The paper overviews the present state of tribology in the Nordic Countries, its historical development and the preconditions to meet future demands. Nordic tribology is partly of a multinational nature and partly locally coloured. The Nordic scientific works relating to tribology can be dated back to the 1880s, and later decades have brought numerous outstanding and internationally recognized scientific works and technical inventions. The future for tribological research and education in the Nordic Countries seems bright, and the industry actively utilizes the tribological knowledge achieved. Many of the Nordic tribologists are today involved in quality-related questions such as surface finish, reliability, safety and environmental aspects, and this should form a good basis for meeting future demands.