nutritious foods, ultimately contributing to public health & wellbeing and food loss and waste & emissions reduction.

Just 5% food waste reduction will save 207 MNOK and 0.02% emissions, with each extra-day’s shelf life accounting for 483 MNOK per year.

3. Biomaterials and Smart Packaging

Rethinking food waste and side-streams as a resourceful aid for inexpensive new-generation biomaterials (>$2.6 bill revenues from green plastics) and striving for smart food (nano-)packaging solutions (4% CAGR in 2017-2023) upon sustainable bottom-up zero-waste (minimal) processing will contribute to the EU 2020 target of 10% of market plastics being biomaterials and the UN SDG to halve food waste by 2030 (≈21 BNOK/yr, 24% from food industry).

4. Food Waste Biorefinery

FoodFirst zero-waste cascade biorefinery is a cost-effective cross-sectoral niche opportunity for valorisation of food waste & underutilised feedstocks into commercially-sound functional-food bioactives, besides biopolymers, precursors for animal feed, biofuel & fertiliser.

Macroalgae biorefinery is e.g. expected to disrupt the traditional value-chain (in 5 years, 50 SMEs / 500 new high-skilled workforce), while relieving pressure on ecosystem services and mitigating climate change.


In iFOODnet, Nofima, the Europe’s largest applied science food research institute teams up with Norwegian University of Technology & Science (NTNU) to build long-term, international collaboration with strong academic groups in Japan, at Tokyo University of Marine Science & Technology (TUMSAT) and Tokyo University of Agriculture (TokyoNODAI).

Logos iFOODnet partners

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