A workshop on International Access to research infrastructure in the Arctic organized by the Forum of Arctic Research Operators (FARO), in coordination with the EU projects ARICE and INTERACT, will take place on 29 March 2020 at the University of Akureyri, Iceland, during the Arctic Science Summit Week.

Purpose of the workshop: Initiating dialogue and developing networks that facilitate access for international scientists to national research facilities and infrastructure in the Arctic (also referred to as “transnational” or “cross-border” access): Identifying challenges, best practices and next steps.

Physical access to research infrastructure in the Arctic – polar research vessels, stations, and aircraft - is essential for polar science. Knowledge about the availability and services of existing platforms is key to selecting the appropriate research site and experimental design for projects. In practice, this means that operators and managers of infrastructure need to cultivate a strong communications effort with the scientific community. Communication is also paramount in outlining each platform’s guidelines, which ensures well-prepared and efficient visitors. Facilitating this exchange of information and available space for international access is challenging at the national level. Adding an international dimension to operations makes it even more challenging, especially since funding mechanisms need to be in place to implement links between scientists and infrastructure.

These topics will be explored through a series of presentations and interactive break-out sessions to identify major challenges, best practices, and next steps for matching scientists and infrastructure, providing international access, and sharing knowledge. Questions that will be explored include:

  • What are the most urgent logistical needs and locations for polar research in the next 10 years?
  • What are the scientific and logistical possibilities and challenges for implementing shared international access?
  • What mechanisms or exchange modes can be envisaged to coordinate networks of polar research infrastructure (e.g. vessels, stations, aircraft) at an international level? Will these mechanisms provide access to all researchers while continuing to recognize respective research infrastructures as national assets?

Draft Agenda and more information can be found here.

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