Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway

NMBU focuses on interdisciplinary research and study programmes that generate innovations in food, health, environmental protection, climate and sustainable use of natural resources. NMBU has approximately 5,200 students, 1,700 staff members and 64 study programmes. In 2020, NMBU was ranked 13th in a ranking of the world's best universities in agriculture and forestry (QS ranking 2018).
NMBU is represented in 3D’omics by two faculties (Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science, KBM, and Faculty of Biosciences, BIOVIT) and The Livestock Production Research Centre (SHF), which is Norway’s largest educational and research facility for fundamental and innovative animal research as well as practical solutions for sustainable and profitable livestock farming. SHF specifically focuses on themes in the areas of ‘livestock farming, nutrition, genetics, animal health and welfare, and the impact of domestic animals on the environment’
and aims to apply systems that are sustainable, environmentally friendly and circular in order to support and improve a healthy living environment for animals and humans.
KBM covers a wide range of scientific fields within basic natural sciences such as chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, bioinformatics as well as the application of these towards food chemistry, technology and safety, biotechnology and environmental issues. The KBM research group for Bioprocess Technology and Biorefining will be involved in this project and has a state-of-the-art analytical platform with a range of methods developed for analysis of complex/modified carbohydrates. KBM hosts a national pilot facility for biorefining that is designed for upstream and downstream processing of a range of different types of biomass in a scale suitable for this project. Furthermore, this facility includes fermentation facilities
with small scale 100 mL reactors and larger reactors up to 150 L. KBM also hosts the BIoinformatics and Applied Statistics (BIAS) group comprising six professors with broad experience in bioinformatics and in applying and teaching statistics in the life sciences.
BIOVIT contributes to the development of sustainable agriculture and food production systems through basic and applied research in plants, animals and fish (aquaculture). The Microbial Ecology and Meta-Omics (MEMO) group who will engage with 3D’omics operates across both faculties and applies interdisciplinary approaches to study the microbiomes inhabiting important production animals (cows, pigs and salmon), wild herbivores (moose, reindeer) as well as humans.

The NMBU biorefinery has experience in feed production, in particular novel customized ingredients for several feeding trials using swine, salmon, mink and mice. The feed production (using novel ingredients) was conducted in cooperation with feed production facility (operated by SHF), which allowed hands on adaptation to the pelleting production. SHF has expertise in animal behavior (ethology studies), feeding experiments, experiments related to animal health and welfare, as well as breeding experiments and agricultural technology. SHF is also used in teaching, among other things, animal science and veterinary studies. NMBU has strong competence in enzyme technology/biochemistry within carbohydrate active enzymes in particular. For conventional multi-omics, NMBU has key research expertise in bioinformatics and biostatistics. This includes combining analytical metadata with metabolic reconstructions of population genomes to visualize flow of metabolites in complex
microbiomes and uses temporal meta-omics and co-expression network analysis to interpret synergistic interactions between keystone microbial populations.

Role in the project
NMBU will lead WP7, and will be in charge of the Swine nutrition challenge, which will include feed formulations trials (Task 7.2), prebiotic trials (Task 7.3) and phenotyping and KPI profiling of animals (Task 7.4). In addition, NMBU will play a key role in conventional multi-omic profiling (Task 7.5) and technical comparison between conventional multi-omics and 3D’omics (WP9).