Nordic Agrifood Expertise for Development

Fri, Jan. 22, 2016 in Helsinki, Finland

The seminar addresses the question how the Nordic agrifood experts could contribute to the progress of sustainable food production in the developing countries? Aim is to enhance participation of Nordic agrifood experts in development cooperation activities.  The seminar exhibits different funding channels, promotes Public – Private – Partnership actions and highlight possibilities for activities in agriculture, food and environment expertise area particularly from research expertise point in view.  

Good awareness of the available expertise in various Nordic countries is valuable to facilitate joining forces when “broader shoulders” are needed e.g. to meet requirements in large project calls like in Horizon2020 and EU’s Twinning programme. Good Nordic / Baltic collaboration and awareness of each actor’s interests enhances influence on international development policy arena.

Main objective of the seminar is to establish connections between experts and authorities with current development cooperation activities to those who have interests – either business or research - or development cooperation.

Organizing committee:

Professor Jarkko Niemi, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke); Chair of the NJF Finnish Association

Senior Agricultural adviser SveinSkøien, Fylkesmannen, Norway;  President of NJF

Professor Magnus Halling, SLU Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Principal investigator Magdy Mohamed, Agricultural Research Center of Egypt

Programme Coordinator Mila Sell, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)

Principal research scientist Oiva Niemeläinen, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)

Seminar contact: oiva.niemelainen@luke.fi


Session 1 Brief of on-going development projects in the agrifood research area

The seminar provides a platform to exhibit and list the on-going activities by Nordic countries in the agrifood area in development co-operation.

Session 2 Egypt as an example – current activities, needs and opportunities

Egypt has a population of 90 million but arable field acreage is around 3 million hectares only. Field area per capita is one of the smallest in the world. Refugees from Syria and Iraq increase the challenge. However, Egypt has also financial resources and expertise. How could the Nordic / Baltic expertise be used to help ease the challenging situation and by which means?

Session 3 EU’s Research Programmes enabling collaboration with 3rd countries and tools for enhancement of Public Private Partnership

What tools and calls, e.g. the Horizon2020, provide opportunities to incorporate research organizations from the developing world into research consortia? What should we take into account?

Increased activity of private actors is one way to increase collaboration with developing countries when public funding is decreasing. Are there possibilities to generate initiatives in Public – Private – Partnership within the research area?

Session 4 EU’s Twinning and TAIEX programmes as a way for capacity building in research establishments

The seminar will discuss the recent organizational changes in natural resources research establishments in the Nordic countries. Would the Nordic / Baltic expertise provide a good bases for EU twinning projects for capacity building actions in the EU and neighbouring countries? EU’s twinning and TAIEX (Technical Assistance and Information Exchange) programmes are instruments to support capacity building on government administration in EU’s neighbouring countries and in the Near East and Mediterranean area.


8:30-9:30 Registration and coffee (poster session opens)

Opening addresses 9:30-9:45

NJF President Fredrik Fogelberg / Prof. Jarkko Niemi, Nordic Association of Agricultural Scientists (NJF)

(To be specified), Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)

President Abdelmonem ElBanna, Agricultural Research Center of Egypt

Session 1 Brief of research projects in development cooperation in the agrifood area (9:45-10:45)

Brief of projects lead by Luke, Programme coordinator Mila Sell, Luke

Brief of projects lead by University of Helsinki, Heini Vihemäki Coordinator, University of Helsinki Global South (HUGS) network

Brief of project activities by Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

Brief of other projects and projects presented by poster presentations

Session 2 Egypt as a case study – current activities, needs and opportunities (10:45-12);

Measures for food security in Egypt, Prof. Mohamed Soliman, Agricultural Research Center of Egypt

Info of the ICI-project: “Enhancing development of water use efficient crops and production methods to dry and saline conditions”, Dr Magdy Mohamed, Agriculturarl Research Center of Egypt

Brief of gene mapping of fababean in the ICI project, Prof. Alan Schulman, Luke

Brief of Production of biochar from byproducts and application of it to dry sandy soil cultivation, Prof. Kari Tiilikkala, Luke.

Brief of the ICI-project ”EcoCity Bourg El Arab in Egypt”, Carmen Antuña Rozado, Senior Scientist, EcoEfficient Districts and EcoCities,VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Lunch (at own expense) and poster viewing (12-13)

Session 3 EU Programmes for research collaboration with third countries and Public Private Partnership (13-14:00);

Horizon2020 possibilities for research cooperation in the agrifood area with developing countries – Brief of interesting upcoming calls, Virpi Rämö, Luke

Info of Tekes’s BEAM programme, Senior Adviser Minh Lam, Tekes, Finnish Agency for Technology and Innovation

Brief of a BEAM-project: Innovative Food Concepts and Technologies Supporting Global Nutrition and Business (Nutri-Concept), Minna Kahala, Luke

Info of companies in the posters exhibition

Coffee break (14:00-14:30)

Session 4 EU’s Twinning and TAIEX programmes for capacity building (14:30-15:30);

Possibilities through EU Twinning programme, Project Adviser Heidi Lempinen, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Department for Europe, Twinning and TAIEX Team

Possibilities through EU TAIEX programme, TAIEX-coordinator Tiina Järvelä, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Department for Europe, Twinning and TAIEX Team

Recent changes in organizational structures and in financing natural resources research in Finland, Director of Research Mikko Peltonen, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Finland

Brief of a Twinning proposal for Advancement of the Research in Bioeconomy by Latvia, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands, Sandija Zēverte-Rivža, Science coordinator, Latvia University of Agriculture, Latvia

Learning Café 15:30-16:30

Group work & familiarizing with the participants. 15:30-16:30? (15+15 min plus 25 min for briefing)

Table 1: How to involve research organizations in 3rd countries in the Horizon 2020 project application process?

Table 2: Ways and possibilities to incorporate Private actors into development projects with research focus

Table 3: Initiatives and proposals for co-operation projects in Africa

Table 4: Tentative topics of Twinning project initiatives

Briefing of the group works.

16:25 Closing remarks

For inquiries seminar contact:

Phone: +358 29532 6389

Practical info

Registration will be open until 7th of January 2016 but as number of participants is limited to 80, early registration is advised. Seminar participation is free of charge. Lunch will be available tentatively at cost price principle. Please, send oral or poster presentation proposals to the organizing committee latest by 31.12.2015. Particularly poster presentations and also couple of oral presentations could be fitted into the programme.

Seminar contact: oiva.niemelainen@luke.fi

Phone: +358 29532 6389