From left: Kristine Enger, Mayor of Randaberg, Susanne Gitlesen, Sr VP IRIS Environment, Fiona Provan, Centre Leader, Elisa Ravagnan, Co-Centre Leader, Kristin Flornes, CEO IRIS, Dilek Ayhan, State Secretary, Solveig Ege Tengesdal, County Mayor of Rogaland. Photo: IRIS

SUREAQUA – Nordic Centre of Excellence – officially open


As part of Forskningsdagene 2017, CEO of IRIS Kristin Flornes opened the SUREAQUA Centre by welcoming almost 100 participants to a two-day opening symposium within Blue bioeconomy.

SUREAQUA is a multidisciplinary centre funded by NordForsk that will provide competence, innovation and technology to ensure sustainability and resilience in aquatic and related land-based value chains. The Centre is coordinated by IRIS.

- So why IRIS? Kristin Flornes asked the audience. - With our joint focus on biotechnology and sustainable use of aquatic resources, IRIS is in a unique position to lead the way in the transition to the Bioeconomy in the Nordic countries. SUREAQUA represents a multidisciplinary effort and brings together close 40 Nordic partners from R&D, industry and other stakeholders. We are extremely grateful to all of you who contributed in establishing the centre, Flornes concluded.


- Bioeconomy is developing fast, stated Dilek Ayhan, State Secretary at the Norwegian Minstry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries. As next speaker out, she emphasized the great opportunity this Centre has for taking a leading role in the development. – We have a great Nordic foundation and cooperation to build upon, represented by many of you sitting here today, Ayhan continued. -It is a great pleasure for me to be here for the opening of the Nordic Centre of Excellence, and I want to thank IRIS, NordForsk, researchers and industry for making this possible. - I have great faith in all of you for coming up with great future solutions for Blue bioeconomy.

Solveig Ege Tengesdal, County Mayor of Rogaland, followed up by thanking IRIS for working so very dedicated towards the realization of the Centre. – In Rogaland, we are well known for both agriculture and aquaculture, being the most important county in Norway when it comes to producing food. This is one of the reasons why the Rogaland County have pointed out that bioeconomy should be one of the most important issues for our county for the next decade, Ege Tengesdal stated.

Kristine Enger, Mayor of Randaberg, also mentioned the perfect location of the SUREAQUA Centre. Based at IRIS’ laboratory and office in Mekjarvik it is located in the heart of Randaberg and is thus a great contributor to the area’s industry hub.

Finally, Centre Leader Dr Fiona Provan and Dr Elisa Ravagnan, Co-Centre Leader (both IRIS), introduced the vision of the centre and the story behind it.

The ultimate goal of the Centre is to advance the transition to the bioeconomy by contributing to new knowledge and delivering social, economic and environmental benefits. The Centre’s focus is on marketable innovations, increased resource efficiency, and environmental, social and economic sustainability through close collaboration with both the private and public sectors.
More information about SUREAQUA and the full program for the opening symposium can be found here.
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