Project example
Project example

Norway and Sri Lanka unlocking potential in the Blue Economy

  • Project name: NORPART - Norwegian Partnership Programme for Global Academic Cooperation
  • Field of study: Multidisciplinary research in the Blue Economy
  • Allocated funds: NOK 5.299.100
  • Project coordinator: Jorge Santos, Norges Arktiske Universitet (UiT)
  • Project partners: Arctic University of Norway (UiT), University of Ruhuna (UoR), The National Aquatic Resources Research and Developement Agency (NARA), University of Jaffna


Nor-Lanka Blue is an innovative research and education network in fisheries, aquaculture and aquatic sciences. The project takes a multi-disciplinary perspective to marine development and technology adoption, with the aim of maintaining functional and diverse social systems and aquatic ecosystems. The project is helping facilitate research and educational exchange as well as industry linkages and builds on a long history of cooperation between the Arctic University of Norway and Sri Lanka. Diku will fund the project until 2023; however, curriculum development and digitisation initiatives will ensure the project continues to create enduring value beyond the life of this agreement.

Hva fikk prosjektet støtte til?

  • A cooperative online research methodology semester
  • Development of a dedicated eLearning platform
  • Student mobility programs
  • Staff mobility
  • Joint research
  • Intensive residential workshops
  • Industry internships


The Nor-Lanka Blue project constitutes a formal partnership between the Arctic University of Norway; the University of Jaffna from the Northern Province of Sri Lanka; the University of Ruhuna from the Southern Province of Sri Lanka; and the National Aquatic Research Agency (NARA). This multi-partner model has not only advanced Norwegian and Sri Lankan cooperation in the Blue Economy, it has also strengthened collaboration within Sri Lanka, helping to overcome local barriers and animosities which have persisted since the Sri Lankan Civil War.

One such example is the networked semester, a special course on mixed research methodology which is being developed by The Arctic University of Norway to strengthen the research capacities of the partner Sri Lankan universities.  Funding from Diku will support the development of an online learning platform which will allow the two universities to collaborate into the future.


Nor-Lanka Blue has helped establish a dialogue between Norway and Sri Lanka in the Blue Economy, not only at the academic level, but also between industry and government stakeholders. Annual workshops on topics such as fisheries management and bio-economics are helping facilitate knowledge sharing and networking opportunities which will continue to strengthen the Blue Economies of both nations.

Sri Lankan student Achini Lakmali  had an enjoyable experience as an exchange student in Norway.

– It has been an excellent experience studying in Norway and a turning point in my life. I appreciated the student-centered approach of the Norwegian education system where students adopt greater responsibility for their own learning. I also appreciated the exposure to new marine technologies being used in Norway.

Råd og tips

Jorge Santos, Project Coordinator from The Arctic University of Norway, talks warmly about the people behind Nor-Lanka Blue for the projects success.

– The key to Nor-Lanka Blue’s success was having partners we trust and who can adapt to sudden changes.  We had great people working on the project in Norway and Sri Lanka which really helped us overcome complicated logistical challenges throughout the pandemic.