Northern Arctic Federal University has received the status of a co-leader of the Arctic Food Innovation Cluster (AFIC) project. The international initiative was launched by the Arctic Council’s Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG). On the list of partners are educational, research and business organizations from Canada (University of Saskatchewan, Project Leader), Norway, Finland, Iceland, the USA and Russia.
In order to strengthen Russia’s contribution to the project, NArFU initiated the establishment of a Regional Arctic Cluster: Bioresources and Technologies, aimed at introducing innovations for the production and promotion of local food in the Arctic.
AFIC’s key thematic lines include agroforestry development via the introduction of agroforestry practices combining agricultural and forestry technologies with multipurpose use of Russian Arctic bioresources, aquaculture development, Arctic biotechnologies, including research in the field of production and processing of unique local food, as well as the creation of a series of pharmaceuticals. The joint work is expected to involve various educational and research institutions from the Russian Arctic and regional SMBs.
“This is a high-level project”, commented Konstantin Zaikov, NArFU Vice-Rector for International Cooperation, “It is implemented under the auspices of the Arctic Council and with support from the Ministry for the Development of Russian Far East and Arctic. Production and promotion of local food products is relevant to all Arctic countries and is currently discussed as one of the possible priorities of the Russian AC chairmanship programme. This makes the project especially timely and opens for our university new opportunities to advance this particular line of research in collaboration with Russian and international partners”.