CIRCLE brings together five experienced partners from four Baltic-Nordic countries with complementary strengths.

Project promoter


Baltic Studies Centre (BSC) is a private non-profit research organisation in the field of social sciences. The main areas of BSC expertise include: food system and food supply chain analysis; agricultural knowledge and innovation systems; agricultural and rural development processes and policies; social, economic and political solutions for sustainable development.

Project leader: Tālis Tisenkopfs
Email: talis.tisenkopfs AT

Talis Tisenkopfs (, prof.) is a board member and a senior researcher at Baltic Studies Centre. The Latvian team leader of many EU projects and a supervisor of PhD students, post-doctoral researchers and Marie Sklodowska-Curie early career researchers. His research focuses on innovation and knowledge processes in agriculture and food systems, food security, agricultural and rural transformations. He is a coordinator of the CIRCLE project responsible for an overall management and joint creative work of the whole consortium.

Project partners


Institute of Agricultural Resources and Economics (AREI) provides broad scientific expertise, new knowledge, technologies, and integrated solutions for the bioeconomy that are related to the sustainable management of agro-resources and the development of agricultural industry and business.

Contact person: Alberts Auziņš
Email: alberts.auzins AT

Alberts Auziņš (Dr.oec.) is a senior researcher at Institute of Agricultural Resources and Economics and a financial analyst and an economist at Edo Consult, Ltd. His research experience is related to such sectors as agriculture, food manufacture, aquiculture, fisheries, forestry, etc. He also focuses on the dimensions of environment and sustainability. Together with Armands Vēveris and Ieva Leimane, he is working on the cost-benefit analysis of circular business models as well as contributing to other activities of the project.


Institute for Rural and Regional Research (RURALIS)that carries out mostly applied social research. The institute contributes knowledge and information to the political and administrative processes mainly in Norway and has a special national mission as the Norwegian node in an international university network of rural sociology.

Contact person: Pia Piroschka Otte
Email: pia.otte AT

Dr. Pia Piroschka Otte is Research Manager at Ruralis. She has a PhD in political science and long experience from leading research projects. Her research focuses on the social acceptance of bioeconomic transitions, renewable energy, and developing sustainable business models for financing climate technologies in agriculture. Dr. Otte is responsible for coordinating Ruralis’ contribution across the different work packages in CIRCLE. She also contributes with scientific expertise to WP5, which is led by Dr. Jostein Brobakk from Ruralis. 


At Estonian University of Life Sciences (EMU), the main field of activity is research concerning sustainable use of natural resources. Its mission is to promote the environmental way of thinking and the smart and balanced management of rural life through research-based education.

Contact person: Mait Kriipsalu
Email: mait.kriipsalu AT


Vilnius University (VU) is the leading research institution in Lithuania, and has a broad range of expertise and extensive experience of working in international and interdisciplinary projects.

Contact person: Diana Mincyte
Email: dianamincyte AT

Diana Mincyte (PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) is an associate professor of sociology at the City University of New York-City Tech and a senior researcher in the CIRCLE project at Vilnius University. Her research focuses on environmental dimensions of food systems; gender and labor in agriculture; and science and technology studies both in and outside of the Baltic states. Together with Aiste Bartkiene and Renata Bikauskaite, she is developing consumer and ethical perspectives on circular economies as well as contributing to other areas within the project.