Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network Signs Research Agreement with Polar Knowledge Canada

By Grant Shepherd
June 12, 2016

Borgir Research House- The Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network (IACN) and Polar Knowledge Canada signed a Letter of Understanding (LoU) to advance and facilitate collaboration in science and technology between Iceland and Canada.  The signing ceremony took place at 14:00 on June 11, 2016, following the conclusion of the University of Akureyri’s commencement ceremony. The LoU was signed by the Canadian Ambassador, Stewart Wheeler, on behalf of Polar Knowledge Canada, and the Director of the Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network, Embla Eir Oddsdóttir. Among those attending was the President of Iceland, Mr. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson and the Rector of the University of Akureyri, Mr. Eyjólfur Guðmundsson.

“Canada and Iceland are neighbours and partners in the Arctic,” said Ambassador Wheeler. “This new relationship between Polar Knowledge Canada and IACN will allow for dynamic collaboration on concrete research projects to advance our shared understanding of the Arctic.”

The main purpose of the agreement is to “encourage and coordinate the conduct of Arctic research.... considering the importance of science and technology for economic and social development of Iceland and Canada...” The specific areas for collaboration include: shared access to infrastructure resources and complementary expertise; participation of academic institutions, government agencies, and the private sector; and exchange and training of science and tech personnel and students.

“This is the first step in formalizing a collaboration we have been discussing for a while now”, said Oddsdottir“. It provides an avenue for expanding our pool of expertise while also developing experience in international, interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder projects. We have already identified mutual areas of interests which we will be defining further in the next step”

The Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network (IACN) was launched in 2013 under the auspices of the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The primary mandate of the IACN is to increase visibility and understanding of Arctic issues and to create a link between stakeholders working on Arctic issues in Iceland and internationally, including institutions, businesses and communities. Founding partners are the University of Akureyri, the Stefansson Arctic Institute, the Arctic Portal, the Icelandic Centre for Research, the Northern Research Forum, the University of Akureyri Research Centre, the Icelandic Tourism Research Centre, the Polar Law Institute, and Arctic Council Working Groups PAME and CAFF. Current members are twenty-five including the University of Iceland, the Reykjavík University, the Icelandic Met Office, the Icelandic Coast Guard, the Marine Research Institute, and the Centre for Gender Equality and the Arctic Services. IACN’s offices are at the Borgir Research House in Akureyri, represented by its Director Embla Eir Oddsdóttir.

Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR) is a Government of Canada agency created on June 1st, 2015 to strengthen Canada’s position internationally as a leader in polar science and technology. POLAR promotes the acquisition, distribution, and application of knowledge of the circumpolar regions, including Antarctica. POLAR, through the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS), will provide a world-class hub for science and technology research in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. Once the construction of the CHARS research campus is complete, it will also serve as POLAR’s headquarters. POLAR’s mandate is to advance knowledge of the Canadian Arctic in order to improve economic opportunities, environmental stewardship and the quality of life of its residents and all other Canadians. POLAR is led by its President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. David J. Scott.

Contact
Embla Eir Oddsdóttir
Director Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network
embla@arcticiceland.is
+354 864 5979

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