In the enormous sea areas under Norway’s administration, there are believed to be thousands of species of which we have little knowledge. There is good reason to believe that many of these marine organisms have unique characteristics which can be exploited to create the basis for different products and processes in a number of commercial areas, including medicine, process industry, food, animal feed, biofuels and cosmetics. Norway has a long tradition of harvesting the sea and has developed a high level of competence in the marine sector and bioprospecting. Through the new strategy, the Government will facilitate an exploitation of the marine resources that can provide new knowledge and new jobs in the future.
The Government’s vision is “Marine bioprospecting – a source of new and viable wealth creation”. Its purpose is to better organize the utilization of our ocean resources. The Government will invest in national infrastructure and research that stimulates a broad spectrum of opportunities for wealth creation. This is to be a goal-oriented national strategy for marine bioprospecting, and at the same time an important element of the Government’s High North Policy, its general innovation policy and the Strategy for the Marine Sector. The High North has a prominent place in this effort, due to its excellent access to unique Arctic marine organisms, long marine and maritime traditions, as well as relevant skills and infrastructure for research.
This strategy has been drawn up by the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, the Ministry of Education and Research, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Trade and Industry, in close dialogue with the Ministry of the Environment. Contributions have been received from universities, research institutes, industry, expert groups and others.