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Research on living conditions and public health in Agder

UiA is establishing a new research centre for public health and living conditions at the same time as the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) is launching a new pilot project in Southern Norway.

Photo from the presentation of the centre
The FHI Agder pilot project was introduced in UiA’s tent during Arendalsuka. From left: UiA rector, Sunniva Whittaker; director of public health in Agder County Municipality, Vegard Nilsen; director of medical strategy and development at the Hospital of Southern Norway, Susanne Hernes; director general of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Camilla Stoltenberg; and dean of the Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, Anders Johan W. Andersen.

Agder is an attractive region and a good place to live. However, the region faces challenges with relation to living conditions that have lasted for quite a long time. In order to understand and change this, a new centre for research on public health and living conditions is being established, funded by Agder County Municipality, the municipalities of Agder, and UiA.

Regional cooperation

The centre will:

  • gather and promote research and research environments within public health and living conditions in Agder
  • encourage and drive research and research-driven innovation
  • create meeting places for central actors and agenda-setters within public health and living conditions research

The new centre is the result of regional collaboration between Agder County Municipality, all the municipalities in Agder, NAV Agder (Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration), NORCE, Sørlandet Knowledge Foundation, the Hospital of Southern Norway, and the University of Agder.

“Much is already in place, and there is a great will for this centre to succeed. The challenges we face in Agder concerning living conditions and public health are interdisciplinary, and therefore we want to establish good interdisciplinary cooperation”, says UiA rector Sunniva Whittaker.

FHI is involved

“The Norwegian Institute of Public Health is also part of the collaboration through the pilot venture, FHI Agder. The plan is for these groups to support and reinforce each other and thus contribute with important knowledge about public health and living conditions that will be of benefit to the municipalities and counties throughout the country”, says director general of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Camilla Stoltenberg.

The plan is for FHI Agder to have a team located at UiA’s Campus Kristiansand.

“Agder is a suitable place to develop such a pilot, and the scientific communities that exist complement our own in a good way. To begin with, we want to examine the conditions in which children and young people grow up”, Stoltenberg says.