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Call: Impacts of Climate Change in Nordic Primary Industries (2)

The submission deadline for this call has passed
Application deadline
14.06.2010 16:00
Full call title
Second Call: Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Mitigation in Nordic Primary Industries (Fishery/ Aquaculture, Agriculture, Food, Forestry) - Health and Genetic Resources
Call description

In collaboration with NordForsk, the Nordic Council of Ministers launches a second call for research networks for the period 2010 - 2013. The thematic network programme aims to provide the basis of a Nordic climate change adaptation and mitigation policy for natural resources and food production. The primary industries comprise of fishery/ aquaculture, agriculture, forestry and food production.

Climate changes are expected to have profound impact on our natural resources and hence on the primary industries in the Nordic region. The climate changes induce risks and create possibilities for the production systems on land as well as at sea. This also represents great challenges for policy-making and management. The best possible knowledge base for formulating initiatives and adaptations to the expected climate changes is of vital importance for the involved sectors. Therefore, policy oriented research is highly needed; research that can contribute to, and be utilised for the development of monitoring systems, research strategies, international cooperation and political instruments. The networks should include this aspect in the project plan as the results will be utilised for policy advice. The focus of this programme will be on the Nordic region, and hence there is a need for advice that can contribute to the development of an overarching climate policy applicable to this particular region.

The purpose of the programme is to create Nordic networks within thematic areas focusing on food and fibre production and sustainable resource management.

Subsequent to the first call, three projects covering central aspects of agricultural crop production, fisheries, and carbon sinks on land have been approved by the steering committee.

In this second call, the Nordic research institutions are invited to submit applications under the following two themes:
A.1 Plant and animal health
A.2 Conservation, adaptation and utilisation of genetic resources
Networks covering both health and genetic resources in a climate change perspective are also considered.

The two themes cover several scientific areas, where climatic change is expected to affect the primary industries in terms of both threats and opportunities. One or more networks may be supported under each theme, since it may be difficult in practice to obtain synergies and effective networking between researchers across some of the scientific fields in concern. However, networks covering single disciplines should be prepared to interact with networks of other sciences within the present programme in order to achieve results relevant for solving challenges common for several primary industries in terms of policy-making and management. Hence, the committee also welcomes proposals covering several or all scientific fields within a thematic area.

Assessments of impacts and recommendations for adaptation to climate change in the two thematic areas will constitute important elements in the long-term management of all primary industries.

The overall objectives for the two thematic areas are that networks should contribute towards developing
1) a knowledge base for policy making within adaptation and mitigation issues
2) Nordic research strategies within climate change impacts, adaptation and mitigation
3) competitive Nordic research communities on studies of interactions between climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies

When applicable within a thematic area, the specific objectives for
1) the knowledge-based policy making are:
a. performing empirical and model based analyses of the effects of climate change and climatic variability
b. developing and presenting scenarios on effects of climate change
c. presenting an overview of main adaptation options to climate change
d. evaluating the effectiveness and potential of different mitigation measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions e. contributing to regional and international processes dealing with policy development of climate change impacts on primary industries, e.g. Nordic versus EU, FAO, etc.
2) the Nordic research strategies are:
a. formulating specific scientific research questions and priorities for further research on impacts, adaptation and mitigation to climate change
b. analysing and suggesting strategies and priorities regarding monitoring, collection, storage, exchange, reprocessing and accessibility of Nordic data on observed climate change impacts, adaptation and mitigation in the Nordic countries
3) the competitive Nordic research communities are:
a. discussing and providing advice on methods and means to strengthen and support ongoing and planned national research activities within climate change impacts, adaptation and mitigation in the concerned thematic area
b. providing research training, competence building and exchange of personnel between the Nordic countries in particular and also between the Nordic countries and their nearest neighbours
c. stimulation and support for Nordic led consortia that work towards grant applications from relevant EU research programmes

A dialogue and development of links between research and industry should be core elements in the networks set up, and great flexibility is encouraged in relation to the organisation of the networking activities for providing policy relevant solutions.

The scope of the two thematic areas is presented below:

A.1 Plant and animal health.
The objectives are to (i) analyse preparedness for decision making and monitoring, as well as handling of the topic through improved knowledge regarding important health issues related to climate change; (ii) provide advice on how to adapt to the changes with minimised disease risks; (iii) consider socio-economic effects of climate changes on the covered health issues; and (iv) contribute to increased cooperation between the Nordic countries within health research, risk control and health management.
The most interesting elements of network projects within this theme would be:
* The effects of climate changes on terrestrial domestic animal health, such as the risk of emerging infections including exotic infectious diseases, vector borne diseases and zoonoses
* The prevalence and development of diseases in wild life and the related risk of transmission of diseases from wildlife, imported animals and animal products to domestic animals and humans
* The prevalence and development of the plant disease situation for the Nordic plant population under climate change, including both the wild and cultivated species
* The impacts of climate change on the health status of major aquaculture species in the Nordic countries

A.2 Conservation, adaptation and utilisation of genetic resources.
In order to meet the challenges and impacts of future climatic change in the Nordic region, more knowledge, competence and collaboration within the field of gene resources and adaptation, and also gene resources and mitigation is required. Genetic resources should be seen in the context of changes in natural resources and the need of society for goods and services, particularly with regard to sustainable food production. The steering committee calls for an assessment of how genetic resources can contribute to the long-term sustainability objectives of society under climate change. For wild and cultivated forms and varieties of flora and fauna, the topics relevant under this theme are:
* Major shifts in the environment of significance to genetic adaptation. Both new opportunities and threats to current production systems should be emphasised under a regime of climate change
* Utilisation of genetic diversity in relation to climate change
* Breeding and adapting traits of economic importance
* Adaptation of breeding programmes to climate change
* Genetic resource preservation
* In situ or ex situ conservation strategies
* Exploitation of wild relatives and effects of climate change on wild populations
* Developing new solutions for CO2 reduction, carbon sequestration and mitigation options through diverse use of genetic resources
The aim is to contribute to sustainable utilisation of genetic resources relevant for agriculture (livestock and crop), forestry and fishery/ aquaculture under climate change.

Important: Utilisation of gene resources and plant health in crop production regarding agricultural model species (barley, rape, wheat) is not covered by this second call as a network on this topic was established from the first call.

For more background information, the programme proposal of 18 December 2008 can be downloaded in the appendix below.

Funding framework

- Each network may apply for a maximum of 730000 NOK per year. This funding constitutes a part of the total budget of each network. A self-financing of minimum 60 % of the total budget is required for each network. Self-financing may constitute basic faculty funding and external grants
- The duration of a network is maximum 3 years
- The call is open to established researchers and research groups at academic institutions, research institutes or authorities within the Nordic region. The project manager must be an institution, an organisation or other legal entity in one of the Nordic countries
- The proposal must involve collaboration between at least three Nordic countries or minimum two Nordic countries and one Baltic country
- From 2008, joint funding is required for projects with participation from the Baltic countries according to the Nordic Council of Minister’s Knowledge Building and Networking Programme and Guidelines for the Nordic Council of Minister’s cooperation with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania 2006 - 2008
- Participation from the Baltic countries requires joint funding of at least 30 % of the Baltic part of the actual project activity costs. The joint funding is part of the self financing part of the budget and it should be mentioned in the detailed budget plan as well as documented in the annual project reports
- The general principle is that funded activities should support genuine Nordic cooperation, i.e., the Nordic funding should enhance relevant national activities and add important Nordic dimensions
- At least one network is expected to be funded within each of the two thematic areas
- Preparedness of the networks within the programme to mutually collaborate in terms of solving cross-sectorial policy-oriented research questions
- In general, within the programme the networks are expected to cooperate in relation to the objectives of the programme. From the first call within this programme, three networks were funded. The themes of each of those networks are fish production, crop production and soil carbon storage in forest ecosystems
- The flexible scheme of the grant implies that eligible activities may comprise combinations of direct collaboration. Eligible costs may cover a broad spectra of activities such as network and mobility costs, travel expenses, personnel costs of researchers, PhD and post doc fellowships, joint Nordic research activities, management, dissemination as well as participation and/ or organisation of international scientific conferences, workshops and courses (excluding overhead), etc.
- NordForsk does not cover overhead expenses, except for salaries. The overhead rate for salaries is 20 %. In addition, maximum 10 % of the grant can be used to cover direct administrative costs. The percentage of 10 % is based on the grant excluding costs related to salary (salaries and 20 % overhead of salaries)
- Beyond the partnerships of the network, it is highly encouraged that the networks involve and draw on their relevant European and international contacts. The network may also cover costs of participants from outside the Nordic and Baltic countries, however, the majority of network participants should come from the Nordic and Baltic countries
- Other research fields than the natural sciences may favourably be included in order to cover the management aspect of the call
- The network should maintain a website of the project, at which information is continuously provided on the activities and results of the network. The website should be linked to the homepage of NordForsk:
- Applicants must provide a complete proposal according to the application guidelines. It is necessary to read the General Guidelines for Applicants, which can be accessed via the menu on the left at NordForsk Application Portal
- Applications have to be submitted using the NordForsk Application Portal. However, it is not possible to send attachments in the electronic application system. Attachments to the application can be sent by e-mail to, stating the project title and application ID as reference. Please note that the evaluators may choose to read attachments, but it is not mandatory. Hence, all necessary information should be submitted within your application using the electronic application system. File names of appendices should have the following form: Application ID, appendix no., and short description

Evaluation criteria

- Relevance of the proposal in relation to the call themes and general conditions as communicated in the call text and the associated instructions (see General Guidelines for Applicants)
- Scientific quality of the proposal, including quality and innovativeness of the project plan
- Scientific competence of the applicants and the managerial competence of the project leader will be assessed by the extent to which the project leader has the knowledge and experience required and general qualifications to lead and organise an international and Nordic project
- Feasibility of the project plan: The realism and the feasibility of the project in relation to the proposed resources (including human resources, infrastructure, budgetary and time line parameters)
- Potential impact of the project, including scientific and societal impact, etc.
- Deliverables: A plan of expected deliverables will be assessed (see Deliverables section)
- Level of Nordic cooperation will be assessed in terms of cooperation which may develop synergies across Nordic borders and develop Nordic capabilities in the research field
- Dissemination and implementation: Plans for communicating results and user contact will be assessed
- Level of interdisciplinary interaction between different fields of research
- Extent to which the project covers the specific research theme
- Extent to which the networks involve their European and international contacts, which however are not partners of the network project
- If applicable, other information in the project plan that has influenced the evaluation (benefit of the multidisciplinary approach, collaboration between academia and industry, etc.)
- As a general rule the application should follow good research ethics and take into consideration ethical questions of relevance to the project
- Arguments for gender equality will be assessed according to NordForsk's General Guidelines for Applicants
- Visions for continuation of cooperation

The programme committee will monitor the activities in accordance with the contract which consists of an agreement document and the Standard Terms and Conditions of Contract available by clicking on the General Guidelines in the menu on the left at NordForsk Application Portal. The thematic networks are required to deliver annual reports. The networks present their results at a mid-term and a final conference, in scientific reviews and project reports. A dialogue with stakeholders should be achieved as early as possible in the project period. The results of the network will serve as input to a policy report prepared by the programme committee.
Max applied amount (NOK)
2.19 million NOK per project for three years (NOT including self financing)
Decisions will be made by
Autumn 2010 by the programme committee following external peer review
Responsible adviser

Senior adviser Michael Andersson
Phone: +47 941 68 547

Responsible adviser

Senior adviser Maria Nilsson
Phone: +47 993 80 264

NordForsk, Stensberggata 25, 0170 Oslo, Tlf: +47 476 14 400, E-post:, Organisasjonsnummer: 971 274 255