Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

New Arctic research and education strategy launched

Denmark shall be a leading nation for Arctic research and education. This is the ambitious goal of the new Danish strategy for Arctic research and education presented at the Danish Polar Research Conference.

2016.11.02 | Susanna Pakkasmaa

Minister for Higher Education and Science Ulla Tørnæs has been busy with Arctic issues recently. In June, she visited Greenland and signed a contract guaranteeing Greenland Climate Research Centre an annual support of 9 mill DKK. In September, she attended the White House Arctic Science Ministerial in Washington and gave a she emphasized the importance of collaboration to strengthen Arctic science. And now, 1 November, she presented the new strategy for Arctic research and education at the Danish Polar Research Conference at the Technical University of Denmark.

According to the minister, the new strategy is a step towards making Denmark one of the leading nations in Arctic research and education. The vision is to get well-educated young people and more knowledge about the Arctic. However, there is no financial support to realise new activities.

The strategy presents a number of initiatives to strengthen Arctic research and education. Among those is a pilot project which will give young Greenlanders a better education in Denmark and ensure that they get support with the challenges connected to starting studies in a new country.

Another suggested initiative is the establishment of a research hub in Greenland, which would attract prominent Arctic scientists from all over the world. This suggestion originates from Peter Taksøe-Jensen’s review of Danish foreign and security policy, which was presented in May 2016, and now the Ministry of Higher Education and Science will initiate an analysis to identify the needs and opportunities of such a hub.

The new strategy is part of the implementation of the Kingdom's Strategy for the Arctic 2011-2020. Ulla Tørnæs acknowledges the good cooperation between Denmark, Greenland and Faroe Islands, and says that all future cooperation must rely on dialogue and be based on mutual interests.

The third Danish Polar Research Conference took place on 1-2 November, and gathered 150 people involved in Arctic research at universities, research institutions and other organisations. The theme of the conference was the use of drones, satellites and other new platforms in Arctic research.

Read the new strategy document (in Danish)

Arctic Research Centre