Funding for new Arctic Safety Centre

Funding for new Arctic Safety Centre

Top image: The Arctic Safety Centre will contribute to as safe and sustainable human activity in the High Arctic as possible. Photo: Joakim Flatøy Aae.

UNIS will receive NOK 7 million over the next three years to establish a new centre for Arctic Safety in Longyearbyen. – This is a huge recognition of the UNIS safety management developed over the years, says director of HSE and safety Fred Skancke Hansen.

25 November 2015
Text: Eva Therese Jenssen / UNIS

The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that UNIS will get funding to establish a new Arctic Safety Centre in Longyearbyen. UNIS will receive NOK 7 million 2015–2018 to establish a new centre for Arctic Safety in Svalbard. The funding is part of the MFA programme “Arctic 2030”.

The purpose of the Arctic Safety Centre is to contribute to as safe and sustainable human activity in the High Arctic as possible. This is to be achieved through a combination of natural science education, with a special focus on the climate, and research-based knowledge and competence within risk and safety-related disciplines.

The ambition of the centre is to offer a full-year bachelor study (60 ECTS), for instance the third and last year of a safety-related bachelor programme at the mainland universities.

Fred Skancke Hansen

Fred Skancke Hansen, UNIS director of HSE and Safety. Photo: Inger Lise Næss/UNIS

UNIS will also develop more basic and practical field safety courses and courses focussing on practical risk analysis and safety management. These courses will be offered to the local population of Svalbard, but also available to national and international institutions with similar challenges.

– We are very excited that our Arctic safety centre application got funded and we see a huge potential in developing this new discipline at UNIS, says Fred Skancke Hanse, director of HSE and safety at UNIS.

– This is a huge recognition of the UNIS safety management developed over the years, he says.

There are three main elements within the project: practical safety work with an academic framework, increasing the safety awareness in the local community and supplement the local industry, including tourism, with increased competence.

– This is a joint undertaking by several national and international partners, says Hansen.

The partners are a combination of universities, research institutes and industry actors (see list). Within the next couple of weeks the project organisation will be designed and the position of the project leader will be announced.

National partners
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Sintef, Norwegian Polar Institute, The Governor of Svalbard, Pole Position Logistics (Longyearbyen), SvalSat, Longyearbyen Local Council, Lufttransport (Longyearbyen) and Visit Svalbard.

International partners
The University of the Arctic (Uarctic), University of Copenhagen, INTERACT and Forum of Arctic Research Operators, FARO.

Contact
Fred Skancke Hansen, UNIS director of HSE and Safety:
Phone: +47 79 02 33 40/ +47 917 07 640
E-mail: fredh@unis.no

Arctic Safety Centre project page

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