February 2021

Welcome to the first

EU-PolarNet 2 newsletter!

From now on, we will be issuing an edition quarterly to inform you about news from the consortium and affiliated projects, consortium partners, highlights in polar research and the EU Polar Cluster. Our newsletter aims to provide you with information on the European polar research community and to give a glimpse on activities and events coming up in the near future.

Newsletter content

From EU-PolarNet 1 to EU-PolarNet 2

It is our great pleasure to announce that EU-PolarNet is continuing. We have four more exciting years ahead of us in which we will strive to coordinate European Polar Research and support the European Commission in all their actions affecting the Polar Regions. EU-PolarNet 2 – “Coordinating and co-designing the European Polar Research Area” has started on 1st October 2020 with 25 partners representing all European and associated countries with Polar research programmes and activities.

EU-PolarNet 2 will maintain the vast network which has been brought together in EU-PolarNet 1 and will build on its results. The new project will even go several steps further to develop and work towards the implementation of a European Polar Research Area. EU-PolarNet 2 will provide a platform to further develop the coordination of Polar research actions in Europe and with overseas partners. By involving all relevant stake- and rightholders it will support the development of transdisciplinary and transnational Polar research actions of high societal relevance. To ensure that such an important platform is sustained after the four years of project duration, the project will work with national and international funding agencies to implement the identified research actions. The final goal of the project is to create a permanent European Polar Coordination Office which will continue the work of EU-PolarNet 2 in a sustained way.

Greetings from the EU-PolarNet 2 Management Support Team

We, the Management Support Team of EU-PolarNet 2, are pleased to manage such an exciting project as EU-PolarNet 2 and we are ready to support the European Polar community and the European Commission. We are based at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in Bremerhaven, Germany, which is the coordinator of EU-PolarNet 2. Our new team consists of four women: The project coordinator Nicole Biebow, the project manager Anneli Strobel, the science officer Verónica Willmott and the EU grant manager Maria Eden. We will do our best to manage the entire EU-PolarNet 2 consortium and ensure that we will achieve all results envisaged in the project proposal. Contact us via with any request on EU-PolarNet 2. We are looking forward to working with you!

First EU Polar Science Week 2020

The first European Polar Science week was organised by the European Commission, the European Space Agency, EASME and EU-PolarNet. The overall objective of this event was to bring together the European Polar science community, EC and ESA project teams, stakeholders and key scientists worldwide to discuss the major challenges and opportunities in front of us, promote networking and collaboration across projects and activities. About 1300 registered to attended the meeting from 26th to 30th of October 2020, a replay is still available via the conference website.

EU-PolarNet 2 General Assembly

The first EU-PolarNet 2 General Assembly was held online on Monday, 26th of October 2020 coinciding with the 2020 European Polar Science Week. The kick-off meeting of EU-PolarNet 2 started with an open morning session which was streamed live via the conference website at Almost 350 attendees attended this public meeting. What a great visibility for our project! The kick-off meeting showcased the transition from EU-PolarNet 1 to EU-PolarNet 2 and informed about the plans of EU-PolarNet 2 to motivate the European Polar community to engage in the project.
The afternoon was dedicated to the closed General Assembly, which aimed at bringing all project beneficiaries together for the first, and to introduce each of the project work packages and their respective objectives and tasks.

EU Polar Cluster annual meeting at EU Polar Science Week

The EU Polar Cluster held its Annual Meeting 2020 virtually on the 27th of October 2020, alongside the 2020 EU Polar Science Week. The meeting aimed to welcome six new projects to the EU Polar Cluster, to present the new leadership through EU PolarNet 2, and to update all projects on the work of the different Task Groups.
Sigi Gruber, Head of Healthy Oceans and Seas Unit, DG RTD, European Commission opened the public morning session of the Annual Cluster meeting, which was followed by about 340 attendees.
In the late afternoon, the EU Polar Cluster projects met internally. The aim of this closed session was to introduce the role of EU-PolarNet 2 as coordinator of the EU Polar Cluster, inform about the progress in the task groups, and provide the opportunity for an interactive discussion amongst the projects.

Survey on stakeholder engagement

The previous EU-PolarNet project developed recommendations and best practices in a White Paper on the status of stakeholder involvement in Polar research (D4.15 of EU-PolarNet 1). EU-PolarNet 2 will continue this work by implementing these recommendations in all its actions. The work has started already by mapping all stakeholder activities from relevant Polar projects including the EU Polar Cluster projects. The deliverable will be based on a survey led by the University of Oulu.
The questionnaire aims at:
  • collecting information on stakeholder engagement in both Arctic and Antarctic projects
  • updating the stakeholder map (D4.5 of EU-PolarNet 1)
  • determining which stakeholder engagement strategies are used in Arctic and Antarctic projects
  • spotting intermediaries that would be beneficial for European Polar research prioritisation
We invite any European Arctic and Antarctic projects to participate. Click here to access the survey, the deadline is 28th of February 2021.

EU Polar Cluster News

The EU Polar Cluster consists of 21 Horizon 2020 Polar projects (APPLICATE, ARCSAR, ARICE, ArcticHubs, Beyond EPICA, BLUE-ACTION, CAPARDUS, CHARTER, ECOTIP, EU-PolarNet, FACE-IT, FORCeS, iCUPE, INTAROS, INTERACT, JUSTNORTH, KEPLER, FORCES, SO-CHIC, TiPACCs and NUNATARYUK) and 2 partners (European Polar Board and Svalbard Integrated Arctic Earth Observing System). The cluster merges a broad spectrum of research and coordination activities – ranging from the most up-to-date findings on permafrost and sea ice, from enhancing observation to improving predictions, and from networking research stations to coordinating access to icebreakers.

The Polar Cluster hosts task groups on Communication, Stakeholder Engagement, Data Management and Education and recently established a task group on Policy Advice. Different projects are working closely together in the task groups, exchanging experience and performing joint actions. All of them have been reassigned recently, thereby integrating the projects that joined the Polar Cluster last year.

Building on the coordination experience of EU-PolarNet 1, EU-PolarNet 2 took over the coordination of the EU Polar Cluster to ensure good cooperation among the Cluster projects.

Curious about what’s up next? From Arctic Science Summit Week 2021 to International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS X)
– get a first glimps of where to meet up with EU-PolarNet 2 this year.
Upcoming events