Marel Food Systems Support Research in Iceland Skip to content

Marel Food Systems Support Research in Iceland

Iceland-based Marel Food Systems will contribute six to seven percent of its annual turnover, about ISK 5 billion (USD 65 million, EUR 42 million)—half the operational cost of the University of Iceland—into research and development in Iceland, Árni Oddur Thórdarson, chairman of Marel’s board, announced last weekend.

“Powerful research and development work helps to build a university community and a major part is reflected in cooperative projects,” Thórdarson told Morgunbladid. “Marel was in fact founded around a research project by the engineering department of the University of Iceland.”

Thórdarson said it is important to encourage innovative operations in Iceland, adding that Norway is a good example of a country where research projects are given taxation discounts.

Bionic technology company Össur will also contribute six to seven percent of its annual turnover to research and development in Iceland, about ISK 1.6 billion (USD 21 million, EUR 13 million). Eyrir Invest, of which Thórdarson is CEO, is a large shareholder in Össur.

According to Thórdarson, recent tax reduction for companies in Iceland makes it profitable to operate companies. “The encouragement lies in placing the profit here […]. I believe [Marel’s and Össur’s initiative] will deliver higher tax revenue since it will ensure profit-creating high-income jobs in this country.”

Thórdarsson stated it is fortunate for export companies that Iceland’s economy is slowing down. Salaries will increase, costs will remain the same and the finance sector won’t “vacuum” all the people up.

“Last year two thirds of all electrical engineers that graduated went to financial institutes and one third to further studies abroad,” Thórdarson said. “They can make the best use of their education at high-tech companies so it is unacceptable that [so few electrical engineers are recruited by high-tech companies].”

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