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Renewable Arctic economies

The book "Renewable Economies in the Arctic" is published, which deals with renewable economies in the Arctic. Matís staff, Ólafur Reykdal, Rakel Halldórsdóttir, Óli Þór Hilmarsson, Gunnar Þórðarson and Þóra Valsdóttir are involved in one chapter of the book which deals with food production in the Arctic.

The book highlights the perspectives of experts in diverse fields, such as economics, sociology, political science and food science, when it comes to renewable economies. The perspectives shed light on the special challenges facing the Arctic and at the same time on the opportunities that exist to exploit sustainable resources and thus breathe life into the regions' economies.

Matís' staff was one of the authors of the chapter "the Arctic as a food-producing region" which deals with food production in the Arctic, which briefly discusses Iceland, northern Norway and northern Canada. It is worth mentioning in particular a section on how to increase the value of food from Norway's Arctic regions through targeted marketing. It is based on a detailed study that could be taken into account in Iceland.

The book and its individual chapters can be accessed in open access here: Renewable Economies in the Arctic


Long and close collaboration between science and industry

In the April issue of the European magazine Eurofish Magazine, an interview was published with Jónas Rúnar Viðarsson, director of value creation at Matís.

In the article, Jónas shares with his readers a vision of the future of the fishing industry in Iceland and what Matís' role is in ensuring the quality of the catch.

New knowledge, technology and innovation have paved the way for improved quality of seafood and this development is constantly ongoing. Energy efficiency and sustainability are key in today's high-tech marine industry, both to meet customer needs and to reduce costs.

Matís has worked closely with the fishing industry for decades on the development of new solutions and work processes. Matís has also played an important role in educating future employees in the industry, both through teaching at universities and working with students. The link between industry, science, education and government is the key to successful cooperation. 

The full article is available in Eurofish Magazine, pages 63-64, at the following address:  Current issue - Eurofish Magazine.


The NordMar projects - the final conference on the sea

In June, three projects, the so-called NordMar projects that have been running since 2019, will end with an impressive final conference that will take place at the Grand Hotel Reykjavík.

The projects NordMar Plastic, NordMar Biorefine and NordMar Ports began on the basis of the priorities of the Nordic Council of Ministers when Iceland held the presidency in the years 2019-2021.

For more information about the conference, send an email to:

NordMar Plastic led by Sophie Jensen, Matís' project manager, aims to raise awareness and educate the public about plastic pollution in the environment, as well as to develop and publish study materials and hold events that promote increased innovation in connection with the subject.

NordMar Biorefine is led by Val Norðra Gunnlaugsson, Director of Matís, and aims to assess the feasibility and potential of biomass plants for the blue bioeconomy in the Nordic countries and the formation of a network of experts in this field as well as education on related issues for younger generations.

In the project NordMar Ports Emphasis is placed on strengthening ports as centers of innovation and energy exchange, a project managed by partners in the Faroe Islands.


The Laurentic Forum workshop was a success

On Thursday 19 May, the Laurentic Forum hosted a workshop on the utilization of seaweed in the Arctic. The meeting was very interesting in all respects and was attended by about 100 people, from all over the world.

Recordings of the meeting can now be accessed on the event's website here:

The meeting briefly reviewed the state of affairs regarding the utilization of algae worldwide, as well as in Canada (Newfoundland & Labrador), Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Ireland and Norway.

The agenda of the meeting was as follows:

  • Keith Hutchings from Canadian Center for Fisheries Innovation: Welcome
  • Paul Dobbins from WWF: Seaweed Farming as a Nature Based Solution- Opportunities and Challenges from WWF's Perspective
  • Kate Burns from Islander Rathlin Kelp: Farmed Kelp, What Market?
  • Olavur Gregersen from Ocean Rainforest Faroe Islands: Scaling up Kelp Farming in the North Atlantic
  • Anne Marit Bjørnflaten from Oceanfood AS North Norway: Macroalgae: A New and Sustainable Aquaculture Industry with Huge Potential in the Arctic
  • Jónas R. Viðarsson from Matís Iceland: Seaweed Production on the Rise in Iceland
  • Cyr Courtourier from the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University in Newfoundland: Future Prospects for Seaweed Farming Across Canada in a Subarctic Environment
  • Q&A

Learn more about the event or the Laurentic Forum


Matís 2021's annual report is available on the web

Matís' annual report for the year 2021 is available on the web.

The report is divided into the following sections and can be viewed in its entirety by clicking here.


Sustainable food production - Innovation is the key!

This week, Nýsköpunarvikan or Iceland Innovation Week has been celebrated all over the city. Tomorrow, Friday 20 May, there will be numerous presentations on the agenda related to innovation in the food sector and Matís' presentation will be: Sustainable food production - Innovation is the key! among them.

The event takes place in Gróska idea house in Vatnsmýri, in the hall Fenjamýri on the first floor and starts at 13: 30-15: 00.

Participation in the event is free. welcome!

The event consists of 5 short and fun presentations that deal in one way or another with innovation and sustainability in food production.

The program is as follows:

  • Is innovation good? Sensory evaluation and consumer research. - Aðalheiður Ólafsdóttir
  • Opportunities for innovation in Icelandic vegetables - Eva Margrét Jónudóttir and Ólafur Reykdal
  • What do the protein donations of the future look like? -Margrét Geirsdóttir
  • One person's waste, another person's gold? Sustainable fertilizer production in Iceland -Jónas Baldursson and Eva Margrét Jónudóttir
  • How to talk to children about sustainability and climate change? -Katrín Hulda Gunnarsdóttir

More about the lecture:

Aðalheiður Ólafsdóttir is a real genius in everything to do with sensory evaluation and consumer research, as she intends to educate guests about what these things entail in her talk at Innovation Week; Is innovation good?
Interested parties can also get their sensory skills tested!
"It does not matter if a new product on the market is harmful, free of all the world's flavors and colors, organic and sustainable. If it tastes or smells very bad, it will not do well "

Ólafur Reykdal is a real ball of experience when it comes to researching Icelandic vegetables and grains and Eva Margrét has been doing food research for years!
They will have a very lively talk at Innovation Week where Kahoot will be involved and discuss the countless opportunities that lie in innovation in the vegetable sector!

Margrét Geirsdóttir, a biochemist and general life artist, is currently working hard on the NextGen Proteins project on the protein source of the future together with Birgur Erni Smárason, project manager. She's going to cover what's news about insect protein and spirulina research and even allow guests to taste unconventional proteins!

Jónas Baldursson and Eva Margrét have been working on researching poop and shit for the last few seasons! Of course, it would be more beautiful to talk about organic waste and they do in general.
They are going to show a video in Tik-Tok style about their project on Sustainable Fertilizer Production during Innovation Week. The message is especially relevant at the moment as conditions in the world are making it difficult for everyone to transport fertilizer between countries.

Katrín Hulda and Justine Vanhalst know all about how best and most ingenious it is to educate children and young people about difficult issues such as climate change and sustainability. This winter, they have been working on two different projects with children all over the country and even beyond the country, where they have activated them to put on entrepreneurial glasses and face real challenges - and find real solutions!
Their talk at Innovation Week is about the results of these projects.

Follow the event page on facebook here: Innovation Week: Sustainable food production - Innovation is the key!


Exciting program at the North Atlantic Seafood Forum

Since 2005, the North Atlantic Seafood Forum (NASF) has been an annual event where executives and stakeholders in fisheries and aquaculture meet in Bergen to learn about key innovations and compare books. In fact, the event was canceled in 2020 due to Covid, and last year, NASF was run as an online event.

This time, NASF will be held on June 21-23 and will be a so-called "hybrid" event., where it is expected that about 800 people will attend Bergen in person and that up to 1,500 people will participate via the internet. The program is particularly exciting this time as a total of over 160 lectures will be given in 27 seminars.

Do not miss this event!

Since 2005, managers and stakeholders in the fisheries and aquaculture industry have flocked to Bergen every year to attend the NASF conference. The target group of this three-day conference has traditionally been managers in the fisheries, aquaculture and related industries, ie. equipment manufacturers, marketing companies, banks, insurance companies, carriers, consulting companies, etc. Although the cost of participation has been significant, between 800 and 1,000 people have attended the event each year, which shows how important this conference is for the target group. Last year, NASF was transferred to the Internet, thanks to COVID, and it was considered a great success. Therefore, NASF will be held this year as a "hybrid" event. This year's program is particularly exciting and has been published on

If there is a big link to the program, the following seminars attract special attention:

  • Global aquaculture summit
  • The post covid consumer by McKinsey
  • Aquaculture feed summit
  • Aquaculture & salmon market and production
  • Global whitefish summit
  • Global seafood transport summit
  • International shrimp summit
  • Land based fish farming
  • Pelagic industry summit

As often before, Icelandic companies and individuals play an important role in the program. First of all, Marel and Benchmark Genetics / Stofnfiskur are among the main sponsors of the conference. The following Icelanders or parties connected to Iceland will be on the list of speakers:

  • Mikael Tal Grétarsson - Iclandair Cargo
  • Björn Hembre - Icelandic Salmon / Arnarlax
  • Guðmundur Gíslason - Ice Fish Farm / Fiskeldi Austfjarðar
  • Kjartan Ólafsson - Icelandic Salmon / Arnarlax

Participation in NASF in recent years has not been widespread, as the registration fee alone has been close to 200,000. kr. in addition, travel and accommodation in Bergen costs money. Nevertheless, fewer have found out than want to, as this is a unique opportunity to meet all the main managers in the fisheries and aquaculture industry in one place.

Now, however, the entire program will also be accessible online, where, among other things, it will be possible to organize online meetings with other participants. The conference fee for those who want to participate in person in Bergen is 1,490 EUR and for those who want to participate online, the fee is 490 EUR. Registration is required but you can also contact Jónas R. Viðarsson at Matís to negotiate a discount if companies want to register multiple participants. You can also contact Jónas for more information about NASF22.

There is still a possibility to become a sponsor of NASF22, in addition to which there is still an opportunity for innovation and technology companies to find out about the "New horizon & technology" part of the conference. Further information on sponsorship and NH&T can be found here.


The British Ambassador visits Matís

The British Ambassador to Iceland Dr. Bryony Mathew, together with a beautiful group, visited Matís on the 10th of May. It was accompanied by representatives of the Grimsby Seafood Cluster, the Humber Institute, the Grimsby Fish Mecharnt Association and the University of Lincoln's National Center for Food Manufacturing. Representatives of the Agricultural University and the Farmers' Association were also invited to the meeting.

The aim of the visit was to discuss possible co-operation between companies and institutions in both countries in the field of food production and related industries. The Grimsby and Humber area is the cradle of fisheries in the UK and the University of Lincoln is one of the leading institutions in that country in the field of research and innovation in agriculture and food processing.

The United Kingdom, and in particular the Grimsby area, has for centuries been dependent on imports of fish from Icelandic waters, and at the same time the area has played a major role in the export of seafood from Iceland. The long and successful co-operation between the nations is of great importance to the countries' authorities, and they see an opportunity in fostering further co-operation on a broad basis. Therefore, the governments of the countries have signed declaration of intent on increased co-operation in the field of fisheries. Among the issues discussed at the meeting were opportunities and challenges in following up on the declaration of intent.

Lincoln University operates a kind of "technical park"For research and development of food. The technology park has an extremely strong infrastructure and expertise in most areas of food production. In this connection, we can mention, for example, automation (robotics) in agriculture and other food processing. The meeting created an extremely good discussion between the participants, which will no doubt be followed up in the coming months.

We thank Dr. Bryony Mathew and his entourage warmly welcome.


Potatoes are always a surprise!

More potatoes are produced than other vegetables in Iceland. The harvest over the past five years has been in the range of 6 to 9 thousand tons. It would be possible to increase potato production in Iceland significantly and it would be a good contribution to increased food security as it is possible to store potatoes for a long time.

The popularity of potatoes has declined somewhat in recent years, not least among the younger generation. The healthy image of potatoes may not have been as strong as for the colorful vegetables. Tomatoes, broccoli, red peppers and other vegetables are well known to contain vitamins and other nutrients such as antioxidants. At Matís, measurements have been made of antioxidants and antioxidant activity in vegetables, including potatoes.

Surprisingly, more antioxidants were found in potatoes than in various colorful vegetables.

The project Improved quality, shelf life and less waste in the value chain of Icelandic vegetables was carried out at Matís in 2021 with a grant from the Food Fund. Chemical measurements of potatoes revealed that their carbohydrate content was often lower than for foreign potatoes. Bændablaðið 12 May 2022 discusses potatoes from farmers in Þórustaðir in Eyjafjörður, but potatoes from them were for research in the project. Some potato varieties had a much lower carbohydrate content than is common abroad. Low carbohydrate content also means that the calories are lower than in more carbohydrate-rich potatoes.

Most potato varieties provide fewer calories than cooked pasta and the potatoes have the antioxidants and vitamins in addition to the pasta.

The Office of the Medical Director of Health recommends that people eat five servings of vegetables and fruit a day. Potatoes are excluded in these portions, but perhaps there is a reason to change that. You can read about the results of the project in Matís' report Improved quality, shelf life and less waste in the value chain of Icelandic vegetables - Matís (