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Northern Dimension Newsflash 1/2021 has been published

The latest ND Newsflash 1/2021 is out. In this newsletter, you can read about the updated events calendar and the interesting…

NDI Policy Brief 16: Decarbonizing road passenger transport in the ND area

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This policy brief elaborates recommendations for road passenger transport decarbonization in the Northern Dimension (ND) area. On the one hand, road transport emits 25% of total greenhouse gas in ND countries and produces dangerous local pollutions, and the share of passenger transport of these emissions is more than 75% [1] Nitrogen oxide, sulphur oxide and particular matter emissions are the reason for numerous lung and breathe diseases of city inhabitants. On the other hand, road transport gives people invaluable freedom of movement, as people commute every day to work, study and leisure. Average motorization rate is over 50% in ND countries [2, 3]. This raises the key question: How can people keep their freedom of movement but pollute less? There are several ways to decarbonize road passenger transport, such as optimizing driving needs according to ecological criteria, remote work or study, using 2 and 3 wheelers empowered by human or electricity, sharing mobility services with others, and driving less polluting cars such as hybrid, electric or gas vehicles. All these options influence traditional behavior, which needs to be considered in developing policies for road passenger transport decarbonization.

  • Recommendation 1. Inform people about climate and ecological issues and thus influence positively consumer behavior, and popularize ecomobility.
  • Recommendation 2. Develop infrastructure and services for carbon-free mobility and sharing. Support eco infrastructure.
  • Recommendation 3. Balance between economic, ecological, and social needs. Limit the use of polluting transport wherever and whenever it is possible. Ensure access to mobility for people living in remote areas and for low-income people.
  • Recommendation 4. Make a realistic long-term vision, which includes support for R&D, development of carbon footprint trackers that find the optimal ecological and economic model of sustainable transport system, as well as learning from international experience.
  • Recommendation 5. Support more intensive technology transfer, joint research, pilot projects, and NGO initiatives among ND countries.

Download the policy brief: Decarbonizing road passenger transport in the ND area (PDF)

For more information, please contact the authors:
Natalia Sarakhanova, Saint Petersburg State University of Economics, sarahanova.n [a] unecon.ru
Dmitry Vasilenko, Saint Petersburg State University of Economics, dvasilenko [a]  finec.ru
Vasily Zinin, National Gas Vehicle Association, v.zinin [a] ngvrus.ru

NDI POLICY BRIEF 15: Accident information is needed to prevent emergencies in the Arctic waters

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Increasing economic activity in the Russian Arctic has resulted in the growth of vessel traffic related to trade, exploration and research, marine tourism, and natural resource extraction activities. This has heightened the risk of maritime accidents. Navigation and rescue response are challenging in the High North due to its harsh weather and ice conditions, long distances, and vulnerable nature. Therefore, it is important to raise awareness about the potential risks in order to prevent accidents. Here, the analysis of previous accidents in the Arctic waters provides valuable lessons for the future. Such analysis requires summarizing, visualizing and openly sharing accident information. This is not yet the case for the Russian Arctic and therefore it would be valuable to develop public digital sources that contain such accident information.

  • Recommendation 1: To develop an effective mechanism for the utilization of risk analysis and accident data to improve emergency preparedness and safety level in the Arctic waters.
  • Recommendation 2: To introduce a digital platform for sharing information about maritime accidents happened in the Russian Arctic and emergency resources available. This platform could be linked to other relevant platforms already existing in Russia and other Arctic countries.
  • Recommendation 3: To make sure that all actors involved contribute to the analysis and sharing of data related to accidents, and control the quality of the data as to their format and accuracy.

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The map and data service of the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission

Download the policy brief: Accident information is needed to prevent emergencies in the Arctic waters (PDF)

For more information, please contact the author:
Svetlana Kuznetsova, Northern Arctic Federal University, Arkhangesk, Russia, s.kuznecova [a] narfu.ru

This policy brief was written as a part of the NDI Policy Brief Training held in October 2020.

NDI Briefing Note: Prospects for the development of the White Sea-Baltic Canal

Northern Dimension Institute Briefing Note | February 2021
 
PROSPECTS FOR THE DEVELOPEMENT OF THE WHITE SEA-BALTIC CANAL
 By Maksim Zadorin, Northern Arctic Federal University, Arkhangelsk
m.zadorin [a] narfu.ru

The White Sea-Baltic Canal, constructed in 1931-1933 as a large-scale Soviet infrastructure project and therefore commonly referred to as the “Stalin’s Canal” [1], often evokes negative connotations due to its history. The Canal itself connects Lake Onega to the White Sea, but it also provides access from the White Sea to the Baltic Sea and to the Volga-Baltic Waterway via Neva and Svir rivers and Lake Ladoga (Fig. 1) [2]. Therefore, the Canal is an integral part of the waterway infrastructure in the Northern Dimension area, and provides one option to connect Baltic Sea ports to the White Sea and further to the Northern Sea Route.

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Fig. 1 The location of the White Sea-Baltic Canal

The White Sea–Baltic Canal route is 227 kilometers long and it runs from the village of Povenets on Lake Onega to the city of Belomorsk on the White Sea. Its infrastructure is considered sophisticated even according to contemporary standards, as the channel with an average depth of 5 meters includes more than 100 complex hydraulic structures including 15 weirs, 19 locks, 49 dams, 12 waterways, and other devices. Today, the canal is the largest hydro-technical and transport facility and part of the unified deep-water system of the European part of Russia. The infrastructure of the White Sea-Baltic Canal was improved between 1976 and 1983, including the reconstruction of 13 lock chambers on a rocky foundation, rebuilding of 27 out of 38 bays (hydraulic retaining wall or flyover), and replacing 7 pairs of riveted sluice gates with all-welded gates [3].

The traffic on the White Sea-Baltic Canal has increased significantly in recent years, both as to freight traffic and passenger traffic (Fig. 2) [5]:

 Zadorin4

Fig. 2 Growth in the volume of freight and tourist traffic along the White Sea-Baltic Canal 2018-2019

Recently, the development of the White Sea-Baltic Canal has been taken on the agenda of the authorities of the Republic of Karelia, the Russian region on the territory of which the Canal runs. This is due to the tourism potential of cultural heritage in Northwest Russia, including the tourist route to the Solovetsky Islands that passes through the Canal, and to the increased freight traffic on the Northern Sea Route that the Canal is linked to.

As to measures addressed to the development of the White Sea-Baltic Canal as a tourist route, the Government of the Republic of Karelia approved in the end of July 2020 a document called “Procedure for the implementation of measures of the individual program of socio-economic development of the Republic for the period from 2020 to 2024” (hereinafter - the Economic Program of Karelia) [4]. This program includes two measures that address the development of the White Sea-Baltic Canal, particularly as a tourist route.

  • Elaboration of the concept for the development of the White Sea-Baltic Canal (2020, responsible governmental body: Ministry of Transport of the Republic)
  • Working out the issue of creating and promoting an international water cruise route along the coast of the Scandinavian Peninsula (Norway) to the city of Arkhangelsk and further through the White Sea-Baltic Canal to St. Petersburg (2020, responsible governmental body: Ministry of Tourism of the Republic).

Furthermore, the text of the Economic Program of Karelia includes the development of tourist routes in the following directions, jointly with the Finnish side:

  • “Kuusamo-Suoperä border checkpoint – White Sea”;
  • “North Karelia (Finland) – Vyartsilya – Ladoga area”;
  • “Saimaa Geopark – Syväoro checkpoint – the projected national park “Ladoga Skerries”.

The infrastructure for these routes (roads and railways, inland water transport) is planned to be prepared through the modernization of the Canal and the development of the archaeological complex “White Sea Petroglyphs” (application to UNESCO) (Fig. 3) [7] [8].

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Fig. 3. Zalavruga. The architectural concept of the development of the archaelogical complex "White Sea Petroglyphs". © Evgeni Taev's architectural studio. 

There are, however, some regulatory and infrastructural constraints to the development of international tourism operations on the Canal. Tourist companies operating on the Canal mainly use river passenger ships, which, according to the latest rules of the Russian River Register (RRR) are prohibited from entering the sea. Therefore, tourists are moved to a ferryboat, which raises the question about the use of large cruise ships of foreign companies that exceed the dimensions of the canal [6].

As to the prospects of developing freight traffic on the Canal, the Government of Republic of Karelia proposed in 2019 to make the White Sea-Baltic Canal as part of the Northern Sea route, which would give boost for the development of its infrastructure. Until now, there have been no concrete steps to implement this idea, but the need to improve the transportation and logistics infrastructure on the Northern Sea Route in general has been recognized in the Federal policies of the Russian government. For example, the development of the Northern Sea Route is included as one of the projects in the document “Comprehensive plan for the modernization and expansion of the trunk infrastructure for the period up to 2024” [9] that the Russian Government approved in the fall 2018. More generally, the Plan intends to develop both East-West and North-South transport corridors for the transportation of goods.

The development need is obvious in view of the rising economic activity in the Arctic and resulting traffic on the Northern Sea Route, which has reflected in the increase in the volume of cargo turnover in Arctic ports. For example, in 2016, the total cargo turnover of all Arctic ports was 49.7 million tons, and by 2018 it had already reached 92.7 million tons of which the cargo turnover of the White Sea port of Murmansk amounted to 60.7 million tons [10].

In this context, the development of the White-Sea Baltic Canal as part of the transportation infrastructure related to the Northern Sea Route would be justified. This would, however, require a comprehensive assessment of the short-term and long-term economic potential of the White Sea-Baltic Canal. This assessment should address issues such as the capacity of the Canal port to receive large-tonnage vessels , which have been identified as bottlenecks for the development of transportation activities on the Canal.

Sources:
[1] Belomorsko-Baltiyskiy kanal imeni Stalina. Istoriya stroitel'stva 1931–1934 gg. / pod red. M. Gor’kogo, L. Averbakha, S. Firina [White Sea-Baltic Canal named after Stalin. Construction history 1931–1934 / ed. by M. Gorky, L. Averbakh, S. Firin]. Moscow, 1934.
[2] White Sea-Baltic Canal Map. Wikimedia.org.
[3] The history of the construction of the White Sea-Baltic Canal [Istoriya stroitel’stva Belomorsko-Baltiyskogo kanala]. August 02, 2013, 09:30 (updated: 12:17 01.03.2020). RIA Novosti. URL: https://ria.ru/20130802/953345579.html
[4]Governmental Resolution of the Republic of Karelia of July 29, 2020 No. 371-R “On Approval of the Procedure for the Implementation of Measures of the Individual Program of Socio-Economic Development of Karelia for 2020–2024”. URL: http://docs.cntd.ru/document/465425041
[5] Plan modernizatsii Belomorkanala vklyuchat v programmu razvitiya Karelii do 2024 goda [Modernization plan of the White Sea-Baltic Canal into the development program of Karelia until 2024], October 20, 2020, 16:29. TASS. URL: https://tass.ru/ekonomika/9767725
[6] Belomorsko-Baltiyskiy kanal – perspektivy v gabaritakh [White Sea-Baltic Canal – perspectives in size], July 11, 2014, 00:06. Korabel.ru. URL: https://www.korabel.ru/news/comments/belomorsko-baltiyskiy_kanal_-_perspektivy_v_gabaritah.html
[7] Turistam iz Norvegii predlozhat marshrut po Belomorkanalu. Novye turisticheskie planiruyut zapustit’ do 2024 goda [Tourists from Norway will be offered a route along the Belomorkanal. The new tourist is scheduled to launch by 2024], June 2, 2020, 14:37. Respublika. URL: http://rk.karelia.ru/ekonomika/turistam-iz-norvegii-predlozhat-marshrut-po-belomorkanalu/
[8] Stoyanka u petroglifov. Proekt turisticheskogo kompleksa ryadom s belomorskimi petroglifami: neytral’naya arkhitektura dlya budushchego ob’ekta iz spiska UNESCO [Parking at the petroglyphs. The project of a tourist complex near the White Sea petroglyphs: neutral architecture for a future object from the UNESCO list], October 01, 2020. Archi.ru. URL: https://archi.ru/russia/87514/stoyanka-u-petroglifov
[9] Comprehensive renovation plan and background infrastructure expansion for the period until 2024. Government of the Russian Federation. URL: http://static.government.ru/media/files/mMrrbr3q9P6cGfWP3WxSmf7lCvAhrLob.pdf
[10] Serova N.A., Serova V.A. Critical tendencies of the transport infrastructure development in the Russian Arctic. Arktika i Sever [Arctic and North], 2019, no. 36, pp. 42–56. DOI: 10.17238/issn2221-2698.2019.36.42
 
 
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NDI POLICY BRIEF 11: Arctic shipping needs anti-avoidance rules to mitigate environmental disasters

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Global warming will accelerate the melting of ice and release some of the Arctic territories for shipping. On the one hand, it will have a positive impact on world trade but on the other hand, the risk of ship accidents and environmental disasters will increase. In the period from 2010 to 2019, 512 ship accidents in Arctic Circle Waters were reported, not without damage to the environment. However, today's legal structure of the shipping industry makes it virtually impossible to make the ultimate owners of ships liable and responsible for environmental costs. There is no international regulation that would pressure the shipping industry to increase its corporate responsibility and to make more sustainable decisions of using clean fuels, improving the environmental friendliness of ships, or recycling old ships.

  • Recommendation 1. To improve availability and transparency of ultimate beneficial ownership data in the shipping industry.
  • Recommendation 2. To develop mechanisms to hold the ship's ultimate beneficial owners liable for maritime incidents such as oil spills.
  • Recommendation 3. To design anti-avoidance rules applicable to the use of flags of convenience and last-voyage flags (in the spirit of anti-tax avoidance rules).

The Policy Brief can be downloaded here.

For more information, please contact the author:
Dmitry Erokhin, International Institute for Applied System Analysis, erokhin [a] iiasa.ac.at

This policy brief was written as a part of the NDI Policy Brief Training held in October 2020. 

Registration to the ND Future Forum 2020 on COVID-19 Is Now Open

We invite you to the ND Future Forum 2020:

Combatting COVID-19 in the Northern Dimension Area

Event Details
Date: Thursday, December 3 at 9 AM - 3.30 PM (CET)
Venue: Online


Please register for the event no later than November 26 here >

The Future Forum event consists of two sessions:

Session 1
9 am - 12 pm CET
“We are in it Together” – Enhancing Regional Knowledge Exchange to Combat COVID-19
The morning session organised by the Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being (NDPHS) explores the health-related challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It functions as a platform for exchanging experiences and strengthening collaboration.

Session 2
1 pm - 3.30 pm CET
Living in the New Normal after COVID-19

The NDI coordinates the afternoon session, a live panel discussion focusing on broader societal impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic, e.g. how did the COVID-19 change the world and how does this change relate to other societal trends. The discussion will be streamed online.

Download the preliminary programme (pdf) here >

Registration for the event:https://webropol.com/ep/nd-future-forum-combatting-covid19-2020
Deadline for the registration is November 26, 2020. Please register as soon as possible due to the limited number of places available.

Feel free to forward this invitation to interested experts in your region.

For further information and an updating agenda, please visit:

ND website, Facebook and Twitter.

NDPHS website, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

We warmly welcome you to the Future Forum 2020!

Professor Riitta Kosonen
Lead Coordinator of the Northern Dimension Institute
Aalto University

Director Ülla-Karin Nurm
NDPHS Secretariat

 

Registration to the ND Future Forum 2020 on Black Carbon Is Now Open

On behalf of Aalto University in Finland, lead coordinator of the Northern Dimension Institute we invite you to the ND Future Forum 2020:

Curbing Black Carbon Emissions in the Northern Dimension Area

Date: November 24, 2020
Time: 12 PM - 4 PM CET
Venue: Online Event (Webex Meetings)

Please register for the event no later than November 17 here >

The Future Forum event consists of two sessions, each of which includes a keynote presentation and a commentary panel.

Session 1: Strategies to reduce the environmental impact of black carbon emissions

Keynote presentation 'The multiple pathways needed to reduce emissions of black carbon affecting the Arctic' by Dr. Mikael Hildén, Director, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), followed by an international commentary panel.

Session 2: Health effects of black carbon emissions and ways of reducing them

Keynote presentation 'Health effects of black carbon in the Northern Dimension area' by Dr. Raimo O. Salonen, Chief Medical Officer, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), followed by an international commentary panel.

Download the preliminary programme (pdf) here >

Registration for the event:https://webropol.com/ep/nd-future-forum-black-carbon-2020
Deadline for the registration is November 17, 2020. Please register as soon as possible due to the limited number of places available.

Feel free to forward this invitation to interested experts in your region.

For further information and agenda, please visit the ND website, Facebook and Twitter.

The second ND Future Forum 2020 event 'Combatting COVID-19 in the Northern Dimension Area' will take place on December 3. A separate invite will be distributed to register for the event.

We warmly welcome you to the Future Forum 2020!

Professor Riitta Kosonen
Lead Coordinator of the Northern Dimension Institute
Aalto University

 
 

NDI Policy Brief 8: Ensuring safety of navigation and reducing transportation costs in the Arctic with digital technologies

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This Policy Brief elaborates recommendations for developing digital technologies that improve the safety of navigation and reduce shipping costs in the Arctic. This issue is of utmost importance for Russia and European countries, since the growing freight traffic requires prompt and secure provision of modern and innovative logistics solutions. The Northern Dimension Partnership for Transportation and Logistics provides a platform for cooperation in this area.

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The following actions are suggested:

  • Organization of a joint digital technology forum for all states interested in the development of the Arctic transport highway to present new solutions that would ensure efficient logistic management of the Arctic seas.
  • Establishment of a joint scientific and educational consortium for active collaboration of information technology companies and scientists in the Northern Dimension area. The consortium could form common proposals in the field of safety and rescue at sea for relevant national ministries and international institutions such as the Arctic Council.
  • Foundation of a unified “road map” for all emergency services (primarily EMERCOM) explaining the legal and managerial nuances of interaction and response in the event of an emergency.
  • Formation of a list of topical issues from suppliers planning or already engaged in the transportation of goods through the Arctic sea, their wishes and suggestions.

The Policy Brief can be downloaded here

For more information, please contact the team of authors at Higher School of Economics, Management and Law of Northern Arctic Federal University, Arkhangelsk, Russia.

Corresponding author Prof. Maksim Zadorin m.zadorin[at]narfu.ru.

Northern Dimension Institute Policy Brief 5 - Euro-Asian land transport links – opportunities for rail

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Northern Dimension Institute Policy Brief 5 - June 2019

Euro-Asian land transport links – opportunities for rail

Growing trade volumes between Asia and Europe, changes in the goods structure and new localization patterns of industries and businesses in Asia and to some extent even in Europe in combination with strategic infrastructure and operational improvements on Euro-Asian land-routes, in particular by China and Russia, are key causes behind increasing rail freight volumes on the Euro-Asian landbridge. There are two groups of land route options, the Northern Routes, passing on some part over Russian territory, and the Southern Routes, bypassing Russia to the South (partly involving sections with ferry/short-sea-traffic via the Caspian and/or the Black Sea).

For the time being,
*only the Northern Routes are fully functioning for rail traffic between China and Europe and there are reasons to assume that they will stay highly competitive against the Southern Routes even once the latter will have been established in full length, i.a. due to a distance advantage to large parts of China.

*the Southern Routes contain important development perspectives i.a. through the possibility to connect to regions and emerging economies in Southern and South-Eastern Asia currently not linked to the Euro-Asian rail landbridge.

Thus, while a certain route competition certainly may arise, the Northern and Southern Routes are also complementary; their (geographical) market focuses have a certain overlap, but are not identical, and their development should be considered with this perspective in mind.

At the same time, there are still serious challenges of infrastructural, organizational and political nature to overcome, until the Southern Routes will be able to show a performance comparable to those of the Northern Routes.

Together the ongoing improvement of the Northern Routes and the gradual evolution of new Southern Routes can be an important impetus and generate a new momentum for the development of rail freight between Asia and Europe.

The Policy Brief authored by Dr. Gerhard Troche is based on his presentation at the Northern Dimension Future Forum on Transport*. You can download the policy brief here: Euro-Asian land transport links – opportunities for rail (pdf).

NDI Policy Brief 5 Euro Asian land transport links opportunities for rail

*The Northern Dimension Institute (NDI) organized the Northern Dimension Future Forum on Transport: Emerging trade routes between Europe and Asia – Impacts of China’s Belt and Road Initiative on Northern Europe on 20 November 2018 in Brussels. It brought together top researchers, decision-makers and leading transport companies to discuss the future developments in land and Arctic maritime connections between Europe and Asia.

Northern Dimension Institute Policy Brief 3: Ensuring the Sustainability of Euro-Asian Transport Connections

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Northern Dimension Institute Policy Brief 3 - February 2019

Ensuring the Sustainability of Euro-Asian Transport Connections

Growth in Euro-Asian trade and rising interest in the Arctic call for coordinated policies

Trade volumes between EU and Asia, particularly China, are constantly growing, which challenges the capacity of existing Euro-Asian land and maritime connections. Together with trends in global logistics, such as increasing interest in multimodal solutions, this creates a need to improve existing transportation infrastructure, and opens up opportunities for the development of new routes.

The increase in EU-Asia trade volumes affects countries located along Northern and Southern routes alike, but specific feature of the ND area is its proximity to the Arctic with its fragile ecosystem. The rising international interest in the natural resources of the Arctic together with its improving accessibility due to changing climate conditions are expected to increase traffic in this area. This surges the need for policies that ensure the social, economic and environmental sustainability of transportation infrastructure in the ND area. Future transportation solutions need to be developed in a manner that are cost-effective, safe and environmentally friendly.

The complexity of the Europe-Asia transportation architecture implies that policy-making in the ND area needs to take into account the interests of national, regional, EU-level and external parties.  For example, many of the planned transport and logistics investments to the ND area are linked to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Aligning of sometimes competing interests of different players is not an easy task. Yet, risks associated with increasing transportation volumes are shared, which serves a motivation to jointly develop solutions that help improving the safety and sustainability of Euro-Asian transport connections.

The Policy Brief based on the ND Future Forum on Transport* is now available. You can download the policy brief here: Ensuring the Sustainability of Euro-Asian Transport Connections (pdf).

NDI Policy Brief Ensuring the Sustainability of Euro Asian Transport Connections

Authors:

Dr. Elena Rovenskaya, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Dr. Päivi Karhunen & Prof. Riitta Kosonen & Piia Heliste, CEMAT & Northern Dimension Institute

*The Northern Dimension Institute (NDI) organized the Northern Dimension Future Forum on Transport: Emerging trade routes between Europe and Asia – Impacts of China’s Belt and Road Initiative on Northern Europe on 20 November 2018 in Brussels. It brought together top researchers, decision-makers and leading transport companies to discuss the future developments in land and Arctic maritime connections between Europe and Asia. The event featured two knowledge arenas consisting of expert and practitioner interventions followed by decision maker comments and a moderated discussion.

Emerging Euro-Asian land and Arctic maritime trade routes open new business opportunities

The Northern Dimension Institute (NDI) organized the Northern Dimension Future Forum on Transport: Emerging trade routes between Europe and Asia – Impacts of China’s Belt and Road Initiative on Northern Europe on 20 November 2018 in Brussels. The event gathered over 60 participants, researchers, decision-makers and leading transport companies to discuss the future developments in land and Arctic maritime connections between Europe and Asia. The event featured two knowledge arenas of brief researcher presentations followed by comments and a moderated discussion. Ms. Cathy Smith from Speak-Easy moderated the event.

Professor Riitta Kosonen, Director of the Center for Markets in Transition, Aalto University, and the Lead Coordinator of the NDI, opened the event with an overview of the role of NDI in the Northern Dimension policy and supporting the work of the four Northern Dimension Partnerships. In November 2018, NDI organizes four Northern Dimension Future Forums in close collaboration with the ND Partnerships focusing on the jointly selected topics and the work is planned to continue through a three-year-project on a Northern Dimension Think Tank.

ND Future Forum on Transport Riitta Kosonen web
Riitta Kosonen, NDI Lead Coordinator

In his welcoming words, Mr. Oddgeir Danielsen, Director of the Northern Dimension Partnership on Transport and Logistics (NDPTL) underlined the need for evidence-based knowledge and better understanding of the opportunities, which the new trade routes between Europe and Asia can offer. In his presentation Mr. Danielsen showed a picture that gave something to think about. According to Mr. Danielsen, within that circle (highlighted in the picture below) is living more people than outside the circle and that is one reason why Belt and Route iniative has gained so much interest.

ND Future Forum on Transport Oddgeir Danielsen web
Oddgeir Danielsen, NDPTL

Mr. Gunnar Wiegand, Managing Director for Asia and Pacific, European External Action Service, European Commission, gave an overview of the EU approach to the potential and challenges of the emerging trade routes between Europe and Asia. In line with the newly launched Euro-Asian connectivity strategy, EU enhances multilateralism, sustainable, comprehensive, long-term and rules-based connectivity to ensure safety and prosperity for societies in Europe and Asia, China and India. EU strongly supports strengthening synergies, transparency and level playing field for companies and the key stakeholders in building cross-border connections and transport, energy, digital and human networks, also with Russia.

ND Future Forum on Transport Gunnar Wiegand web
Gunnar Wiegand, EEAS

Mr. Maxim Ilyukhin, Deputy Head of the Division of the International Cooperation Department, Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation, introduced developments underway of the Euro-Asian transport links. The ongoing infrastructure developments aim at modernizing and expanding the mainland infrastructure and interconnection of regions, improving safety, sustainability and reliability in sea, railway and roads by 2024. Capacity and security of seaports are enhanced with transport of containers reduced to seven days. In total, 13 main railway routes are working in between Europe and Asia. Russian satellite system is utilized in developing digital system with additional services for transport, fully automated measurement and data collection system. Russia is open for constructive dialogue and the NDPTL Roadmap would provide possibilities to develop further the international collaboration in transport.

ND Future Forum on Transport Maxim Ilyukhin web
Maxim Ilykhin, Ministry of Transport, Russia

In the Knowledge Arena 1, the presentations focused on land connections between Europe and Asia. Dr. Gerhard Troche, Senior Scientific Researcher – Rail Freight and European Issues / EU Rail Freight Corridors, Royal Institute of Technology KTH, Sweden, gave an overview of the railway links between Europe and Asia, development trends, route options and challenges. In her presentation, Dr. Elena Rovenskaya, Program Director, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis IIASA, Austria, focused on challenges and opportunities of the transportation developments and economic cooperation between the EU, the Eurasian Economic Union, China and other key Asian actors.

Mr. Tero Kosonen from the Finnish national railway company VR Transpoint, introduced the cross-border traffic to Russia and the railway corridor from Finland via Russia to Asia, lessons learnt and future developments. Mr. Ainis Stūrmanis, Vice-president, SJSC Latvian Railways, Latvia, highlighted the Latvian Railway logistic routes and opportunities for developing multimodal routes between Europe and China. Mr. Viktor Golomolzin, Head of the Kaliningrad Railways, JSC Russian Railways, introduced transport and logistics potential and capabilities of the Kaliningrad region including multimodal transit via seaport and railway to China.

In the moderated discussion, commentators, Mr. Risto Murto, Development Manager from the Finnish Transport Agency and Ms. Merja Kyllönen, Member of European Parliament, pointed out that increasing trade volumes and infrastructure developments increase interest in railroad transport between Europe and China. This creates needs for new services, better knowledge and information, inclusion of all the key stakeholders in further developments.

In the Knowledge Arena 2, the speakers focused on highlighting Arctic Maritime Connections. Associate Professor Bjørn Gunnarsson from the Centre for High North Logistics (CHNL) at Nord University Business School, Bodø, Norway, introduced ship traffic analysis on the Northern Sea Route (NSR) until 2017 and developments in the transport and logistics system. Project Manager Piia Heliste from the Aalto University gave an outlook to the business views about the shipping in the NSR. According to the companies and experts, key incentives for using the NSR are connected to the time and fuel savings. Future role of the NSR as an international transit route depends on factors such as natural conditions, infrastructure developments, additional costs of the Arctic shipping, and the overall unpredictability of the route.

Mr. Leonid Irlitsa, captain of nuclear icebreaker of the Rosatomflot, introduced developments of the Russian atomic icebreaking fleet for support of Arctic navigation. General Manager Mr. Carsten Andersen from the Nordic Bulk Carriers A/S, Denmark highlighted experiences from the NSR as one of the first companies to open the NSR for commercial purposes on dry cargo vessels since 2010. Mr. Hafsteinn Helgason, Business Development and R&D Director from the EFLA Consulting Engineers, Iceland, introduced the Finnafjord public-private-partnership project in large transport infrastructure development in Iceland.

In the moderated discussion, Ms. Marie-Anne Coninsx, Ambassador at Large for Arctic Affairs of the European Union, underlined the increasing economic interests in the Arctic. This has impact on global shipping industry as well as political relations with Russia and China. The challenge in the Arctic is to balance between the economic possibilities and environmental sustainability. Ms. Magda Kopczynska, Director, DG for Mobility and Transport, pointed out that the IMO International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code) provides legal framework for international collaboration to ensure sustainability in the Arctic shipping. According to Ms. Tone Cecilia Lang, Councellor, Mission of Norway to the European Union, 80 % of the Arctic shipping passes Norwegian waters. In the maritime strategies, Norway prioritizes maritime safety and rescue services as well as environmental sustainability.

ND Future Forum on Transport second knowledge arena web
Knowledge Arena 2, Cathy Smith, Carsten Andersen, Leonid Irlitsa, Hafsteinn Helgason, Bjørn Gunnarsson, Piia Heliste, Marie-Anne Coninsx, Magda Kopczynska and Tone Cecilia Lang

The event was organized by the Northern Dimension Institute together with the Northern Dimension Partnership on Transport and Logistics and financed by the European Commission/DG NEAR and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.
The Northern Dimension Institute is a an open university network, which is coordinated by the Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland, as the Lead Coordinator in cooperation with the Northern (Arctic) Federal University and the St Petersburg State University of Economics in Russia.

Programme of the event can be found here(pdf).

Webcasts from the ND Future Forum on Transport and the ND Future Forum on Environment are available below:

The webcast is available until 20 May 2019.

Presentations made in the forum are available below (pdfs).

Opening presentation, Mr. Oddgeir Danielsen, Director, Northern Dimension Partnership on Transport and Logistics
Perspective Development of Euro-Asian Transport Links, Mr. Maxim Ilyukhin, Deputy Head of the Division of the International Cooperation Department, Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation, Russia

Knowledge Arena 1: Land connections between Europe and Asia
Transit Potential of Kaliningrad Railway, Mr. Victor Golomolzin, Head of the Kaliningrad Railways, JSC Russian Railways, Russia
Railway links between Europe and Asia, Dr. Gerhard Troche, Senior Scientific Researcher – Rail Freight and European Issues / EU Rail Freight Corridors, Royal Institute of Technology KTH, Sweden
Challenges and Opportunities of the Transportation Developments and Economic Integration Processes in the Greater Eurasia, Dr. Elena Rovenskaya, Program Director, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis IIASA, Austria
Railway Corridor Finland-Asia, Mr. Tero Kosonen, Director Sales & Marketing, VR Transpoint, Finland
Asia from/ to Europe railway network – shorten the distance. The new Silk route – opportunities for European railway network, Mr. Ainis Stūrmanis, Vice-president, SJSC Latvian Railways, Latvia

Knowledge Arena 2: Arctic Maritime Connections
Ship Traffic Analysis on the NSR and development of the NSR’s Transport and Logistics System, Mr. Bjørn Gunnarsson, Associate Professor, Centre for High North Logistics (CHNL) at Nord University Business School, Bodø, Norway
Business views on the Northern Sea Route, Ms. Piia Heliste, Project Manager, Aalto University, Finland
Atomic icebreaking fleet development for support of Arctic navigation, Mr. Leonid Irlitsa, Captain of nuclear icebreaker, Rosatomflot, Russia
Experiences from the Northern Sea Route, Mr. Carsten Andersen, General Manager, Nordic Bulk Carriers A/S, Denmark
Public-private-partnerships in large infrastructure projects: Case Finna Fjord, Mr. Hafsteinn Helgason, Business Development and R&D Director, EFLA Consulting Engineers, Iceland

NORTHERN DIMENSION FUTURE FORUM ON TRANSPORT: Emerging trade routes between Europe and Asia, 20 Nov 2018, Brussels

Emerging trade routes between Europe and Asia – Impacts of China’s Belt and Road Initiative on Northern Europe
 
DATE: Tuesday 20 November 2018, at 9:00 – 14:00
VENUE: Thon Hotel EU, Rue de la Loi 75, 1040 Brussels, Belgium
 
The Forum showcases recent research, policies and business initiatives in Northern Europe focusing on Euro-Asian railway connections and the Arctic maritime connections. The event features two knowledge arenas consisting of expert and practitioner interventions followed by decision maker comments and a moderated discussion.
 
 
The Northern Dimension (ND) is a joint policy of four equal partners: the European Union (EU), Russian Federation, Norway and Iceland aiming at supporting stability, well-being and sustainable development in the region by means of practical cooperation. The Northern Dimension Future Forums focus on issues, trends and challenges that will shape the future developments in the Northern Dimension priority themes (environment, transport & logistics, culture, and health & social wellbeing) throughout the ND area and need to be somehow addressed in all the ND countries and beyond. They serve as knowledge exchange and brainstorming platforms connecting researchers, academic experts, NGOs, business and policy-makers.
 
The ND Future Forums are organized by the Northern Dimension Institute in collaboration with the four Northern Dimension Partnerships: Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP), Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being (NDPHS), Northern Dimension Partnership on Transport and Logistics (NDPTL), and Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC). The organization of the ND Future Forums is financially supported by the European Commission/DG NEAR and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. For more information visit: northerndimension.info

Register to the Northern Dimension Future Forums in November 2018!

The Northern Dimension Future Forums will focus on issues, trends and challenges that will shape the future developments in the Northern Dimension (ND) priority themes (environment, transport & logistics, culture, and health & social wellbeing) throughout the ND area and need to be somehow addressed in all the ND countries and beyond. Such issues include, for example, role of creative industries in renewing innovation and industries, role of renewable energy, automatization of transport, increasing antimicrobial resistance of bacteria, and digitalization as an overarching theme to name just a few relevant examples. The ND Future Forums will facilitate decision makers in tackling future challenges and pinning down future potential thereby contributing to sustainable economic progress in the ND area.

Northern Dimension Future Forums in 2018:
 
Creating a better world through cultural and creative crossovers
DATE: Thu 15th Nov 2018, at 12.00-16.00
VENUE: Hotel Radisson Sonya, Liteyny Prospekt 5/19, St. Petersburg, Russia
 
Programme (pdf)
 
Registration is open and can be found here (link).
 
Black Carbon and Climate Change in the European Arctic
DATE: Mon 19th November 2018, at 13.00-18.00
VENUE: Thon Hotel EU, Rue de la Loi 75, Brussels, Belgium
 
Programme (pdf)
 
Registration is open and can be found here (link).
 
Emerging trade routes between Europe and Asia – Impacts of China’s Belt and Road Initiative on Northern Europe
DATE: Tue 20th November 2018, at 9.00 - 14.00
VENUE: Thon Hotel EU, Rue de la Loi 75, Brussels, Belgium
 
 
Registration is open and can be found here (link).
 
Healthy Ageing
DATE: Wed 28th November 2018, at 10.00 - 17.00
VENUE: Heureka, the Finnish Science Center, address: Tiedepuisto 1, Vantaa, Finland
 
Programme (pdf)
 
Registration is open and can be found here (link).
 
Each Forum will specialize in each of the four ND priority themes: environment, transport & logistics, culture, and health & social wellbeing.
The ND Future Forums will be organized by ND Institute in cooperation with the ND Partnerships. The events are organized with support of the European Commission and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. The Forums are free of charge and open to everyone interested in the topic.
 
Welcome to the ND Future Forums!
 

Funding available to support transport projects

From 30 October 2017, you can apply for funding under the 2018-2020 Horizon 2020 Work Programme through three calls that are open for proposal submission. The total available funding is €267 million.

Open calls:

  • Calls on Mobility for Growth (two stages and single stage)
  • Call on Automated Road Transport
  • Call on Green Vehicles

These calls are part of the Smart, Green and Integrated Transport Challenge.

The specific focus of these three calls is to support research and innovation activities in relation with low-carbon and sustainable transport; automated road transport; electrified vehicles; safe and resilient transport systems; European industrial leadership as well as behavioural issues and user needs for mobility solutions.

For more information, please see INEA's website.

Horizon 2020 Transport Info day Wednesday, 13 Dec 2017, Brussels

The info daywill take place in the morning of 13 December 2017 in Brussels. It will address potential applicants to the Horizon 2020 'Smart, green and integrated transport'calls for funding under the 2018 – 2020 Horizon 2020 Work Programme, with the focus on funding opportunities in 2018.

About the event
Presentations will cover various transport topics of the new Horizon 2020 Work Programme, as well as provide detailed information on the selection process and on the upcoming calls for funding.

A brokerage event will be organised by the National Contact Points and will take place in the afternoon.

The draft agenda will be published soon.

Registration
The registration for the info day will open in mid-October. Stay tuned!

Event date and venue
Wednesday, 13 December in the European Commission's Charlemagne Building, Rue de la Loi 170, 1000 Brussels

Presentations covering the 2018-2020 Horizon 2020 Work Programme will take place in the morning.

A brokerage event will take place in the afternoon.

Open Call for Companies to Access Free Analytical Research

The Baltic TRAM project offers companies free access to state-of-the-art analytical research facilities across the Baltic Sea Region, providing technical and scientific expertise to help solve challenges associated with developing new products or services. The project now accepts applications.

Companies selected for support will receive scientific advice tailored to their specific business needs. More precisely, they will be provided with free measurements of material samples on micro, nano- or molecular scale, and consultations with experts in analytical research facilities and research institutes. Through these services, companies will be able to upscale the knowledge of their materials’ properties and help improve their product portfolio or in-house manufacturing processes.

A network of Industrial Research Centers (IReCs) stand ready to provide support in the process. The IReCs are business-support units that can help applicants throughout the entire application process - from formulating a product or process challenge to designing follow-up activities that support the companies in applying the knowledge gained in their product or manufacturing processes.

Companies based in EU member states are eligible to apply. To initiate the procedure, contact a national Industrial Research Center (IReC) for consultations. More information about the process, as well as contact details to the IReCs is available here.

Baltic TRAM is an international project, partly funded by the European Union’s Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme. The overall objective is to boost innovation, secure the implementation of smart specialization strategies, and encourage entrepreneurship by supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, thus contributing to the regional effort of making the Baltic Sea Region innovative, sustainable and competitive.

 

www.baltic-tram.eu

Promoting clean shipping by learning from sulphur regulations - project Envisum

Air pollution control of ships is receiving a lot of attention. While international organisations and governments have been actively fighting greenhouse gas emissions from industry and cars since the 1970s, ships were tackled only at the beginning of this millennium. Decreasing sulphur emissions has been in focus for the past years with a step-wise tightening of sulphur limits in fuelling ships. The Baltic Sea is a forerunner and test region for tighter limits. The cooperation project EnviSuM looks into the effects of the latest sulphur-limit tightening on human health, environment and the economy, namely the shipping sector.

Centre for Maritime Studies of the University of Turku is the lead partner of the Interreg project.

Read more on Interreg Baltic Sea website or visit the EnviSuM project page.

AGH University of Science and Technology: elimination of overloaded vehicles from roads

AGH University of Science and Technology has signed a collaboration agreement with companies operating within the framework of the Cluster of Intelligent Transportation Systems, designed for the dynamic weighing of vehicles on the move. In the near future, these systems may become a key element related to the improvement of the condition of road infrastructure and safety on roads.

The main task of the team is the introduction to the administrative use in Poland the systems of the dynamic weighing of vehicles in motion.

Read more on the AGH UST website.

Lund University: New app makes the transport industry transparent

Swedish road freight companies that abide by work environment legislation, taxation regulations and environmental agreements have had a hard time surviving on a market where illegal transport operators can perform the same services at a much lower cost. A new app being developed at Lund University in Sweden makes the entire chain of transport visible to consumers.

The app is based on blockchain technology, which means that the transported products leave digital tracks at every stop they make on their way to the customer. The information is then collected in a database that is visible to all who are links in the chain, including the customer in the store.

Read the whole story on Lund University website.

EU Commission releases report on the development of the rail market

The European Commission adopted the fifth report on the development of the European rail market. The report shows that EU legislation on rail, which encourages competitiveness and market opening, has led to a more efficient and customer-responsive industry. In Member States where rail markets are opened, competition can result overall in lower fares for customers and better value for taxpayers. After adoption of the 4th Railway Package, the focus of the Commission will be on the implementation of existing legislation to bring about further performance improvement.

Download the full report on Commission webpage.

Publication: Maritime activity in the High North - current and estimated level up to 2025

The key purpose of the research consortium is to assess the risk of the increased maritime activity in the High North and the challenges this increase may represent for the preparedness institutions in this region.

Project partners include actors from Norway, Greenland, Iceland and Russia (Northern Dimension co-coordinatorNorthern (Arctic) Federal University being one of them.

The report gives a picture of the current commercial and government maritime activity in the sea areas north of the Arctic Circle from the Kara Sea, along the Northwest coast of Russia, the Northern coast of Norway, around Svalbard, Iceland and Greenland up to the Baffin Bay. Furthermore, the report offers estimation of the future maritime activity level in the area up to 2025.

Download the report on the website.

Report: International support for the North-East Passage telecommunications cable

Constructing a telecommunications cable between Europe and Asia via the North-East Passage would be politically and technologically feasible, says a report presented to Finland's Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner by Paavo Lipponen and Reijo Svento. If the project was carried out, the cable would significantly speed up telecommunications between Europe and Asia and respond to the increasing capacity needs. It would also benefit the national economies in Europe, Russia and Asia.

According to the report, the key countries, among them Russia, China, Japan and Norway, would be interested in being involved in the project. A number of businesses were contacted during the course of the report's preparation.

Download the full report on the Ministry of Transport and Communications website.

Promoting clean shipping by learning from sulphur regulations: survey ongoing

Air pollution control of ships is receiving a lot of attention. While international organisations and governments have been actively fighting greenhouse gas emissions from industry and cars since the 1970s, ships were tackled only at the beginning of this millennium. Decreasing sulphur emissions has been in focus for the past years with a step-wise tightening of sulphur limits in fuelling ships. The Baltic Sea is a forerunner and test region for tighter limits. The cooperation project EnviSuM looks into the effects of the latest sulphur-limit tightening on human health, environment and the economy, namely the shipping sector.

Read more about the project on Interreg Baltic Sea website.

Currently, the University of Tallinn is running a survey about the economic impacts of Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) regulations on maritime market stakeholders. Maritime stakeholders from across the Baltic Sea region are encouraged to express their views. The comments will help policy makers get a better view of challenges that maritime stakeholder face. Participate the survey on this link.

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.

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.

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