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Bioforsk and FiBL – Partnership strengthened

Sissel Hansen and Colin Skinner at the DOK trial. Sissel Hansen from Bioforsk is currently staying at FiBL, leaving in June 2013 to return to Norway. In 1983 she was an intern at FiBL. Over that period the number of employees at FiBL has grown from 15 to almost 150. Photo: Anita Land, Bioforsk

It was a great surprise for the Norwegians that FiBL is so strong in fish farming. When Timo Stadtlander and Andrea Bouser presented their work to Kristin Sørheim and the others, an animated discussion started. Photo: Anita Land, Bioforsk

Claudia Daniel introduced Atle Wibe to the entomology work done by FIBL. Wibe has worked on weevil control in strawberries for many years, and currently leads the CORE Organic project Softpest Multitrap. He was impressed by the work done, and by how well equipped FIBL is in this area. Photo: Anita Land, Bioforsk

Urs Niggli gave an informative round trip of FiBL. The Norwegian guests appreciated how FIBL disseminates knowledge to different target groups through its own publications, and how it organises meetings and workshops for farmers’ organisations and other groups. Photo: Anita Land, Bioforsk

During the research stay there was a mutual exchange of information on the ongoing work on climate impact assessments and mitigation strategies at FIBL and Bioforsk. This has been of great benefit to both sides, and will hopefully be the starting point for closer cooperation in this area. Here Maike Krauss takes gas samples from the tillage trial at FiBL. Photo: Anita Land, Bioforsk

Recently the directors of the Organic Food and Farming Division of Bioforsk, the Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research, visited FiBL. Sissel Hansen from Bioforsk, who is currently staying at FiBL for a sabbatical, reports.

For the Norwegian visitors, FiBL is very inspiring. The Bioforsk Organic Food and Farming Division has about 40 employees. A large proportion of its research concerns the various aspects of organic dairy and sheep farming.

Director Kristin Sørheim, research director Atle Wibe and PR officer Anita Land pointed out that the visit to FiBL was an excellent opportunity to learn more about how FiBL is organised as an independent research institute, to see how office and lab facilities are set up, and to gain an insight into some of the ongoing research activities such as the DOK trial. They also found it highly useful to learn how FiBL collaborates with the government and national enterprises to finance its activities. “The meeting gave us inspiration for how we can develop our own institute. Hopefully we can strengthen the relationship between our organisations by exchanging strategic plans and goals and by working as partners in new research projects,” said Kristin Sørheim.

There are many common fields of interest within soil science, plant health, animal health and welfare, and sustainability assessment. Two joint projects were planned during the visit: one on animal health and feed efficiency in automatic milking systems and one on soil effects of biogas residue from cattle slurry.

More information


Sissel Hansen, sissel.hansen(at)bioforsk.no