Cooperation agreement between UNIS and SINTEF

Cooperation agreement between UNIS and SINTEF

Top image: UNIS director Ole Arve Misund and SINTEF CEO Unni Steinsmo after signing the cooperation agreement. Photo: Gunnar Sand/SINTEF.

On Monday 15 December 2014, UNIS and SINTEF signed a cooperation agreement. The two institutions intend to collaborate on relevant research and infrastructure in Svalbard.

19 December 2015
Press release from UNIS

– Our institutions share the ambition to be a driving force for a knowledge-based and sustainable development in the High North, and this ambition will be the cornerstone for our joint activities, says UNIS director Ole Arve Misund.

– We will also cooperate on measures to strengthen the local communities in Svalbard, i.a. through the development of knowledge and innovation which may be relevant for the management, business and social functions, says SINTEF CEO Unni Steinsmo.

Cooperation on several arenas
The agreement will facilitate cooperation on:

  • Joint research projects
  • Teaching
  • Dissemination to the public
  • Logistics resources and scientific equipment
  • Exchange of information and data
  • Development of joint strategic initiatives

Among other things, UNIS would like to involve SINTEF in the further development of the courses at UNIS, particularly in Arctic Technology.

The background for the cooperation agreement is SINTEF’s history of research activities in the Barents Sea and Svalbard since the 1980s, primarily in technical subjects related to petroleum, environment and maritime operations.

SINTEF contributed during the process of establishing UNIS in 1992–93, and later at the startup of the department of Arctic Technology. Numeral SINTEF staff have been employed at UNIS in full or part time positions. Two UNIS directors, Tore Jørgensen and Gunnar Sand, came from SINTEF. Between them they led UNIS through 10 of its first 20 years.

Complementary institutions
UNIS and SINTEF are independent organisations with different roles and business conditions. UNIS’ core tasks are in education and basic research. As the Norwegian universities’ polar extension, UNIS holds a national position in the Arctic. SINTEF is an independent, not-for-profit research institute that focuses on knowledge generation and development of technological solutions that are brought into practical use. SINTEF is among Europe’s largest technological institutes. The institutions are complementary and the cooperation is based on mutual respect and a wish to draw on each other’s distinctive qualities.’

UNIS and SINTEF already cooperate through the following initiatives:

  • Sustainable Arctic Marine and Coastal Technology (SAMCoT) – Centre for Research-based Innovation (SFI) on Arctic technology led by NTNU, UNIS and SINTEF are partners.
  • UNIS CO2 Lab – UNIS subsidiary on CO2 capture and storage with SINTEF as research partner.
  • Consortium for Arctic petroleum activity – strategic arena for project development regarding petroleum activities in the Arctic. Both UNIS and SINTEF are partners.
  • ConocoPhillips-Lundin Arctic Research Programme – UNIS and SINTEF both have projects within the programme, with potential for collaboration.
  • Svea Arctic Research Infrastructure (SARI) – SINTEF project where UNIS has been invited as partner (part of the consortium cooperation).
  • Study Tour North – UNIS is a partner in the SINTEF-led study tour since 2006.


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