Overview of science policy and strategy
Science and technology policy in Iceland is governed by the Science and
Technology Policy Council (SPTC)
. The role of the SPTC is to promote
scientific research and research training in the sciences and encourage
technological progress in Iceland, for the purpose of strengthening the
foundations of the country’s culture and boosting the competitive capacity of
SPTC is headed by the Prime Minister and including the Minister of Education,
Science and Culture, the Minister for Trade and Industry, the Minister for
Finance and two other government ministers as occasional members. Three other
ministers have a permanent seat on the Council: The Minister of Education and
Science, the Minister of Industry and Commerce and the Minister of Finance. At
the discretion of the Prime Minister, two other ministers with research in their
portfolio may join the Council. Currently these are the Minister of Fisheries
and the Minister of Agriculture.
The Council also includes 14 appointees representing the science, economic
and business communities within Iceland.
From the 14 non-ministerial members of the Council for Science and Technology
Policy the Minister of Education, Science and Culture appoints a sub-committee
on science and the Minister of Industry and Trade appoints a sub-committee on
technology. The two ministers also appoint boards of directors that oversee the
Technology Development Fund
pdf 12.7 kb). There are overlaps of
individuals across these bodies with the intention of promoting closer policy
The Council meets twice a year to review science and technology policy and
evaluate progress of actions agreed upon previously.
Rannís – The Icelandic Centre for Research Rannís reports to the Ministry
of Education, Science and Culture with the purpose of providing professional
assistance in the preparation and implementation of science and technology
policy in Iceland.
Its main functions are:
- Operation of the financial support system for research and technological
- Provision of services and information to the Council for Science and
Technology Policy and its sub-committees.
- Coordinating and promoting Icelandic participation in collaborative
international projects in science and technology.
- Monitoring resources and performance in R&D, evaluating the results of
scientific research, technological development and innovation.
- Promoting public awareness of research and innovation in Iceland.
Rannís serves the Icelandic science community across all areas of science and
Responsibility for implementing science and technology policy rests with the
relevant ministries. Ministry of Agriculture
carries the main responsibility for research in the
field of agriculture.
Among institutions and educational facilities that are in the domain of the
Ministry of Agriculture are the following:
- The Agricultural University of Iceland
is a scientific learning and
research institute. It offers applied programmes in agriculture and fields
connected with horticulture, as well as continuing education. The university is
comprised of three faculties: the Faculty of Natural Resources, Faculty of
Environmental Sciences and Faculty of Applied and Continuing Education.
- The Soil Conservation Service of Iceland
(SCS) was founded in 1907. The
main tasks of the SCS include combating desertification, sand encroachment and
other soil erosion, promotion of sustainable land use and reclamation and
restoration of degraded land. The work is on different levels, from policy
making and research, to extension services and management of large- and
small-scale reclamation projects.
- Iceland Forest Research, IFR-Mógilsá
, carries out research relevant to
forestry in Iceland on behalf of the Iceland Forest Service. IFR-Mógilsá works
for and cooperates with authorities, members of the public and stakeholders in
forestry. It pursues research, development and distribution of knowledge on
matters relevant for forestry in Iceland. It endeavors to secure the development
of forests and sustainable forestry in Iceland by communicating research results
to end users (i.e. those involved in forestry) by publishing and disseminating
results, as well as participating in training, education and consulting.
- Hólar University College
is an education, research and development
institution run by the Ministry of Agriculture. Hólar offers practical education
in the fields of Rural Tourism with an emphasis on local culture and natural
environment, Aquaculture and Fish Biology and Equine Science
emphasis on horse breeding and training as well as riding instruction and
The Icelandic Fisheries Laboratories
(IFL) is an independent food
research institute, operating under the auspices of the Ministry of Fisheries.
The IFL's mission is to carry out research, conduct tests, provide council and
disseminate information to the government, interested parties in the fisheries
sector and consumers.
The IFL's specialised fields include:
- processing technology
- chemical and physical properties of food
- quality and safety of marine catches
- fodder and fodder technology for aquaculture
- environmental research.