" The current economic situation has shown us that supporting innovation and improving the utilisation of natural resources in Iceland is more important than ever. We mustn´t take a defeatist attitude during these unprecedented times but rather strive to explore new avenues. There are so many opportunities out there, and this project is designed to harness the abundance of ingenuity and natural resources in the area. This will undoubtedly serve as the foundation for the circular economy and future prosperity of Iceland. We are proud to have brought together this incredibly powerful group” says Kristín Linda Árnadóttir, Deputy CEO of Landsvirkjun.
The Orkídea Project, a collaborative innovation project in the South of Iceland, became official when Landsvirkjun, the Association of Local Authorities in South Iceland, the Agricultural University of Iceland and the Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture signed the collaborative agreement. The name of the project symbolises the fusion of green energy (orka in Icelandic) and idea.
Orkídea is about creating future opportunities for energy-related projects such as food production, biotechnology, sustainable use of resources, start-up initiatives as well as preparing the area for energy-related innovation. One of the main goals is to create more value in the food production industry, supporting environmentally friendly production by utilising green energy, thereby enabling Icelandic food producers to be more competitive in the international market. The collaboration aims to promote innovation and research in the field of high-tech food production and cooperation with universities, research institutes and the business community. Increased opportunity and the ability to meet current demands will help the area become a leader in the synergy of energy, society, and the environment.
Kristján Þór Júlíusson, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture:
"The use of green energy for food production is an amazing opportunity for Icelanders. We have the potential to be at the forefront of the field as Icelandic food producer’s livelihoods have long since been intertwined with the sustainable use of our resources, both at sea and on land. The government’s role is to create pathways for success and an environment where the industry can thrive. Orkídea is an important step towards this goal and I hope that the project will promote future progress in Icelandic food production. "
Eva Björk Harðardóttir, Chairman of the Association of Local Authorities in South Iceland:
“The emergence of Orkídea is a logical continuation of the Association of Local Authorities in South Iceland’s Regional Plan of Action for 2020 - 2024 as well as the energy policy for the region. The plan describes the South as a vibrant economy with emerging innovation opportunities, productivity, and diverse employment opportunities. Residents have defined their vision of 2024 as a period of increased innovation and productivity where growing businesses have strengthened the economy. The quality of life in the South is flourishing with increased welfare, a vibrant culture and dynamic cooperation. The South’s carbon footprint has shrunk with improved environmental awareness and changing consumption patterns.
The South is rich in natural resources, human resources, and a vibrant food production industry. The project enables us to take advantage of the opportunities provided by collaborating with such a dynamic group, creating value for all Icelanders.”
Ragnheiður I. Þórarinsdóttir, Rector at the Agricultural University of Iceland:
“The Agricultural University of Iceland celebrates the establishment of the Orkídea Project and the formal collaboration now in place. Icelanders have so many opportunities for innovation and increased food production using clean energy and other natural resources, ensuring that sustainability remains a guiding principle. Orkídea directly supports the policy adopted by the university last year, which aims to promote innovation, research and education at all school levels, strengthening the university's activities in the South by reinforcing and developing infrastructure and further improving utilisation. "
The positions of Managing Director and Research and Development Director will be advertised in due course. Orkídea's office will be in the South of Iceland.