iðnaðar- og viðskiptaráðherra.
haldin á Hótel Loftleiðum, Reykjavík,
12. september 2002.
Mr. Chairman, distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is both a pleasure and a priveledge to welcome you to this 9th Nordic Aggregate Research Conference here in Reykjavik.
While most areas of Europe lack aggregate resources, we here in Iceland are fortunate to have plenty. The aggrigates are primarily of basaltic rocks and one may claim that the aggrigate production is sustainable as we have both the steady supply of deposits from the glacial rivers and the occasional volcanic eruptions!
Initially, when the demand for aggregates for roads, buildings, power plants and other constructions in Iceland increased, during and after the second world war, the research on aggregates was mainly obtained from other countries. But soon the research institutes in Iceland developed their own skills and gained experience in research on aggregates as well as discovering that research by others did not apply fully to our materials or our needs.
Since 1965 the Building Research Institute has carried out extensive research on aggregates used for concrete and in road constructions.
The Aggregate Committee was established in 1983, initially as a sub-division of NFV 33, a Nordic Committee dealing with asphalt road pavement and base layers. It}s main task was to accumulate and evaluate tests on Icelandic aggregates, select and develop suitable test methods and make recommendations to specifications of aggregates in road structures. The Aggregate Committee operated for 10 years and leaves behind an important legacy of some 25 reports.
A new research programme was launched in 1995 by with a more extensive participation than before. This programme had three main goals to:
- build roads in Iceland at better quality and lower price,
- to coordinate research in the area of road technology and
- to define new specifications for road building in Iceland.
This programme was successfully completed two years ago.
Presently the previous partners in these earlier research programmes are actively carrying out their individual research with new partners. They are primarily participating in European research programmes as well and Nordic research programmes co-funded for example by Nordtest and Nordic Industrial Fund.
The international cooperation is of huge importance for us and we feel that our objective must be to constantly seek new research partners from the international scientific community. This applies to our aggregate research as well as to other fields of science and technology.
Ladies and gentlemen. With these few words on the background of the aggregate research in Iceland I declare this 9th Nordic Aggregate Research Conference open.