Norway’s minister of fisheries, Per Sandberg, said: “We expect strong growth in the fisheries and aquaculture sector in the coming years. That will increase our need for relevant research and collaboration across disciplines. By covering a wider range of areas, the new institute will be more competitive, including at the international level.”
Under the plan, the two institutes will merge on 1 January 2018.
The IMR employs almost 800 people. Its head office is in Bergen, and it also has facilities in Tromsø, Flødevigen, Matre and Austevoll. NIFES is entirely based in Bergen, where it has about 160 employees. Professor Sissel Rogne, the managing director of the IMR, will become the managing director of the merged institute.
Rogne said: “The merger will give us greater breadth and help us to take a more holistic approach to managing our marine and coastal resources.”
Ole Arve Misund, director general of NIFES, was recently appointed to lead the Norwegian Polar Institute, where he will take up his duties on 1 September.
Misund said: “The merger of the Institute of Marine Research and NIFES will enable them to carry out better, more relevant research, as well as provide more holistic advice.”
The heads of the two institutes will work together on the merger process, and the aim is to have a new joint structure in place by 15 October.