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New Nordic network will coordinate Nordic research collaboration on diseases in grain

The new network is supported by the Nordic Committee for Agricultural and Food Research (NKJ) and will coordinate research into sustainable disease control in cereal crops in the Nordic countries. The NORDICGRAIN network will bring together researchers from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

2021.03.01 | Camilla Brodam

Photo: Lise Nistrup Jørgensen

The Nordic countries have a common goal of achieving a more sustainable disease control in agricultural crops. It is therefore also an important topic for both national and international research. A network of leading researchers within this scientific field from the Nordic countries is now being established, so that knowledge and expertise can be shared, and new ideas can be created.

“The Nordic countries are each too small to meet all the needs  required to research on how to control diseases in cereal crops. But if we join forces, we will be much stronger, we can share expertise, and participate in each other's activities. We can work together more effectively towards a more sustainable disease control in Nordic grain production,” says postdoc Thies Marten Heick from the Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University .

Long-term goals of joint research

There is a total of five long-term goals within the network, which have been named NORDICGRAIN - Sustainable disease management in cereals in the Nordic Region:

  1. To generate comprehensive lists of projects and activities within the project area and to coordinate research activities in the Nordic region
  2. To identify knowledge gaps and research needs
  3. To develop approaches to fill the knowledge gaps and the need for research
  4. To obtain funding for research and increase knowledge about disease control in cereal crops in the Nordic countries
  5. To characterise differences in expertise and infrastructure in the participating institutes to ensure better cooperation and more efficient use of resources in the future

The countries that are part of the network are all relatively small, which means that they have difficulty maintaining facilities that will be able to cover every aspect of research.

“That's why this network is so important. It is our goal to conduct joint research by combining and integrating expertise from different disciplines, e.g. breeding, epidemiology, genetics, and molecular biology,” says Thies Marten Heick.

Independent and open network

With the support of the Nordic Committee for Agricultural and Food Research, NORDICGRAIN is not limited to or dependent on specific research projects.

“We have the opportunity to work together on several different projects, and the ending of one project does not mean that the collaboration also ends. It also means that the post project work will be a lot easier, namely the implementation of the results. It is our goal that the collaboration will ensure an implementation of a more sustainable and productive Nordic agriculture,” says Thies Marten Heick.

More about the network
Collaborators: Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University, SLU in Sweden, NIBIO in Norway, LUKE in Finland and NNBU in Norway
Funding: Nordic Committee for Agricultural and Food Research
Conflict of interest: None
Read more: nordicagriresearch.org/2020-9/
Contact: Postdoc Thies Marten Heick, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University. Email: thiesm.heick@agro.au.dk or tel .: +4520782357

Research, Agro, DCA