Sweden’s Strategy for the Arctic Region (2011), Ministry of Foreign Affairs


The Swedish Polar Research Secretariat is a government agency under the Ministry of Education and Research that promotes and co-ordinates Swedish polar research and development, as well as monitor, promote and assist in international negotiations, collaborations and cooperation with the EU. The Secretariat follows and plans research and development, as well as to organise and lead research expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic regions. The Secretariat actively works to improve environmental protection in the polar regions. The Swedish Polar Research Secretariat has a long time agreement with the Swedish Maritime Authority to use the research vessel and icebreaker Oden for research purposes. The Secretariat also operates Abisko Scientific Research Station, an INTERACT member about 200 km north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden. The Tarfala Research Station, another INTERACT member and operated by Stockholm University, is situated in the highalpine Kebnekaise Mountains, northern Sweden and close to Storglaciären, one of the best studied glaciers in the world. The Stockholm, Lund, Umeå and Uppsala Universities are amongst the universities who provide institutional support for Arctic research, as does theRoyal Insitute of Technology, KTH and theSwedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Research institutions like theStockholm Environmental Institute, the Stockholm Resilience Centre and the Stockholm Peace Research Institute also have long-term Arctic programmes. Similarly, the FOI, which conducts security and defence research mainly – but not exclusively – for the Swedish Defence Force, is also conducting research into Arctic security issues.

A recent institutional initiative with a very specific Arctic focus is the establishment of the Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University (Arcum). Arcum is rooted in the Northern Studies research focus of the University of Umeå more generally. Research within the framework of Arcum is of relevance for the society and is a response to the demand for research-based knowledge. It provides a multi-disciplinary response to present and future demands of research-based knowledge for a sustainable development in the north.

The Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF) is a governmental research institute

which runs the Polar Atmospheric Research Programme, comprising of studies of the dynamics, electrodynamics, chemistry and aeronomy of the troposphere, stratosphere and mesosphere. The Swedish National Space Board in cooperation with the European Space Agency and specifically Canada, Finland, and France also operates the Odin satellite, which has an Arctic specific mission in its study of ozone depletion. Launched in 2001, the Odin was designed to combine two scientific disciplines on a single spacecraft in studies of starformation/early solar system (astronomy) and of the mechanisms behind the depletion of the ozone layer in the earth’s atmosphere and the effects of global warming (aeronomy).

The European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association (EISCAT) has its headquarters in Kiruna, Sweden. The experimental sites of EISCAT are located in the Scandinavian sector north of the Arctic Circle. Investments and operational costs are shared between the China Research Institute of Radiowave Propagation, People’s Republic of China, National Institute of Polar Research, Japan, the Research Council of Norway, Science and Technology Facilities Council, United Kingdom, Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory, Nagoya University, Japan, the Finish Academy, Finland and the Swedish Research Council. It was established to conduct research on the lower, middle and upper atmosphere and ionosphere using the incoherent scatter radar technique.

Environment Climate Data Sweden (ECDS) is an infrastructural initiative facilitating the searching, publication and long-term storage of data for research in the fields of environment and climate. The ECDS consists of a clearinghouse mechanism, allowing for the searching and publication of relevant data; and a service infrastructure, providing additional support to scientists throughout the whole research process. It contains Sweden’s IPY data and is a repository of past and current data from Swedish polar research expeditions. ECDS is hosted by the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI), a government agency that manages and develops information on weather, water and climate that provides knowledge and advanced decision-making data for public services, the private sector and the general public. SMHI also conducts Arctic Research.

Other state institutions with Arctic or Northern specific tasks include the Swedish Maritime Administration, which apart from Oden, is also responsible for Sweden’s icebreaker fleet, providing crucial infrastructural support in the Baltic and the Gulf of Bothnia. The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management is responsible for fishing and environmental monitoring and research activities and their international unit is also responsible for the relevant international agreements that concerns the Arctic. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency provides the institutional base for Swedish initiatives relating to environmental protection of the Arctic and the Swedish Forest Agency. It also has a section focussing specifically on Northern forestry. The Swedish state-owned mining company, Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara AB (LKAB) has subsidiaries and operations in a number of countries around the world. Their major assets are the iron ore mines in Sweden’s far north, including Kiruna. Other than building and maintaining rail and port infrastructures, the company is undertaking the major task of moving a sector of Kiruna itself – including most of the town centre – in order to facilitate the expansion of mining operations.

European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument

The European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) supports the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). It has been operational since 1 January 2007. Together with the ERDF it co-­‐funds programmes such as Kolarctic, a development programme in which the northern regions of Finland, Sweden, Norway and the Russian Federation participates. The 2007-­‐2013 budget for Kolarctic has amounted to €70.48 million, of which €28.4 million was EU funding.

  • SWEDEN is a member to theintergovernmental Barents Euro-Arctic Region Council along with Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and the European Commission.
  • Sweden participates at Polar View (PV), an initiative by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Commission, with participation from the Canadian Space Agency, under the Copernicus Programme. Current PV service lines include: sea ice monitoring and forecasting; iceberg monitoring; ice edge monitoring; ice drift trajectories; river ice monitoring; lake ice monitoring; glacier monitoring; snow monitoring


  • Lycksele Municipality, Umeå University, Åre municipalityare are partners to Clim-ATIC (Climate Change — Adapting to The Impacts, by Communities in Northern Peripheral Regions), a project aime at supporting rural peripheral communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Clim-ATIC is partially financed by the EU by the Northern Periphery Programme.
  • Swedish Meteorological & Hydrological Institute is partner to CryoLand, a project aimed at developing, implementing and validating an operational sustainable service for monitoring snow and land ice. CryoLand is financed by the EU within Copernicus, 7th Framework Programme.
  • Swedish Meteorological & Hydrological Institute is partner to ACCESS (Arctic Climate Change, Economy and Society /Climate Change and the Arctic environment WG), a project aimed at evaluating the Arctic climate change scenarios and their impact on specific economic sectors and human activities over the next decades. The project is fully financed buy the EU by the 7th Framework Programme and Ocean of Tomorrow.
  • The Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics is partner to Arctic Tipping Points, a project aimed at Identifying the elements of the Arctic marine ecosystem likely to show abrupt changes in response to climate change, and establish the levels of the corresponding climate drivers inducing regime shift in those tipping elements. In addition, determine the effect of crossing those thresholds for the Arctic marine ecosystems, and the associated risks and opportunities for economic activities dependent on the marine ecosystem of the European Arctic. Arctic Tipping Points is partially financed by the EU by the 7th Framework Programme.
  • GOETEBORGS UNIVERSITET is partner to EPOCA (European Project on Ocean Acidification) a project for Advancing the understanding of the biological, ecological, biogeochemical, and societal implications of ocean acidification. EPOCA is partially financed by the EU by the 7th Framework Programme.
  • Stockholms Universitet and Lund University are partners to Page21, a project aimed at understanding and quantifying the vulnerability of permafrost environments to a changing global climate, and to investigate the feedback mechanisms associated with increasing greenhouse gas emissions from permafrost zones. Page21 is partially financed by the EU.
  • The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (KVA) is the coordinating body for INTERACT, (International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic) a project aimed at building capacity for identifying, understanding, predicting and responding to diverse environmental changes throughout the wide environmental and land-­‐use. INTERACT is partially financed by the EU by the 7th Framework Programme. Stockholm University (SU) Swedish Polar Research Secretariat (SPRS), Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Uppsala University (UU) are also partners to the project.
  • Stockholm University (SU), EISCAT Scientific Association are partners to SIOS, (Svalbard Integrated Earth Observing System) a project for the creation of an optimized observational infrastructure which can match advanced Earth System Models with observational evidence and provide near--‐real--‐time information on Arctic Change to relevant stakeholders. SIOS is partially financed by the EU by the 7th Framework Programme.
  • Swedish Sea Rescue Society and Chalmers University of Technology are partners to SMACS (Small Craft Emergency Response and Survival Training for Arctic Conditions) a project aiming at developing of a safety and survival training programme specifically focused on the needs of small-­‐craft Arctic mariners. SMACS is partially financed by the EU by the Northern Periphery Programme.

  • County Administrative Board of Norrbotten is partner to the Barents Freeway, a project for the integration of the current transport strategies, plans and projects of each partecipating country into a common Barents Region Transport Strategy. The Barents Freeway is partially financed by Kolarctic ENPI CBC .
  • Chalmers University of Technology is lead partner to SAFEICE, a project aimed at increasing road, rail and waterborne safety and avoiding traffic congestion. SAFEICE was partially financed by the EU by the 6th Framework Programme

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