Top left: Jan Gabor, Mo Industrial Park AS; Ketil Rye, Sandra Johansson, Ellen Myrvold, Simen Valaamo and Kim Elstad from Alcoa Mosjøen; Arve Ulriksen, CEO Mo Industrial Park AS. Top right: Bjørn Ugedal, Glencore Manganese Norway as; Vibeke Stærkebye Nørstebø, SINTEF Technology and Society; Bernd Wittgens, SINTEF Materials and Chemistry

New Partnership Focusing On Circular Economy Approved by Norwegian Research Council

23 October, 2017 8:14

Several Nordland based companies within the process industry, fisheries and waste management have been granted BIA-Funds (User-driven Research based Innovation- funds) by the Norwegian Research Council for its ambitious approach to research collaboration on Circular Economy. The regional SINFEF branch, SINTEF Helgeland have headed up the application process.

– We are esablishing a joint knowledge hub for the application of circular economy principles. The aim is to make us better able at prioritising and initiating larger RnD projects from the BIA-programme, says CEO of SINTEF Helgeland, Susanne Nævermo Sand.

Knowledge hub
The BIA programme is one of the largest programmes the Norwegian Researh Council (NRC) has and is an important arena for collaboration between the research and business sector. BIA financed RnD projects that originate from business strategies aims at being valuable for participating companies and also society at large.
– The NRC congratulates the partership and SINTEF with a much deserved and important allocation of BIA-funds. The competition for these funds is tough so this comes to show that several people have worked very hard in the process. The partners have proven a great will to collaborate and I think this will be an important catalyst for further advancements in esablishing a strong knowledge hub, soundly rooted in the industry, focusing on circular economy. This will be exciting for the region and for Norway, says NRC regional manager for Nordland Bjørn Gjellan Nielsen.

Circular economy as an economic principle to ensure sustainable growth, is gaining increasing attention from academia, the public sector and the industrial sector. Some of the collaboration parties in the project are Alcoa Mosjøen, Rana Gruber as, Celsa Armeringsstål AS, Glencore Manganese Norway AS, Elkem Rana, Mo Industrial Park as, Norcem, Iris- Salten, Kvarøy Fiskeoppdrett, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Nord University and SINTEF.
– This is what all of us have been working so incredibly hard to achieve. I am moved by the decision to allocate BIA-funds to this project, says CEO of Mo Industrial Park as, Arve Ulriksen.

– Mo Industrial Park as is very pleased that the NRC has recognised the usefulness and potential of this project. To us, this means a strenghtened focus and good foundation for further work in developing industry in Northern Norway accross several sectors. We believe that great opportunities lie in the cross section between fisheries and the process industry, and that it is also possible to enhance the use of industrial side streams even further for mutual gain, the VP of Marketing in Mo Industrial Park as, Jan Gabor says.

In Alcoa Mosjøen the team is also very pleased that the project will receive BIA-funds.
– Alcoa’s participation in this project will strengthen our push for green aluminium production. We strive at continously improving our plant and our ambition is to be the most environmentally friendly producer of aluminium in the world, says the Alcoa team.
Glencore Manganese Norway as. are also happy with the news and are enthusiastic about to more cooperation.

– Congratulations in getting the project approved and many thanks for providing valuable support in the work with circular economy. We are looking forward to an extensive cooperation between the various Helgeland based industries in the years to come, says managing director Bjørn Ugedal at Glencore Manganese Norway as.

Wants to succeede with Circular Economy
The network will focus on technology advancements and research based innovation related to circular economy within the various fields represented in the partnership. The hub will stress the need for research based skills and technology, new business models and processes as well as exploring new forms of organisations and management to succeed with circular economy.
– We are investigating the possibility of creating innovative solutions for cross sectoral integration of material and energy flows, and thus increasing the competitiveness for land based industry, says Bernd Wittgens ved SINTEF Materials and Chemistry.
– I am looking forward to being a part of the development of projects with businesses in the network so that we together can achieve better use of resources and sustainable green growth, Vibeke Stærkebye Nørstebø at SINTEF Technology and society.

 

About SINTEF: one of Europe’s largest independent research organisations SINTEF Homepage
About BIA: funds industry-oriented research and has no thematic restrictions. This broad-based programme supports high-quality R&D projects with good business and socio-economic potential. Established in 2006, BIA is targeted at industry and has a budget for 2011 of approximately NOK 355 million.