Living Longer and Better
Norwegians have one of the longest life spans in the world – and with good reason. Their close relationship and love of nature play a special role – and this combined with a high level of education, a natural curiosity, active governmental support, and the close relationship between the business and R&D sectors make the country a fertile location for development of new ideas, products and services.
Bioprospecting – The Wave of the Future
Tens of thousands of life forms are found in Norway, with the vast majority being found in the rich waters around the 25,000 kilometer Norwegian coastline - providing an excellent base for a flourishing Marine Bioprospecting sector here with many of its roots in the country’s long tradition of harvesting the sea.
One important organization is Marelife – the BioMarine Innovation Network, a strong member organization covering the entire country. In order to promote the development of the bio marine sector, this member organization has three main areas of focus that includes cooperative projects, commercialization, and working with the public financial frameworks to promote marine research and innovation.
Marelife’s national project Marelife Storby brings together the major cities in Norway in order to lay the solid groundwork for the next generation of marine research and development. The northern
Norwegian city of Tromsø will function as the organization Sekretariat until 2012, and
more information regarding this exciting program can be found at the Marelife website.
OSLO BIO NETWORK
For just a taste of city-related activities within Life Science, let us take a look at the capital city of Norway. Oslo has a Life Science related activities, many of them coming under the cooperative network Oslo Bio Network. This network works to bring its members together in an ongoing collaborative effort, also to develop and solidify contacts and alliance with the international environment. Here are some of the Oslo Bio Network organizations in brief:
Marelife, as mentioned above, Marelife is the bio-marine innovative membership network that covers all marine sectors. See the Marelife website.
Oslo Cancer Cluster is the NCE (Norwegian Centre of Expertise) that focuses on speeding up the process related to diagnostics and medicinal development related to fighting cancer and its effects. With approximately 60 members, this organization has an impressive R&D pipeline. In Autumn of 2010, the Oslo City Council approved the construction of the Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park to be completed in the Summer of 2013. For more information about Oslo Cancer Cluster and their dynamic activities, see their website.
Other members of the Oslo Bio-Network include the Oslo Medtech Network, focusing on medical technology, a cluster of companies, hospitals, investment firms as well as R&D institutions, and the Nansen Neuroscience Network founded by industry, research groups and academia to improve the quality of life.
Oslo Teknopol functions as the Secretariat for the Oslo Bio Network. Find out more here.
Education & Research
Norway is rich in possibilities within Life Science education. Just a few examples of what can be found here in the country include the University of Life Sciences in Ås (a town just sound of Oslo); the University of Oslo’s Molecular Life Science program, and molecular biology at the University of Bergen. The northernmost university in the world – the University of Tromsø –
attracts students from all over the world to study Fishery Science, Biotechnology and other areas
The Research Council of Norway is deeply involved in this field of Life Science research, and knows that marine and other Life Science innovations will continue to play an important part of the Norwegian knowledge-based society. Potential areas where this type of research can have implementation possibilities are almost boundless, and include medicine, pharmaceuticals, food, feed production, petroleum production and other industries.
Research is conducted all over the country, and other organizations such as SINTEF, the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research, the Research Council of Norway, and others raising the bar on a bright future for Life Science here in this country. For more information concerning research in general in Norway, see the Research Section of Norway Communicates.