Østfoldforskning is a national research institute with the vision of contributing to knowledge for sustainable development through innovation. We are Norway’s leader in life-cycle assessment (LCA) for analysis of the environmental performance of products and services. We currently have 23 staff including 19 are researchers, 8 of whom hold doctoral degrees as of December 2015. We develop and deploy theories and methods for understanding and implementing sustainability in society. Much of the research is related to LCA, which is a framework for the environmental analysis of products, systems and services. An LCA will examine all material and energy flows required to deliver a particular function, and analyse how they affect the environment in different ways. LCA can thereby form the basis for product development, green procurement or policy-making, for example in the choice of alternative products or waste management systems. Østfoldforskning strives to develop the most accurate yet broadest methods of analysis, and also looking into how these methods are used in innovation processes.
Østfoldforskning performs applied research and development across the following six theme areas:
- Energy and waste resources
- Food and packaging
- Construction and real estate
- Furniture and textiles
- Network-based innovation
- Tools for environmental documentation
Østfoldforskning plays an important national and international role by assisting companies in the development and declaration of more environmentally and resource-efficient products and processes. Examples include packaging, food, biogas and ethanol, electricity and heat production, waste management, buildings and building materials, office chairs and paint products.
Østfoldforskning has undertaken projects locally, nationally and internationally with a wide range of clients. Many projects are procured via effective applications to research programmes in Norway and the EU, in conjunction with accomplished collaborators.
Most of our researchers work across multiple theme areas, meaning we are robust to variations in our project portfolio across the themes. We invariably create project teams of several personnel on specific projects, which reduces our vulnerability and increases our preparedness. We also operate extensively within various networks of other research institutions and business partners; we have a strategic partnership with NMBU / INA (Norwegian University of Life Sciences / Institute for Ecology and Natural Resource Management) in Ås, with a member of our staff assuming a professorial position.