Exploring the Northern Dimension

ND newsflash

Northern Dimension in 2030 – How to grasp the opportunities and fight the challenges?

The second Northern Dimension Day took place in Stockholm, Sweden, back‐to‐back with the 7th Strategy Forum of the EU Strategy…

Porokello project aims to reduce reindeer accidents in half by 2020

Coordinated by the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment in Lapland, Finland, Porokello project is launching a new service for road users to reduce reindeer accidents.

Finland's designated reindeer herding area covers 36% of the country's total landscape and sees as many as 4000 accidents occurring on Finland's roads and railways occur per year. A variety of actions have been taken aiming to reduce the amount of accidents, but none of then have been proven effective. The extensive use of mobile technology and other intelligent devices brings forth new possibilities to help reduce the number of accidents. The warning systems relies on GPS location and mobile technology, enabling accurate warnings for road travelers.

Read more on the project website.

Nordic welfare research: Inequalities in health and public health policy

The Nordic Welfare Centreis an institution under the Nordic Council of Ministers. Its mission is to enhance social policy work in the Nordic countries through education, public information, research and development, networking and international co-operation. The institution has now published its first issue of a research magazine "Nordisk välfärdsforskning".

The magazine site is in Norwegian but following English articles can be downloaded:

  • The Norwegian policy to reduce health inequalities: key challenges
  • ‘All’s well in Iceland?’ Austerity measures, labour market initiatives, and health and well-being of children
  • Health inequalities – a challenge for the social investment welfare state
  • Reducing health inequalities in Finland: progressing or regressing?

Please visit the website to download the articles.

Slush Music brings music industry and tech together

Along with the Slush community of tech-heads and investors, Slush Music will help the music industry entrepreneurs forward more extensively than ever.

The two day program will feature keynotes, fireside chats, roundtable discussions, fierce duels, and networking.

Read more on the Slush Music website.

Slush startup and tech event is the largest in Nordics and takes place on Nov 20th-Dec 1st in Helsinki, Finland.

Slush Science Track: pitching competition and keynote speakers

In Slush Science Track Skolar award pitching competition researchers from all around the world pitch their mind-blowing research ideas in three minute pitches. The competition is hosted by Rowland Manthorpe from Wired magazine and the best idea wins 100,000 euros. See the full list of pitching semifinalists on the website.

Keynote speakers of Slush Science track include Kári Stefánsson, founder, CEO, DeCode Genetics, Jason Tetro, The Germ Guy and Maija Itkonen, CEO, Gold&Green Foods. Read more about the event agenda on the website.

Slush startup and tech event is the largest in Nordics and takes place on Nov 20th-Dec 1st in Helsinki, Finland.

A strategic partnership created to develop smart ships

Rolls-Royce and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd have announced a strategic partnership to design, test and validate the first generation of remote and autonomous ships.

VTT has deep knowledge of ship simulation and extensive expertise in the development and management of safety-critical and complex systems in demanding environments such as nuclear safety. They combine physical tests such as model and tank testing, with digital technologies, such as data analytics and computer visualisation. They will also use field research to incorporate human factors into safe ship design. As a result of working with the Finnish telecommunications sector, VTT has extensive experience of working with 5G mobile phone technology and wi-fi mesh networks. VTT has the first 5G test network in Finland.

Read more about the partnership on VTT website.

A link between Europe and the Arctic - Railway development in Finland

Helsinki remains committed to build a connection through the Gulf of Finland and all the way to the Norwegian Arctic coast. Construction could start in few years, a member of the country’s Parliament says.

In a comment to the Barents Observer, Oddgeir Danielsen, leader of the Northern Dimension Partnership for Transport and Logistics, says the projects address a “missing link between Europe and the Arctic”.  «The Helsinki-Tallin tunnel and the Arctic Railroad will unlock the huge Arctic potential and give impetus to a sustainable economic development both in the region and as well for a number of countries both in Europe, Russia and Asia».

Read the full article on Barents Observer webpage.

South-East Finland - Russia CBC 2014-2020 Programme Info Sessions scheduled

The Managing Authority of the South-East Finland – Russia CBC 2014-2020 Programme invites organisations and individuals interested on cross-border cooperation programme and its financing opportunities to the open information seminars held in the programme core regions.  The events are organized in Mikkeli, Kotka and Lappeenranta in Finland andSt. Petersburg in Russia during November-December 2016.

Read more and register on programme website.

"Arctic Variety" published by Finnish Minister for Foreign Affairs

Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini will publish the book "Arctic Variety" on October 27th, 2016. The book was commissioned by the Europe Information of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Finland will chair the Arctic Council in 2017 – 2019. The book gives a voice to everyday actors and daily life of the Arctic in various professions and parts of Finland. Finland will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of its independence next year as a happy, proud and understanding Arctic country. The book also tells about the Arctic Council, Finland's role in it, and linkages to the European Union and to other international politics. The themes include climate change, new shipping routes and interest in the north in the world's leading countries.

"Arctic Variety" is published in four languages – Finnish, Swedish, North Saami and English – and it can be ordered free of charge via the website of the Europe Information at eurooppatiedotus.fi. The five videos telling about everyday life in the Arctic can be viewed at youtube.com/eurooppatiedotus.

Read more about the book on Finnish Foreign Ministry website.

Arctic Maritime Security SARC Project launched

The Finnish Border Guard has launched the SARC Project to enhance and develop cooperation and competence of the maritime security authorities in the Artic countries with a practical approach. Increasing activity in the Artic demands also the authorities to evaluate and develop their competence and ways of cooperation in the challenging conditions. The SARC project invites the authorities to act together but the project also aims to work closely with the stakeholders within representing Arctic industry and research. The project promotes actively Finnish Arctic knowhow and best practices.

Read more about the project on Finnish Border Guard website.

Pre-announcement: Karelia CBC Call for Proposals

Karelia Cross-Border Cooperation has announced its first Calls for Proposals.  They will be opened on January 16th and on March 2nd 2017.

In January a Call for Proposal for regular projects in the priority Attractive cultural environmentand calls for proposals for micro projects in the priorities Growing cross-border business cooperationand Clean and comfortable region to livewill be opened. The micro calls will be open until March 23rd and the regular call until March 31st.

In March Calls for Proposals for regular projects in the priorities Growing cross-border business cooperationand Clean and comfortable region to livewill be opened. The calls will be closed on May 11th.

Read more on the Karelia CBC website.

Finnish maritime industries will create an ecosystem for autonomous marine transport

The objective of the ecosystem is to create the world’s first autonomous marine transport system to the Baltic Sea. Ships will be fully autonomous in 2025. The first pilots and applications in months to come are cargo ships and freight.

There are almost 60 companies in the ecosystem through Finnish Marine Industries Association. The largest investors are Cargotec, Ericsson, Meyer Turku, Rolls-Royce, Tieto, and Wärtsilä. About half of the ecosystem’s funding comes from Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation.

Read more about the project on DIMECC website.

Arctic Expertise in Nordic Cooperation -seminar

Arctic Expertise in Nordic Cooperation -seminar was organised by the Finnish Prime Minister's Office on September 5th, 2016. The seminar's main purpose was to deepen cooperation between and among actors in the arctic region. Former Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen and Risto E. J. Penttilä, CEO, Finland Chamber of Commerce talked in the second part of the seminar. Please see the webcast on Finnish Government website.

Project MERMAID gave recommendations for sustainable development in the Arctic

Finnish Meterological Institute, together with three university partners in Finland,  has completed the MERMAID (Identifying Risks and Opportunities for Marine Transport and Tourism in the Arctic) project during 2014-2016. The project supports the implementation of the Arctic Strategy of Finland and preparations for the Finland's chairmanship of the Arctic Council 2016.

The recommendations of the project include e.g. establishing a multidisciplinary education program for offshore and subsea expertise, joint marketing efforts for Arctic tourism and application of environmental regulation follow-up system. Open co-operation and knowledge sharing with Russia on multiple levels is recommended, for example by recognizing correct regional co-operation actors and broadening the co-operation to new areas. More about the project results and recommendations can be found from Policy Brief 3/2016.

Publication: Environmental Impact Assessment in the Arctic, A Guide to Best Practice

In a new book "Environmental Impact Assessment in the Arctic, A Guide to Best Practice" Timo Koivurova and Pamela Lesser succinctly synthesise primary data gathered from interviews with local communities, indigenous peoples, NGOs, government officials and businesses in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Greenland, Iceland, Canada, Russia and the USA. Considering all stakeholder perspectives, they present the regulatory processes of all eight Arctic countries and also provide helpful flowcharts that depict the process graphically for each country. Measuring these practices against the 1997 Guidelines for Environmental Impact Assessment in the Arctic, the only Arctic environmental impact assessment guidance document that has been officially approved by the ministers of all eight Arctic countries, this book identifies key areas where adherence to best practice is high, such as stakeholder outreach and development, as well as those areas that fall short.

Open position: a Professorship in Arctic Research combined with the post of Vice President of Research of the University of the Arctic

The University of Oulu invites applications for a full professorship position in Arctic research combined with the post of Vice President of Research of the University of the Arctic.  

Applications, including attachments, should be submitted using the electronic application form by September 2,  2016.

For further information, please visit the University of the Arctic website.

Northern (Arctic) Federal University hosted BEAC Joint Working Group on Education and Research meeting

Northern (Arctic) Federal University (NArFU) hosted a meeting of the BEAC Joint Working Group on Education and Research (JWGER) in April 2016. The group unites 15 universities and research institutions from the northern territories of Russia, Norway, Finland and Sweden, aimed at solving crucial problems of scientific and educational cooperation expansion in the Barents Region. NArFU has been co-chairing the group since 2011.

The meeting's agenda included an overview of universities' international activities, presentation of JWGER group's work results in 2016, and discussion of the Barents universities’ role in the implementation of the Russian BEAC Chairmanship objectives.

In addition, it was decided to prolong NArFU’s chairmanship for the next two years. Marina Kalinina, Rector’s Adviser on International Cooperation, shall continue her work as the JWGER Chair.

For further information, please visit the NArFU's website.

NDPTL: Intermodal Transportation via Rail Baltica - a Remarkable Opportunity for Finnish Industry and Trade

A roundtable discussion within the frames of the Northern Dimension Partnership on Transport and Logistics (NDPTL)  project "Elimination of obstacles for Intermodal transportation in transit through Poland, Lithuania and Belarus" took place in Helsinki, Finland, on 26 April 2016.

The aim of the roundtable was to discuss opportunities and potential with Finnish industry and trade organisations for door-to-door or terminal-to-terminal intermodal services between Finland and mainland Europe.

For further information, please visit the NDPTL website

Publication: Gender, Education and Population Flows: Summary report on knowledge, cross-Nordic experiences and examples from practice

Bennike, Kathrine Bjerg
Faber, Stine Thidemann
Nielsen, Helene Pristed

During the Danish Presidency for the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2015, attention was drawn towards challenges and best practice examples in relation to gender, education and population flows in peripheral areas throughout the Nordic countries - Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and the autonomous countries, Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Åland. The present report summarises the findings and conclusions which are covered in the existing Nordic research and literature within the field, as well as the experience and professional responses, which were presented during the course of the common dialogue and exchange of experience.

To read the report, please visit the Nordic Council of Ministers webpage.

The 9th Baltic Sea Region Forum 2016 in Turku, Finland

The 9th Baltic Sea Region Forum 2016 will be organized on 20 May in Turku, Finland under the theme "Maritime cluster in the Baltic Sea region and beyond". The focus of the Forum will be on transport, shipbuilding and maritime cluster. The keynote speech will be delivered by the former President of Finland, Tarja Halonen.

See the programme and more information on http://www.centrumbalticum.org/en/events/baltic-sea-region-forum

Dissertation: Black carbon deposition in the European Arctic from the preindustrial to the present

Meri M. Ruppel
Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Department of Environmental Sciences
University of Helsinki, Finland

The objective of this thesis is to collect new spatial and temporal data on BC deposition in the European Arctic from the preindustrial to the present (i.e., the last ca. 300 years), and assess BC sources and climatic implications, by analysing five lake sediment cores from Arctic Finland and an ice core from Svalbard. 

The results suggest that black carbon may have exerted a significant impact on the radiative forcing and thereby past climatic warming of the Arctic, in the most recent three or four decades. However, the study indicates that local results cannot necessarily be extrapolated over wider areas, and therefore further studies are required to establish regional black carbon deposition trends within the Arctic.

To read the thesis, please visit University of Helsinki webpage.

Newsletter by International Barents Secretariat, 3/2015

The new BarentSaga newsletter by International Barents Secretariat is published. The issue includes following articles:

  • Arctic identity - what does it mean?
  • A look into the Finnish chairmanship
  • How to finance Barents cooperation
  • Barents Rescue: Cross-border assistance for major accidents
  • 12th Meeting of the Environment Ministers: new priorities of the Barents environmental cooperation
  • Barents Profile: Maria Dianova

To read the newsletter, please visit the International Barents Secretariat web.

Creative Economy Spearhead Themes in the Triangle City Cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region – A Feasibility Study

Creative Economy Spearhead Themes in the Triangle City Cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region – A Feasibility Study

The feasibility study project  “Collaboration between the Triangle Cities Tallinn-Helsinki-St. Petersburg in the field of creative industries” mapped out the common interests to cooperate between the creative industry actors in Tallinn, St. Petersburg and Helsinki. The project arranged roundtable meetings in each city during the spring and summer. During the roundtable meetings common themes could be found quite easily. Ideas were also already in the early stages intertwined with other than the creative industries. This shows that the application of creative competence in other sectors, so-called “creative economy” is well understood by the actors in the Triangle City region. The rountable sessions also showed that there is a consensus among the actors that co-operation in the field of creative industries and creating joint offerings would increase critical mass and visibility.

First edition of Creative Entrepreneurship Academy 2016

Creativity Lab together with Nordic Council of Ministers, Estonian Business School and Creative Business Cup are organising the Creative Entrepreneurhip Academy (CEA) in January 18-22, 2016 in Tallinn (Estonia) and Helsinki (Finland). The 5-days training programme includes interactive sessions and practical workshops, field trips and internationally renowned speakers.

The session is desighned for representatives of organisations and authorities that are responsible of creating strong creative ecosystem for talents and businesses to grow.

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