As the world's northernmost university, University of Tromsø is situated in the city of Tromsø, population 70.000 of which 10.000 are students. The university has six departments: Social sciences and humanities, Science and Technology, Law, Medicine, The Arts and finally Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics. One of the main research agendas of the university is connected to Arctic issues, and especially to the maritime side of the Arctic.
In Tromsø there is substantial activity related to observation of the Earth from different orbiting technologies. Satellites and UAV's are currently the most common. The actors within this field have been steadily expanding for the last 15-20 years. Today around 250 people work within remote sensing in Tromsø. The University and the different actors within the earth observation field have joined forces and established a common structure to better facilitate communication, projects and to increase their ability to be ahead of the ongoing processes, both in national and international terms. This Centre is Tromsø Centre for Remote Sensing.
Tromsø is an Arctic hub with international connections and research cooperation worldwide. The Norwegian Government has therefore chosen Tromsø as the location for a new Arctic Centre for Climate and the Environment. Based on these institutions the Norwegian government decided in June 2010 that their ocean management and information system BarentsWatch should be placed in Tromsø.
The Centre for Remote Sensing is working together with European Space Agency and its members on a assessing the possibility for a web portal for accessing various Arctic Earth Observation products that has potential for a concrete source of content for the EU AIC services.