Nordic initiative on Bioeconomy

Final conclusions Nordic Bioeconomy Programme Committee (PDF).


The overall aim of the initiative is to produce new knowledge on how to foster and advance the transition to a bioeconomy-based society in the Nordic countries by integrating research, innovation and entrepreneurship in the private and public sectors. The programme will fund activities that are cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary, and that involve the private and public sector and other stakeholders.


The Nordic region is unique in that it has a surplus of primary resources. Primary resources will become an even more important asset in the Nordic society of the future, which involves a transformation from economic growth based on fossil fuels towards a sustainable and bio-based society.

The point of departure for this programme is water. Water is a fundamental part of the bioeconomy and bioproduction value chains, e.g. in transportation, primary plant production, industrial processes and for social well-being.

As a Nordic platform, the initiative will build on the national programmes and bring Nordic added value to the national and international research and innovation activities. The Nordic approach will advance the bioeconomy transition in a holistic way. This will give new insight into how research and innovation can jointly add momentum to bio-based and sustainable societal development.

The development of new knowledge is at the core of the Nordic Bioeconomy initiative. Basic building blocks are research, innovation and entrepreneurship, with active involvement from the private and public sectors, industry, consumers, end-users and others.


The committee comprises representatives for the participating funding organisations:

  • Jan Reid Hole, NordForsk (chair)
  • Laura Raaska, the Academy of Finland (member)
  • Marit Heller, the Research Council of Norway (member)
  • Karin Perhans, the Swedish Research Council Formas (member)
  • Ægir Thor Thorsson, Rannís, Iceland (member)
  • Berit Brokking Balfors, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden (member)
  • Riitta Julkunen-Tiitto, University of Eastern Finland (member)


The total budget of the initiative is approximately MNOK 90. Three Nordic Centres of Excellence are being financed with approximately 30 million NOK each for a five-year period and will be launched during the first quarter of 2017.

Call timeline


Kyösti Lempa

Kyösti Lempa

Special Adviser