SIAEOS is on the Roadmap

SIAEOS is on the Roadmap

Top image: The Kjell Henriksen Observatory will be an important part of SIAEOS. Photo: Olli Jokiaho.

The Svalbard Integrated Arctic Earth Observing System (SIAEOS) project has been accepted as part of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructure (ESFRI) updated Roadmap. SIAEOS has an investment budget of 400 million NOK and an annual operational budget of 70 million NOK.

9 December 2008
Text: Eva Therese Jenssen

– This may be an important engine for the development of research and education in Svalbard over the next 10 years, says UNIS director Gunnar Sand.

The European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructure, ESFRI, has accepted Svalbard as an international platform for environmental- and climate surveillance. The project has an investment budget of 400 million NOK and an annual operation budget of 70 million NOK.

UNIS director Gunnar Sand has been instrumental in developing and promoting the application, which formally was delivered by UNIS, the Norwegian Polar Institute and the Research Council of Norway.

Gap analyses
The SIAEOS project will involve a reorganization and development of the already existing research infrastructure in Svalbard into four observation platforms: land, sea, ice and atmosphere. In addition there is planned a central knowledge centre with headquarters in the Svalbard Science Centre in Longyearbyen.

The first phase of the project will be to conduct “gap” analyses related to weaknesses and shortcomings in the current infrastructure, and plan new activities and investments in new infrastructure to close these gaps. This first phase is expected to be completed by 2010.

Broad support
The Research Council of Norway is currently working on a preliminary project that will plan the SIAEOS project in detail. The SIAEOS project has received broad support from international research organizations present in Svalbard, such as the Alfred Wegener Institute, EISCAT and the Polish Academy of Sciences. Also Russia has joined in on the project.

– UNIS views the SIAEOS project as an engine for the development of both education and research in Svalbard in the coming years, and we expect a lot from this project, says UNIS director Gunnar Sand

 

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