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Research and expertise to boost the blue bioeconomy

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
Publication date 13.10.2017 14.35
News item

Finland aims for international growth in water expertise and sustainable utilisation of the aquatic natural resources, i.e. the blue bioeconomy. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has launched extensive preparatory work to define the key priorities for research and expertise in support of business in the sector.

Representatives of the administration, research, research funders, education and companies operating in the sector will be invited to participate in the strategy work.  

– The Finnish inland waters, coasts and archipelago are something quite unique, and we also have abundant fish resources, rich freshwater and groundwater resources, and advanced technologies and competence. All this would enable much more active and innovative business activities than what we have now, especially when combined with purity and ecological sustainability as our very special competitive advantages, says Jaana Husu-Kallio, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

The preparatory phase will be concerned with investigating the opportunities and market prospects of the sector and specifying the research priorities for the short and long term. Among the key issues is also to identify what kind of expertise will be needed in the future and find means to ensure a sufficient knowledge base.

Research and development activities will be even more effective when the limited resources available are targeted to jointly defined objectives. Shared objectives will also improve our opportunities to influence the research funding priorities in international networks. This will, in turn, make it easier to attract international research funding to Finland. The aim is also to construct a foresight and evaluation process for systematic assessment of the research and competence priorities and the necessary measures.

Various methods, including company interviews and workshops, will be used to collect data for the preparation. Online inquiries will be conducted to survey the views of different stakeholders. Views can be expressed during the preparation phase in November 2017 and in March 2018, when the proposal for the priorities of research and expertise on the blue bioeconomy is to be circulated for comment.

The work contributes to the strategic goals of the key project “Finnish food production will be profitable, trade balance and blue bioeconomy on the rise” and the National Development Plan for Blue Bioeconomy 2025 related to it. In May 2018 the proposal will be submitted to the ministerial working group on the bioeconomy and clean solutions for approval.

Information on the preparation, background materials and analyses, and the online inquiry are available on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The key bodies in the preparation work are the Natural Resources Institute Finland, Finnish Environment Institute, Technical Research Centre of Finland VTT, Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation Tekes, Academy of Finland, and Gaia Consulting Ltd.

Inquiries at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry:
Riitta Rahkonen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 162 202,
Timo Halonen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 162 411,

Read more:
Growth through water expertise and sustainable use of aquatic natural resources: National Development Plan for Blue Bioeconomy 2025

Key project on the bioeconomy and clean solutions on the Government website

Information on the preparation project

Bioeconomy EU and international affairs Fisheries Research and development Water key projects