Distinguished visitors at Matis!

The Rector of United Nations University (UNU) Dr. David M. Malone, along with the UNU‘s Vice-Rector and Executive Officier Max Bond are visiting the Training Programmes of UNU that are being hosted in Iceland.

Since 1978, Iceland has hosted various training programs for the UNU, including Geothermal, Fisheries, Land Restoration and Gender Equality programs (UNU-GTP, UNU-FTP, UNU-LRT, UNU-GEST). The operation of these programs are part of Iceland’s international development activities and fit under the umbrella of Iceland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On July 6th, Matis was granted the honor to be among the sites visited during the first day of the UNU’s official visit. While at Matis, The Program Director of UNU-FTP, Dr. Tumi Tómasson, gave a brief presentation on the background of it’s history, tracing back to the UNU’s decision to put an emphasis on Fisheries and create a special program. They discovered that there are many ways to utilize and find value in what is being produced, by making the most of it and treating it more efficiently. He also discussed importance of fisheries as role in nutrition, especially in many developing countries. Arnljotur B. Bergsson, director of Resources and Products at Matis, gave examples on how Matis has been involved with the value creation in Icelandic Fisheries through improved processes; handling and utilization, as well as it’s collaboration with UNU-FTP.

Professor Sigurjón Arason, chief engineer of Matis, presented the synergies of practical research and development projects with education, including the fellow UNU-FTP. As well, Sigurjón explained Matis’ role in the drying of marine products in Iceland and the drying and smoking of fish in Africa, which was executed in collaboration with UNU-FTP. Additionally, Sigurjón presented the work of four PhD’s that have graduated from University of Iceland with UNU-FTP support in collaboration with Matís, as well as the ongoing studies of two PhD students at University of Iceland. He pointed out a recent report written by a previous collaborator at UNU-FTP, Dr. Minh Van Nguyen, on the uses of geothermal energy in food and agriculture, in which he teamed up with some of Matis’ leading experts in food drying.


After a brief meeting, these special visitors were shown the facilities at the Matis Headquarters. They met the PhD candidates Cyprian Ogombe Odoli from Kenya and Dang Thi Thu Huong from Vietnam and encouraged them in their studies, reinforcing the importance of their work. Matís plans to collaborate further with the Training Programmes of UNU that are hosted in Iceland, as well as the UNU as a whole.

You can watch the amazing video that was screened during their visit, here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gWo_rhOiWE

Disscussion went on sustainable utilization and value creation, the cleaness of environment, and the future plans of the PhD candidates.