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Earth. Photo by Crestock
Earth. Photo by Crestock

Bioforsk conducts applied and specifically targeted research linked to multifunctional agriculture and rural development, plant sciences, environmental protection and natural resource management.

Multifunctional Agriculture

The development of a multifunctional and sustainable Norwegian agriculture, including rural development represents the framework of our agricultural research. Our R&D activities are aimed at enhancing viable farming based on the diverse agro-ecological conditions and on the potentials of the agriculture and horticulture crops grown in Norway. This includes, inter alia, the development of good agricultural practices, and innovative products based on crops, food and services that may be provided on the basis of our unique natural resources at the northern fringe of Europe. Our R&D activities are also directed towards policy support at regional, as well as national levels.

Modern field trial and greenhouse facilities are important parts of our research capacity. Our R&D activities are targeted and carried out in close dialogue with end-users such as the extension services, the agro-industry, and regional and national authorities. International collaboration is increasingly emphasized as a means for strengthening the quality of our research.

Plant Sciences

Understanding the fundamentals of the biosynthesis of plant materials, based on their genetic composition and the environment interactions, is of major importance to produce plants for defined purposes, i. e. vegetables and fruits with high levels of bioactive components or cereals with specific processing properties.

Plant science constitutes Bioforsk's core competence. Plant biotechnology is needed to understand the basic processes in plants, how they are controlled and how they can be altered, i. e. to be suited for growing in northern climates.

Understanding the basic processes in plants in combination with good knowledge of pests, diseases and weeds is required to develop mechanical, chemical or biological plant protection strategies. Healthy plants is a major concern for growers, retailers and the food safety authorities and our R&D activities are targeted to meet the demands of these different segments.

Environmental sciences

Soil, water and wastes, and terrestrial eco-systems processes, represent the overall framework of our environmental R&D activities. The agriculture - environment interactions are focused in particular, whereas climate research is an integrated part of our activities. Our approaches are multi-disciplinary and targeted towards developing:

  • knowledge and understanding of relevant processes in terrestrial ecosystems and their interrelations
  • environmental practices and technologies for remedial measures and adaptations
  • knowledge based management strategies and monitoring for policy support that may enhance the sustainable management of our natural resources.

The integration of research and science with consultancy activities is a strength in maintaining emphasis on relevance, end-users and stakeholders. International collaboration is given high priority, but our activities include also a wide range of issues at local, regional and national scales.


Bioforsks core competence linked to plants, soils, water and biological processes provides an excellent basis for spin-off into new R&D areas.

Particular programs are initiated in order to enhance innovative activities addressing a number of end-users and purposes, such as our research linked to turf grass, urban greening, bioenergy, monitoring of large carnivores using DNA-sampling, inland fisheries and eco-tourism. 

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