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Department of Biological Sciences (BIO)

New Centre aims to be world leading

The Sea Lice Research Centre, a newly awarded Centre for Research-based Innovation, opened Friday 9 September. It will be led by BIO professor, Frank Nilsen.

Eirik Normann from the Research Council of Norway, Centre leader and Biology...
Eirik Normann from the Research Council of Norway, Centre leader and Biology professor Frank Nilsen, UiB’s Rector, Sigmund Grønmo, and Lisbeth Berg-Hansen, the Norwegian Fisheries and Coastal Affairs Minister,

The purpose of the Centres for Research-based Innovation (SFI) initiative by the Research Council of Norway is to build up and strengthen Norwegian research groups that work in close collaboration with partners from innovative industry and innovative public enterprises.

The Norwegian Fisheries and Coastal Affairs Minister, Lisbeth Berg-Hansen, was present at the opening. At Friday’s ceremony, Eirik Normann from the Research Council of Norway and UiB’s Rector, Sigmund Grønmo, signed the contract for the new SFI’s 8-years funding: Berg-Hansen and Centre leader and Biology professor Frank Nilsen, were witnesses.

The new SFI aims to contribute to improving aquaculture activities through finding good, sustainable solutions to a serious fish health problem. It hopes to be a leader internationally in salmon lice research and other similar parasites, especially in terms of shortening the time-line between research results and product development.

Led by the Department of Biology (BIO), together with the Department of Molecular Biology and the Department of Informatics, all at UiB, the Centre’s partners include the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, the Institute of Marine Research, Novartis Animal Health, EWOS Innovation AS, PatoGen Analyse AS, Marine Harvest ASA and Lerøy Seafood Group ASA.

Centre leader, Frank Nilsen is concerned about the marked increase in numbers of lice infected fish in recent years. He says that this underlines the need to establish such a collaborative centre.

BIO’s Department Chair, Anders Goksøyr, says that the establishment of this new centre will lead to a closer collaboration with industry in areas where having biological competency is most important. He underlies the importance of making long-term investments into the building up of such research-industry networks. He feels that there will definitely trickle-down effects from the new centre that will benefit BIO as a whole.

Read more in Norwegian.