Consultative review on proposed European research objectives in polar research

The background for the proposed objectives is a synthesis based on polar research strategic documents from national and international bodies.

“Key topics in Norwegian polar research have been put forth during the synthesis process. We have received valuable input and comments from the network of top scientists at Norwegian research institutions that was established to support activities under EU-PolarNet,” says Jon Børre Ørbæk, Special Adviser in the Department for Climate and Polar Research at the Research Council of Norway and coordinator of EU-PolarNet in Norway.

Open public consultation
This is an open public consultation, and the plan is to present the document being circulated, “European Research Objectives in Polar Research”, together with the input and comments received in the review at the EU-PolarNet General Assembly on 13 March during Arctic Science Summit Week 2016 in Fairbanks, Alaska.

The synthesis is divided into 12 overarching research topics, each accompanied by three to five broad-based research questions. The report also seeks to provide a description of the societal challenges under each topic.

“We hope that Norwegian polar scientists will read the synthesis and offer their views. This is important if we want to ensure an optimal result from the viewpoint of the Norwegian polar research community,” says Mr Ørbæk.

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A link to the document under review may be found below:

European research objectives in polar research

Polar issues have been rising up the political agenda across Europe over the past decade since the rapid changes occurring in the Polar Regions are significantly influencing global climate with consequences for global society. As a result, the European Union and its executive body, the European Commission (EC), attribute increasing importance to science and innovation in the high latitudes. As a first step in this direction, EC has launched a five-year coordination and support action “EU-PolarNet – Connecting Science with Society” which will provide advice and support to the EC in their efforts to shape Europe’s polar research and policy agenda.

EU-PolarNet will establish an ongoing dialogue between policymakers, business and industry leaders, local communities and scientists to increase mutual understanding and identify new ways of working that will deliver economic and societal benefits. The results of this dialogue will be brought together in a plan for an Integrated European Research Programme for the Antarctic and the Arctic that will be co-designed with all relevant stakeholders and coordinated with the activities of many other polar research nations beyond Europe.

In a first step, the project consortium has compiled a set of European research priorities for the Polar Regions, which shall serve as a basis for the upcoming research planning process in EU-PolarNet. These priorities have been identified by a desk study based on national Polar strategies, international consortia and major scientific clusters. The list of the consulted documents is reported in annex 1.

The following synthesis is based on the polar research strategic documents in Annex 1. Based on the information extracted from the polar research strategic documents, a comprehensive analysis and synthesis into 12 broad and overarching topics has been conducted, which we hope represent a best possible approximation of the large number of scientific priorities found in the reference documents. A paragraph describing the relevant Societal Challenges connected to each scientific topic has been added in order to fit the research priorities to societal needs.



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