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First funding announcement under new marine research programme

The programme will be formally launched in 2016. The first funding announcement is based on the preliminary MARINFORSK work programme, which was developed in autumn 2014 by a committee comprising representatives of the research community, the government administration and trade and industry. The MARINFORSK programme succeeds the Oceans and Coastal Areas Programme (HAVKYST).

The work programme, which builds on an extensive knowledge base, including knowledge gained from the HAV21 national marine R&D strategy process, was approved by the Research Board of the Division for Energy, Resources and the Environment earlier this year.

Ecosystems and impacts

“Under the first call for proposals, priority will be given to research on the structure and function of marine ecosystems and the impact of anthropogenic pressures,” says Christian Wexels Riser, who was the programme coordinator for the HAVKYST programme and will have the same role Christian Wexels Riser will continue on as programme coordinator for the new MARINFORSK programme. (Photo: Anne Ditlesfen) in the new programme.

“Other priority research areas are sustainable harvesting and value creation and management and societal perspectives. Importance will be attached to achieving a broad, balanced project portfolio that reflects the thematic scope of the call,” Mr Wexels Riser says. He advises interested parties to consult the text of the call and the preliminary work programme to learn more about the priorities within the individual thematic areas.

The MARINFORSK programme will continue to cover many of the thematic priority areas of the HAVKYST programme. New thematic areas have also been introduced to achieve better distribution of tasks and coordination between related programmes at the Research Council.

Clearer division of responsibility

“Social science topics will have a more prominent place in the new programme. There are also plans to make the programme more relevant for trade and industry in addition to the government administration,” explains Mr Wexels Riser.

“The most marked difference, however, is that the MARINFORSK programme will have primary responsibility for research on the effects of pollution from industrial activities. This applies both to pollution from petroleum activities, which was also part of the HAVKYST programme, and to pollution from aquaculture and other marine-based industries,” he says, and points out that this is one of the priorities in this year’s call under the thematic area “Pollution and other effects on ecosystems”.

“This doesn’t mean that the aquaculture industry can leave the task of cleaning up to others – it is still responsible for minimising impact on the ecosystem and pollution stemming directly from aquaculture facilities. However, the MARINFORSK programme is in a very good position for studying the impacts of the combined pressure from industrial activities on marine ecosystems, including the impacts of aquaculture,” stresses the programme coordinator.  

The MARINFORSK programme is also participating in a joint call for proposals for NOK 45 million for research projects on land use management in the coastal zone. This is a collaborative effort with the new Large-scale Programme on Aquaculture Research (HAVBRUK2), the new Programme on Environmental Research for a Green Transition (MILJØFORSK), the Research Programme on Sustainable Innovation in Food and Bio-based Industries (BIONÆR) and the Large-scale Programme on Climate Research (KLIMAFORSK). 

The MARINFORSK programme is participating in a joint call to promote more integrated and sustainable land-use management in the coastal zone across sector interests. (Photo: Anne Ditlefsen)

New programme board

The process of appointing a programme board for the new programme is underway. The new programme board will be responsible for final approval of grant allocations received in response to the first funding announcements. Both of this year’s MARINFORSK calls for proposals have an application submission deadline of 9 September. The calls will be made active six weeks prior to this deadline (see link at right).  


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