Arctic 5 includes, in addition to Luleå University of Technology, Umeå University, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, the University of Oulu and the University of Lapland, both of which are located in Finland. The co-operation organization was founded in 2016 with the aim of profiling the Nordic universities as Europe's leaders in the Arctic.
Six theme areas
The universities gathered around six different thematic areas – education, energy, mining, regional development, indigenous issues and health. Each area is led by one of the partner universities. Luleå University of Technology is responsible for the theme areas energy and mining. At present, however, a reorganization is underway aimed at erasing the borders between the thematic areas.
– Much of the research conducted at our universities takes place at the intersection of several of the thematic areas. A research project on, for example, land use can raise issues about indigenous peoples, mining, energy and health, explains Dag Avango, professor of history at Luleå University of Technology and co-director of Arctic 5.
Start-up capital for research collaborations
The six target areas were developed at management level. The reorganization aims to create an environment where research collaborations can grow organically and where already ongoing research collaborations are supported in order to be able to deepen and expand.
– We know that there are ongoing research collaborations on, among other things, sustainable societies in the Nordic Arctic that are not captured by the existing organizational structure.
Senior researchers with established networks will be able to apply for funding to develop interdisciplinary research collaborations between partner universities. Junior researchers with interesting research proposals relevant to the Arctic will also be offered the opportunity to apply for funding. However, the funds will not be enough to fund entire research projects, but will be seen as a start-up capital that allows researchers to set aside working hours to apply for research funding. In addition to financial support, the organization around Arctic 5 can already today assist with advice and mediation of contacts.