The newly established International Arctic Hub in Nuuk, Greenland, which is a joint initiative between Denmark and Greenland, has appointed a board of directors to manage the important task of the hub’s implementation.
The purpose of the International Arctic Hub (IAH) is to establish a unique and unifying platform in Greenland for Greenlandic, Danish and international polar researchers and Arctic stakeholders. It is intended that IAH will assist in the coordination of activities regarding research, education, international cooperation, dissemination of information to the public, collaboration between researchers and business and administrative cooperation. The basis for the hub’s work can be found in the joint vision for IAH. The vision outlines a number of focus areas, which collectively will contribute to the entire scientific ecosystem, ranging from primary research to applied research as well as communication, teaching and education.
The first step in the realisation of the IAH has been to appoint a joint board of directors. The Chairman of the Board is appointed by the Danish Minister of Education and Research, Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen, while the other board members are appointed by the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education in Denmark and Naalakkersuisut in Greenland, respectively.
Chairman of the Board: Ulrik S. Korsholm, Head of Research, the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI)
- Lise-Lotte Terp, Executive Director, Arctic Consensus
- Torben Røjle Christensen, Professor, Aarhus University
- Gitte Agerhus, Head of Office, Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education
- Hans Kristian Olsen, Research Coordinator, Ilisimatusarfik
- Carl Egede Bøggild, Senior Advisor, The Ministry of Education, Culture and Church, The Government of Greenland
- Pauline Knudsen, Head of Greenland Visitor Center
- Mette Moth Henriksen, The Ministry of Industry, Energy, Research and Labour, The Government of Greenland
“The establishment of an international Arctic hub in Greenland, which can become a new international meeting place for Arctic research, comes at a really good time”, said Chairman Ulrik S. Korsholm. “There is considerable focus on the Arctic region and there is significant demand for additional knowledge about the Arctic. Together, Denmark and Greenland can create a platform for international collaboration that can enhance the utilisation of research conducted in Greenland. We are talking about knowledge that can benefit both local citizens, the business community as well, and the global community”, stated Korsholm.
At the top of the Board’s to-do list is hiring a manager for the IAH secretariat in Nuuk, which will manage the daily operations and development of the hub in Greenland. IAH is financed jointly by Denmark, which contributes DKK 3.0 million annually and Greenland, which contributes DKK 0.75 million annually through the Danish national budget. During the initial phase, the Board of Directors will be serviced by the Board of Research and Education until the IAH Secretariat in Nuuk is in place.
The Government of Greenland is currently working on a Research Strategy to describe Naalakkersuisut’s long-term visions and goals for Greenlandic and international research in the country. The forthcoming research strategy also contains an action plan that outlines a number of initiatives that will help realise the strategy’s vision and goals. The establishment of the IAH represents one of the initiatives contained in the action plan.
The establishment of the IAH should also be interpreted as an aspect of Denmark’s 2019-20 Foreign and Security Policy Strategy. Additionally, the IAH is a component in Greenland and Denmark’s efforts to create and facilitate increased international cooperation in the Arctic, as laid out in the Arctic Council’s ‘Agreement on Enhancing International Arctic Scientific Cooperation’, which was accepted by Greenland, Denmark and the other Arctic states in 2017.