Universities and other education institutions

The Division of Education and Food Production manages collaboration between Matís and schools that are offering vocational training, diplomas or undergraduate and postgraduate degrees to their students.    

Matís is in a sense the link between the academia and the different segments of the food industry through local and international research and development projects.  

Gudjon Thorkelsson, the director of the division, believes that this link through lecturing, training and internships strengthens research and innovation, focusing on competitiveness of the industry as well as public health and food safety.

„Another reason for collaborating with educational institutions is efficiency in shared personnel and facilities. It is important for Matís and companies to get students to work on practical research projects, thereby obtaining the skills needed to become future employees within the sector. Matís is one of the biggest research companies in Iceland and it has expert knowledge and experience that is important to utilize, both for students and society. Our headquarters in Reykjavík and our branches throughout the island offer good facilities for students“ says Gudjon. 

Many of Matís's employees have planned and taught in several courses, both in Icelandic and English, at undergraduate and graduate levels.  Most of them come from the Faculties of Food Science and Nutrition and Industrial and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Iceland but also from the United Nations University Fisheries Training Program and in the University of Akureyri, the Agricultural University of Iceland as well as Bifröst University.  Many of the student have been trained at Matís through industrial B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. projects.

The food industry in Iceland is growing very fast and the demand is increasing for highly qualified and skilled staff dealing with safety, quality, environmental issues and product development.

Matís‘s vision is to increase the value of food processing and food production, through research, development, dissemination of knowledge and consultancy, as well as to ensure the safety and quality of food and feed products. To fulfil these aims it is important for Matís to cooperate with schools by teaching and training students.

Universities collaborating with Matis // Universities located in Iceland

University of Iceland

A contract of collaboration between the University of Iceland in Reykjavík and Matís was renewed in 2013. It addresses teaching, research and joint staff members. It is the foundation for strengthening the ties with faculties within the University.  The strong link with the Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition with Matís' joint staff members and a number of supervisors and part time teachers was also formalised. Matís undertakes lectures and practical work in certain BSc courses and runs and hosts an international M.Sc. program in food science and employs Ph.D. students.  

Many students of industrial engineering also do their MSc and Ph.D. projects at Matís and tailor made courses in fish processing and engineering are taught by staff members of Matís.  Valuable enzymes have been extracted from extreme environments of the country.  Linking basic research and industrial applications is one of the strengths of Matís. The good links with bio- and environmental sciences are very valuable.  And when it comes to the big picture of managing natural resources, sustainability and the bioeconomy, collaboration with social sciences and mathematics becomes important.

However, the economic impact is most important. Matís needs skilled students to participate in demanding local and international projects at the same time as they get training and skills for being employed in a fast growing and very competitive food industry in Iceland. The first group of M.Sc. students in the new food science program has gradated and all of them have been employed.

The collaboration has strengthened both parties.  About 90 joint research papers have been published in peer rewieved journals for the last three years and at the same time 10 Ph.D and 15 M.Sc. students have graduated from the Univeristy doing their thesis at Matis. Currently there are 8 Ph.D. students and 19 M.Sc. students from the University working at Matis.  Many of the thesis are a part of larger international projects where the University and Matís are the icelandic partners.

University of Akureyri

Matís and the University of Akureyri have had a long standing relationship through joint staff members and other staff members of Matís who teach and supervise students.  This cooperation was renewed by signing of an agreement in January 2014. It will strengthen research and education in fisheries science, biotechnology and bioeconomy with emphasis on the Arctic regions. The aim is to become leading in these fields in Iceland, to finance projects through domestic and international funds with strong industrial involvement and to attract more scientists and students. The focus is on sustainable use of natural resources by integrating research in process technology, biotechnology, food safety and public health. The agreement also involves sharing of facilities and technical equipment.

United Nations University Fisheries Training Programme

Matis is one of the partner institutes of the UNU-FTP that was established in 1998 through a tri-lateral agreement between the United Nations University, the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and the Marine Research Institute of Iceland. Matis experts manage courses in fish processing, quality and safety and supervises fellows in a six months training programme offered every year in Iceland.  They have also been involved in short courses contributing to fisheries development in the partner countries of the country.  Some of the fellows have also been supported for M.Sc. and Ph.D. studies at universities in Iceland, some of them doing projects at Matís. About 300 students from 50 countries  have received training from the programme.

Universities collaborating with Matis // Universities outside Iceland

Matis collaborates with many universities in other countries through research projects where involvement and training of graduate students is often included. Scientists at Matís have been opponents at doctoral defences at several universities.  The closest collaboration is with universities in the Nordic countries, University of Florida and universities in EU.

University of Florida

Hörður G. Kristinsson, Chief Science Officer at Matís, is an adjunct professor at the University of Florida. There he has been instructor for both masters and doctoral students who have worked in joint projects between Matís and UF. Good cooperation has been between Matís and the University of Florida and various projects have benefited from it. Students from the University of Florida have also worked on summer projects at Matís. The cooperation has as well given professors from UF opportunity to come to Matís for work and to lecture.  

Tokyo University of Marine Science and technology

In 2014 the declaration of collaboration between University of Iceland, Matís and Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology for teachers and student exchanges was renewed.

Nha Trang University

In 2014 Matis signed an agreement with Nha Trang University in Vietman based on the MoU signed by the United Nations University-Fisheries Training Programme and the Nha Trang University (NTU), Matís and the Faculty of Food Technology at Nha Trang University agree to enter into a cooperation activities during the term of five years (2013-2018).

Agricultural University of Iceland

Matis has supervised a biannual course in the quality and processing of animal food products at the Faculty of Land and Animal Resources, with student projects in product development and start up of food businesses, with the aim of helping the students to become entrepreneurs and start new businesses, thereby supporting rural development.

Hólar University College

Hólar University College and Matís have joint facilities in “Verið” at Sauðárkrókur in northwest Iceland and work together on many projects especially in aquaculture

Bifröst University

Matís made an agreement in January 2014 with the Bifröst University to prepare, supervise and teach five courses in nutrition, food microbiology and safety, food processing, food engineering and food safety and quality management. This is part of a new BS program in Business Administration, designed to prepare students for working in or for the growing number of small and medium sized food enterprises in Iceland.   

University of Reykjavík

The cooporation is mainly in the form of assitance with students' projects. Additionally, staff members from Matís teach courses at a master's level within the School of Science and Engineering.