On the 22nd of October, representatives from the University of the NSPA had a digital meeting with the Arctic Ambassador of EU, Michael Mann. EU Arctic Policy in relations to research and innovation, and the importance of international research collaboration for sustainable development in the Arctic were discussed.
Background to the Meeting
The European Commission has opened a consultation on EU Arctic Policy that aims to form the basis for the updated Arctic Policy. During the meeting with the EU Arctic Ambassador, good examples of ongoing research collaborations and research perspectives were highlighted. The meeting was attended by representatives from the regions in the network for Northern Sparsely Populated Areas, NSPA, (Northern Norway, Finland, and Sweden) and representatives from the EU offices.
Arctic Five and International Research Collaboration
Dieter Müller, Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for research and postgraduate education in the social sciences and humanities at Umeå University, gave a background to the research collaboration Artic five. The collaboration consists of five universities from northern Sweden, Finland, and Norway that conduct research and education concerning sustainable development in the Arctic. The Arctic Five research covers a large area to enable sustainable development in the European Arctic on a social, economic, and environmental level.
A Broader Definition of Arctic Research
The need of a broader definition of Arctic research was raised by Timo Koivurova, professor and director of the Arctic Center at the University of Lapland. As part of this, he gave examples of ongoing research projects within the Horizon 2020 program concerning various dimensions of sustainable development in the Arctic. Reid Hole and Andreas Raspotnik, Vice-Chancellor and researcher at Nord University in Norway, emphasized the importance of social science research and research collaborations with Russia, where research diplomacy is important.
Next step in the EU Arctic Policy
Michael Mann stressed that research and research collaboration is important regarding the Arctic. Furthermore, the importance of interdisciplinary perspectives was also emphasized in order to understand the many complex issues facing the European Arctic, something that the Arctic Five and other research collaborations are examples of.