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Collaboration is a means to strengthen Arctic science

Minister for Higher Education and Science Ulla Tørnæs' speech at the White House Arctic Science Ministerial In Washington 28 September 2016.

Thank you.

Firstly, I would like to thank the White House Office of Science and Technology and Dr. John Holdren, for arranging this Arctic Science Ministerial on this important matter.

Additionally, I would like to thank all of the participants for joining the important discussion today.

Arctic science is a challenging endeavour. Cooperation and common discussion will take us further than we can go by ourselves. Therefore, I appreciate the strong support for and interest in international cooperation on Arctic Science.   

Arctic Science is an area of great importance for the Kingdom of Denmark. And an area in which Denmark has a long tradition and a continuously strong engagement. Arctic science embeds potential in a wide range of areas. From the Danish point of view, I would like to highlight 3.

Through Arctic science we can find bricks that will help solve global challenges, such as climate change.

Through Arctic science we can boost growth and innovation, not only in the Arctic but in general.

And through Arctic science we can support sustainable development and ways of living in the Arctic.

Knowledge brings value. This is truth for science in general and for Arctic science in particular.

Therefore, I appreciate the opportunity to discuss these matters, which are of global importance as well as of great importance for the about 4 million people who call the Arctic “home”.

The Danish contribution to this Ministerial is a call to focus and cooperate on our joint activities in the Arctic. Through cooperation, we can make 1 and 1 become 3.

Arctic Strategy

Arctic science is a challenging and expensive endeavour.

Denmark is preparing an Arctic Strategy for education, research and innovation to be launched in November this year. The purpose of this strategy is to focus our engagement in Arctic Science.

It is an important aim of the strategy to strengthen the correlation between national and international initiatives in and about the Arctic.

One of the initiatives in this strategy will be to investigate the possibilities of creating an international “research hub” in Greenland.

The investigation will be carried out in cooperation with the relevant Greenlandic authorities.

The purpose of the “research hub” would be to offer a physical frame from which Arctic researchers could carry out their work. If established wisely, it’s my firm believe that researchers, Arctic science and the local communities will benefit from an international research hub in Greenland.

The researchers will benefit from the location which must be of international high standards.

Arctic science will benefit from the synergies which will be developed in an international research environment. And the local community will benefit from the economic activities which will spin out of the research hub.

However, these benefits will only arise, if the research hub is developed wisely and with care for the needs of the researchers and the local community.

How this balance could be reached is what we will investigate with the Greenlandic authorities as part of our Arctic Strategy. 

Another goal in the strategy is to increase our knowledge-sharing and coordination of arctic logistics.

As an example, Denmark has launched a new initiative called isaaffik. Isaaffik is the Greenlandic word for gateway.

The website functions as a tool for collaboration between Arctic Science researchers within the Kingdom of Denmark and internationally.

When it comes to data sharing, Denmark acknowledges the proposal by Norway and the US about strengthening the work in SAON.

In addition to our strategy, Denmark is engaged and active in the Arctic Council. We would like to see this forum continue its positive development.

I appreciate that many countries have gathered to-day to discuss this important topic and assess ways of strengthening our cooperation.

I am confident that through collaboration and coordination of Arctic Science initiatives, resources and infrastructure we can make 1 and 1 become 3 to the benefit of science, innovation and the 4 million people who call the Arctic their home.

Thank you

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last modified November 03, 2023