Changing climate and degrading agricultural land are global challenges for agriculture and forest production. In the NordPlant project, five Nordic universities University of Copenhagen, Helsinki University, University of Tromsø , Lund University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences join forces to create a consortium promoting education, research mobility and technological development to meet future challenges in agriculture and forestry.
Global agriculture faces challenges posed by a changing climate and degrading agricultural land. In addition, natural resources are dwindling, and new plant pathogens are migrating north in the milder winters. At the same time, the demand for a steady food supply remains, as the world population grows.
In December 2017 a PlantLink-led consortium was granted 15.9 NOK from NordForsk to establish one out of a total of six Nordic University Hubs over the course of 3-6 years to tackle these issues in Nordic agriculture and forestry. This consortium, called NordPlant, consists of five universities with versatile and complementing research infrastructures: SLU, LU, University of Copenhagen, University of Tromsø, and University of Helsinki. The aim of NordPlant is to tackle future challenges in Nordic agriculture and forestry by promoting education, research mobility and technological development.
To this end, NordPlant aims to stimulate knowledge-exchange in the form of seminars and site-visits for PhDs, post docs, and researchers. The consortium will also greatly simplify utilization of world-class high-throughput phenomics facilities and advanced growth facilities already in place in the Nordic countries, by providing reduced user fees and mobility grants for participating partners when they are using each other’s research facilities in joint research projects.
NordPlant will address a number of focus areas: plant pathogens in new Nordic climate conditions, retained biomass production in climate change, forestry in automated phenotyping, microscopy and plant cell phenomics, modelling including remote sensing and ecosystem modeling and field phenotyping. NordPlant will focus on and especially benefit plants both economically and culturally important for the Nordic countries.