Tuesday, 01 November 2016 00:00

Applied research for industry

The fact that researchers are not only to be found in the proverbial ivory tower has been demonstrated by Møreforskning for 30 years with its various studies and projects. The group currently includes more than 50 scientists who carry out research and development projects in all areas of the value chain, i.e. from catch to plate, as required and commissioned by industry.

Agnes C. Gundersen, Managing Director. Through its involvement in the Legasea project Møreforskning has very good opportunities for cooperation with industry.

Møreforskning sees its role as a service provider whose help is needed when a company is facing important decisions, has to clarify critical questions, or is asked to solve a particular problem. However, the researchers do not only work on behalf of their customers, but also initiate research projects themselves if they recognize the social need or economic benefits of the results. Møreforskning is well connected nationally and internationally and also works with the Marine Ingredients cluster Legasea. The Group's headquarters is the Norwegian Maritime Competence Center within the Ålesund university campus, and this location opens up additional opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration.

Agnes C. Gundersen, Managing Director, highlights certain points from the group’s service spectrum: "We carry out, for example, scientific studies commissioned by authorities, companies or private customers, create research-based analyses and reports, organize seminars, workshops and conferences on certain topics or give lectures on the results of our investigations." This means that Møreforskning is not only a driver behind the development of the seafood industry and maritime economy in Norway, but the organisation also supports the search for new investment opportunities.

Projects on climate research are at present particularly in high demand. The focus here is almost always on the question of how climate changes will affect fisheries in the future. Another project is examining whether it is possible to promote regional tourism through the targeted marketing of seafood products. Møreforskning is also developing proposals for modern bacalao products which meet today's consumer demands. Instead of having to soak the fish for two to four days before cooking, the idea is to win more consumers with ready-to-cook products. The researchers are looking for ways to prevent fat oxidation in mackerel fillets, they want to develop high-quality fishmeal as a direct source of protein for human consumption and develop new product ideas for raw materials which have up to now hardly been used. One proposal has already been successful: belly flaps from herring, wrapped in a tempura batter and crisply baked are a popular convenience product.

The Maritime Competence Center Alesund provides Møreforskning scientists the ideal environment for cross-disciplinary cooperation.

A major focus of research at Møreforskning is currently the PROMAC project (short for Processing of Macroalgae), says Agnes C. Gundersen. This project is concerned with the commercial exploitation of macroalgae as an animal feed additive in agriculture. "This is an excellent opportunity to link aquaculture and agriculture closer together. Macroalgae, which were up to now considered waste, are now becoming a usable resource ".