Gå til indhold

Denmark links Arctic research network

December 16, 2013
Danish universities have reinforced research in Arctic and polar conditions and established cross-disciplinary centres.

The background for a Forum for Arctic Research is to ensure better coordination and increased benefit from research activities.

Climate change can not only lead to major environmental impacts, but also opens up opportunities for mining, shipping and tourism. As a result, there has been much focus on the Arctic in recent years.
Danish universities have gathered large sections of Arctic and polar research in cross-disciplinary centres at the respective universities. The collaboration and coordination between these centres will be ensured through the establishment of a new Forum for Arctic Research. This forum will help increase the effect and visibility of R&D activities in the Arctic area.

Minister for Science, Innovation and Higher Education Morten Østergaard says that Arctic research plays a key role in the Danish government’s climate change efforts, which have always been high on the government agenda.

- Denmark has a historic duty to be involved in the Arctic, and I am pleased that the research environments at the institutes have made strong in-roads into Arctic research and accumulated significant knowledge within the area. This knowledge must have greater visibility and utilisation. We will do this through establishing a forum that can coordinate production, gathering and communicating knowledge in the area and overall, create better cohesion between the efforts of the various institutions, says Morten Østergaard.

Within the Arctic area, researchers and research institutions have increased activity in different fields, such as archaeology, health research, geology, biology and physics. A particularly visible research field is the ice core boring that uncovered world-renowned geogenetic research results. Greenland’s Minister for Education, Church, Culture & Gender Equality, Nick Nielsen, says that Greenland is pleased with the Danish minister’s initiative to strengthen Arctic research.

- Greenland is an Arctic region and we live with the daily challenges that can be a result of climate change. Greenland has undergone great development in recent years and research is a tool to help understand and manage this development. It is therefore important that we in Greenland ensure that the research carried out in Greenland is of benefit to Greenland and are therefore pleased to be part of this work. We look forward to a closer dialogue with Danish universities and research institutions on the future of Arctic research, says Nick Nielsen.

Spokesman for Universities Denmark Jens Oddershede says that Danish universities see great potential in a continued and reinforced effort within Arctic research.

- A great deal of money is already being invested in research stations, etc. in Greenland. This allows us to collaborate with our partners in Greenland on questions of global interest in certain fields, where we in the Danish Realm have particular advantages and specific expertise. That is why the Danish universities are working with each other to a greater extent and working with Greenlandic partners. We believe that the Forum for Arctic Research can help facilitate this kind of cooperation, says Jens Oddershede.

Forum for Arctic Research

The Forum for Arctic Research will serve as a coordinating body for key players and stakeholders in the area. Perspectives and recommendations, based on discussions within the forum, will be provided.

The Forum for Arctic Research will prepare an annual report on the status and challenges of research and development within the area. The report will also contain proposals for new focus areas and provide an overview of substantial new research results.

Membership of the forum includes the eight Danish universities, the University of Greenland and the University of the Faroe Islands. The Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), Statens Serum Institut, the Danish Meteorological Institute, the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources and the Danish Ministry of Defence have also been invited to join the forum. The Danish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education, and the governments of Greenland and the Faroe Islands will be observers in the forum.

New Polar Secretariat

A new Polar Secretariat will be established in the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education, which will contribute to creating an improved overview of Arctic research activities. The secretariat will function as a single entry point to Arctic research for research institutions, authorities, ministries, foundations, etc. The secretariat’s first task is to create an overview and prepare a report on Arctic research in Danish research institutions.

The secretariat will be responsible for organising an annual polar research conference. In connection with this conference, an annual summit meeting between the Danish Minister for Science, Innovation and Higher Education and his Greenlandic and Faroese counterparts will take place.

For further information please contact:

Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation: Head of Division Gitte Agerhus, tel. +45 72 31 82 50, email: gha@fi.dk
Press and communications adviser Steen Bruun Jensen, tel. +45 41 32 60 30, email: sbj@fi.dk

Universities Denmark spokesman and chairman of the Danish Rectors’ Conference Jens Oddershede, University of Southern Denmark, tel. +45 40 40 10 97, email: jod@sdu.dk

Greenland Government, Department of Education, Church, Culture and Gender Equality: Head of Division Kristian Olsen, tel. +299345760, e-mail: KKOL@nanoq.gl 

Rector of the University of the Faroe Islands (Fróðskaparsetur Føroya), Sigurð í Jákupsstovu, tel. +298292503, e-mail: SigurdJ@setur.fo


Document Actions