19th December 2018 Science and Innovation Network

A Year of Arctic Adventures from UK Science and Innovation Network Arctic leads

It’s nearly Christmas – the time when we tend to look back on the past twelve months to reflect on the outcomes and celebrate the successes as we transition into the New Year. 2018 has certainly been eventful on the Arctic science front for the UK.

Reception to at British Ambassador’s Residence in Helsinki to mark the UK-Finland-Russia workshop ‘Sharing best practices in Arctic education’, UArctic Congress 2018

Now if we were to try and recap some of the highlights…The UK Government unveiled the second iteration of the UK Arctic policy framework document. ‘Beyond the Ice: UK policy towards the Arctic’ shows the UK to be an active, engaged and influential partner in the Arctic. The 2nd Arctic Science Ministerial took place in Berlin: the UK delegation headed by BEIS Chief Scientific Adviser, Prof. John Loughhead announced the UK’s continued commitment to collaborative activities in the Arctic. While the number of UK institutions in the University of the Arctic Group went up to five as Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge and Leeds Beckett University became members of this cooperative network comprising over 200 universities and research institutes across the globe. And if you have not heard of the MOSAiC Arctic expedition yet, it’s about time you checked it out to learn about the six UK research teams joining this multinational endeavour in 2019/2020!

The year has also seen fruitful cooperation between SIN Russia and SIN Nordics Arctic leads. Together we have successfully connected with two major international Arctic meetings, securing and delivering

UK Science and Innovation Network Arctic leads at Arctic Circle Assembly 2018, Reykjavik

sessions that showcased UK Arctic science excellence and helped develop UK engagement on issues such as Arctic university education and marine plastic pollution. The former was in focus at the UArctic Congress in Helsinki in September where we ran a trilateral workshop that brought together UArctic Vice-Presidents and leading experts from UK, Finnish and Russian universities to share best practices and explore avenues for potential joint work.

Partnering with the NERC Arctic Office, we delivered a dynamic UK showcase ‘Turning the Plastic Tide’ to a full house at the Arctic Circle Assembly, the Arctic’s biggest annual gathering, in Reykjavik.

Speakers of the UK session “Turning the Plastic Tide”, Arctic Circle Assembly 2018, Reykjavik

With a line-up of excellent UK and international speakers on board, we shone a spotlight on some of the practical solutions to the plastic epidemic from across UK’s research and business communities and highlighted UK’s enthusiasm to engage with partners from abroad to try and tackle this global issue.

And, of course, digital comms was and remains a central part of our collaborative efforts. After all, these days the offline and online aspects of our work go hand in hand. It has been great to join forces on this front to ensure that we maximise our voice, reach and impact. Online and social media promotion, on-the-scene video recordings with keynote speakers…There are some fond and lasting memories of dashing across the after-rain Ambassador’s Residence garden in Helsinki together – with a tripod and a camera – to find that perfect shooting angle and nearly tripping over cables in the process!

It has been fascinating teaming up to convert a fusion of creative new ideas into real events and, in the process, unlocking promising new opportunities for future collaboration. In practical terms our cross-team work meant enthusiasm, energy and excitement multiplied by two – a recipe for a perfect SIN Arctic event! We look forward to taking this one-team work into 2019 to support and drive forward these new developments.

Tatiana Iakovleva (SIN Russia Arctic lead) & Rosa Degerman (SIN Nordics Arctic lead)

About Arctic Science and Innovation Network

This blog showcases the work of the UK Science and Innovation Network in the Arctic. SIN officers work with the local science and innovation community in support of UK policy…

This blog showcases the work of the UK Science and Innovation Network in the Arctic. SIN officers work with the local science and innovation community in support of UK policy overseas, leading to mutual benefits to the UK and the Arctic region.

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