One million NOK to the Arctic Safety Centre
Top image: More than 100 people had come to hear state secretary Magnus Thue from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries present the new business strategy for Svalbard. Photo: UNIS.
Yesterday, the government presented their new business strategy for Svalbard at UNIS. One of the concrete results is the allocation of one million NOK to the Arctic Safety Centre (ASC). – Very positive news, says UNIS director Harald Ellingsen.
4 October 2019
The government’s business strategy for Svalbard was announced back in 2016 and yesterday it was presented to the Longyearbyen community. Over 100 people had come to hear State secretary Magnus Thue from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries present the main strategic goals, among them innovation and development.
The government wants contribute to the work UNIS does to increase the competence in business in terms of sustainable and safe activity and traffic in the Arctic through the Arctic Safety Centre. Thus, the Ministry has allocated one million NOK to the development of the centre.
– This is very positive for us and we are looking forward to utilize these funds to develop the centre, says Harald Ellingsen, director of UNIS.
Utilizing Svalbard’s potential as a test arena
Due to its location, as an isolated community, extreme weather conditions and climate changing rapidly, Longyearbyen has a number of advantages as a test arena. There is a lot of research and testing going on at Svalbard today, both within academia and by commercial players. The government wants to make sure that Norwegian industry players, both in Longyearbyen and on the mainland, exploit the potential Svalbard provides for testing new, sustainable solutions.
The government also announces that it will consider better facilitation for testing of ship equipment in Arctic regions. This also applies to conducting exercises on Svalbard with various public bodies and private players for the operation of ships and search and rescue operations. The possibility of linking such facilitation with the activity taking place at the Arctic Safety Center at UNIS should be included in the assessment, according to the strategy.