The most important function of the Veterinary Institute is contingency planning and competence development aimed at preventing threats to the health of fish, animals and human beings. Today the core activities comprise diagnostics, research, innovation, monitoring, risk assessment, consulting and communication. Furthermore, the Veterinary Institute is a national and an international reference laboratory, and is involved in a wide range of international collaborative activities.
The Veterinary Institute is among the most important participants in the development of the Norwegian bioeconomy in aqueous and land environments. In 2021, the Institute’s headquarters moved to Ås. The regional activities are likely to expand.
The Norwegian Veterinary Institute was established in Oslo in 1891 as a diagnostic laboratory for animal diseases as the first of its kind in Scandinavia. During the 1990s, the Institute expanded to include regional units in Bergen, Harstad, Sandnes, Trondheim and Tromsø. In 2021 the Institute moved to Ås, 30 km south of Oslo.
The original principal task of the Veterinary Institute was to combat tuberculosis and brucellosis. The Institute was subsequently allocated important responsibilities in the prevention of outbreaks of other diseases, as well as the production of sera and vaccines. Today, its activities encompass the entire chain from plants, via animal feed, fish, animals and food for human consumption.
Ownership and finances
The Veterinary Institute is a public-sector institution, under the ownership of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of the Norwegian Government. The Institute also carries out tasks for the Ministry of Industry and Fisheries.
The Veterinary Institute obtains its basic financial support from the two above-mentioned ministries and the Research Council of Norway. The sources account for around 40 per cent of the Institute’s total revenues, while the remainder comes from research projects and contracts. The budget for 2021 shows an estimated total income of 421 million NOK.
The Board is appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. The members are: Hanne Maren Blåfjelldal (Chair), Trond Slettbakk, Torhild Gjølme, Steinar Reiten and Eirik Welde. Substitute member is Gunnar Skov Simonsen.
Annette Kampen and Jørn Våge represent the employees. Substitute members are Birte Graeber Bredahl and Ketil Skår.