Arctic Security and Emergency Preparedness Network


15.11.2019 News 0

It was a busy week for the ARCSAR consortium throughout the 07th – 12th of October 2019. Kicking off the week on the 07th of October, consortium members from WP3 met at JRCC Iceland to discuss initial planning considerations for the ARCSAR mass evacuation exercise planned for 2021. A project management team meeting and general assembly followed this up on the 08th of October, after which the consortium hosted an innovation and knowledge exchange event with numerous research, industry and emergency management stakeholders on the 09th of October. Finally, we finished off the week by hosting a breakout session during the Arctic Circles Assembly conference at the Harpa centre in Reykjavik, Iceland.


“As Commerce, tourism, exploitation of natural resources, natural disasters such as wildfires, continue to exert demands on the Arctic region the need for a comprehensive approach to mitigating risk and managing incidents is paramount. It is not a matter of IF something will go wrong in the Arctic, but a matter of when”

The question posed by Benjamin Strong, USCG, EPPR Working Group as we kicked off our fully attended Arctic Circles Assembly break out session in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Although the mass casualty evacuation live exercise is not scheduled to take place until year 4 of the ARCSAR project, this task will take careful planning and significant logistical support in the buildup, and we are therefore taking no chance by starting the planning now within the consortium.

The annual general assembly is a critical point within the ARCSAR project, providing the consortium members to meet, discuss, and plan future project research efforts. During our meeting in Reykjavik, we had 33 participants from our various 21 partners in attendance. The meeting kicked off with a review of the previous 12 months from Bent-Ove and Irene Andreassen from ARCSAR coordinators Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Northern Norway. An update on dissemination and communication was provided from Rob Lynch of Cork Institute of Technology, WP leaders for this theme, while Artmir Galica, from Laurea University of Applied Science, Finland presented the ARCSAR innovation arena. The arena will be a critical tool in efforts to establish and maintain the ARCSAR network throughout the project duration and beyond.

The innovation and knowledge exchange event got underway on the 09th of October and was planned by Nord University and Laurea University of Applied Science. The purpose of the event was to provide an opportunity to facilitate open dialogue and discussions between research, industry, and emergency management stakeholders. The event was kicked off by Professor Odd Jarl Borch from Nord University, and was followed by a number of presentations from key research and Arctic emergency management stakeholders such as the Finnish Red Cross, ICE-SAR, and Lapland Police. Presentations were followed by roundtable workshop discussion exercises, in which participants were tasked with considering technology development innovations, competence development, community/volunteer roles in SAR, and Network development concepts.

  1. Facilitate open dialogue anddiscussion between key research, industry, and emergencymanagement stakeholders.
  2. Identify challenges and roadmap solutions for safety and security within the Arctic and North-Atlantic.

“Are we prepared for a large passenger aircraft, ditching on the ice in the high north, with several hundred passengers on board” “Are we prepared to leverage the knowledge and skills of Arctic indigenous people in emergency planning and response efforts?” Benjamin Strong, USCG, EPPR Working group

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We were delighted to collaborate with the SEDNA consortium in hosting a breakout session at this year’s Arctic Circles Assembly in Reykjavik, Iceland. The Title of our session was: “Emerging Threats within the Arctic – How ready are we to cope?” The session was chaired by Rob Lynch of Cork Institute of Technology, and consisted of the following presentations and discussions:

  • Opening remarks: Benjamin Strong, USCG, EPPR WG
  • ARCSAR Overview: Bent-Ove Jamtli, JRCC NN
  • Viking Sky Case Study: Ståle Jamtli, JRCC SN
  • SEDNA Overview: Prof Giles Thomas, UCL
  • Safe Arctic Navigation: Robert Lynch, CIT
  • Arctic Weather and Sea Ice Forecasting: Dr Nicolas Fournier, UK MET Office

The session attracted a full house of participation and provided us with an excellent opportunity to showcase some of our research efforts, while also collaborating with another EU H2020 funded programme to further broaden the dialogue and discussion on safety and security within the Arctic and North-Atlantic.

The launch of the ARCSAR Innovation arena marks a significant milestone within the ARCSAR project. The arena itself which is designed to foster collaboration between research, industry and emergency management stakeholders, while also providing a space for discussion and knowledge generation, can now be shared with the network and beyond for immediate for use. Please feel free to engage with our arena and request access from the following link.