Newsletter: volume 2

Arctic Security and Emergency Preparedness Network

Newsletter: volume 2

15.11.2019 News 0

As ARCSAR celebrates its first year since inception, its network has grown fast and is expanding every day. Today we count around 50 + institutions who have joined the ARCSAR network and of course all this will be available in the webpage in the coming months. We have all the network members to thank for their hard work  and the external partners who are expressing interest in the project and who follow us on social media and who are regular readers of our news. ARCSAR, thanks to its growing network and hard work from the consortium, will achieve its goal which is to become a one stop shop for information sharing, collaboration and innovation between search & rescue actors, academia, SMEs, Indigenous communities, governments, institutions and more.

The past six months a lot has happened in the ARCSAR project. Besides the usual project publications and deliverables, several dissemination and research activities have taken place.


April was characterized with the fourth Joint Arctic Search and Rescue (SAR) workshop and table top exercise (TTX). The event was a cooperation between AECO, the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre North Norway and Iceland (JRCC NN and JRCC I). The event was composed of presentations by experts in the field of SAR in both Arctic and Antarctic areas, Arctic cruise industry, and the academia, and a tabletop exercise where all participants contribute to the solution of a specific scenario. The event is unique in bringing together a broad group of experts from the cruise industry, the Arctic SAR community and academia. A total of 80 persons were registered to this event and 11 of the ARCSAR partners attended. The participants represented the Cruise ship industry, first responders (practicioners), academic institutions, hospitals and governmental institutions/authorities. The Scenario of Joint Arctic SAR TTX 2019 “Stranded!” was developed and led by the Canadian Coast Guard. Detailed report of this event can be found here: https://www.aeco.no/wpcontent/uploads/2019/06/Joint-Arctic-SAR-Workshop-and-TTX-report_2019_Final-1.pdf.

ARCSAR at the EU Arctic Cluster

LAUREA has represented ARCSAR at the EU Arctic cluster meeting on the 4th June. For those who do not know, this is a cluster of 11 H2020-funded projects with an Arctic/Polar focus. Worth noting that ARCSAR is a unique project among the other cluster projects due to the focus on security and safety and emergency preparedness activities and also Network enlargement. The other projects are mainly research projects, with a focus on climate/environmental research, ice and weather data and service delivery, satellite data or other research activities. This means that ARCSAR has a crucial role to connect all EU Cluster projects together and strengthen the network activities between the project and also their stakeholders.

Through this collaboration ARCSAR will be contributing to the European Research Programme, with a report from the EU Arctic Cluster, that highlights the key challenges to advance the current knowledge of Polar Regions over the next 5-10 years. ARCSAR contribution is on the topic of: Safe, sustainable and just operations in the Polar Regions – mainly shipping, navigation, emergency actions, the polar code and the use of indigenous knowledge.

Map innovation knowledge and research needs

ARCSAR partner – University of Portsmouth carried outIntensive work during the month of April 2019 to finalise the mapping of the knowledge and innovation needs. This involved the synthesis of multiple sources of expert information from workshops, questionnaires and the literature as well as the monitoring of past and current innovation and research projects. This resulted in a set of 20 gaps where innovations are needed to fill in capability and improve performance across six key themes. The 20 gaps are further divided into 75 sub-needs. All these gaps and needs can be seen in the Innovation Arena, where members have the opportunity to suggest innovative ideas. Read more below in the Innovation Arena section for more information how to gain access and become a member.

Monitor and select innovations, research, knowledge

ARCSAR has commenced work in this since May 2019. It involved the identification of specific products, services, systems, approaches and solutions arising from past or current projects to fill the innovation gaps detailed in the deliverable D2.1. Preparations were made for the identification and synthesis of potential innovation solutions at the ARCSAR Innovation and Knowledge Exchange Event in Iceland in October 2019. A multiple criteria methodology is designed to prioritise the needs in order to generate common capabilities, drawing on expert opinions from partners and the wider ARCSAR network.


The past six months have also been categorized with a major ARCSAR development step; – It is the launch of the Innovation Arena.

Innovation Arena front page

What is IA?

The Innovation Arena is a social idea management platform where members can interact with one another, post ideas, challenges, advertise solutions, products, services, discuss topics, and more within the focus on improving Arctic and North Atlantic safety and security capabilities of SAR and oil spill response. Users can also share complementary solutions/ideas/products that could see use in the field, improve certain capabilities or solve issues that have not yet been announced.

We are happy to announce that now we are accepting members and ready to capture great ideas, innovations, products, services, but also challenges and needs that members can offer which can support the above mentioned more than 75 SAR needs and more than 20 known gaps.

If you are from academia, one or several SMEs, representing Indigenous communities, practitioner in the field of search and rescue and/or oil spill response, a private person or any other institution or organization with the focus on the safety and preparedness in the Arctic and/or North-Atlantic region , you are the person we are searching for. You can sign up for an account at the https://arcsar-innovation.eu or by visiting our project webpage https://arcsar.eu and navigating to the Innovation Arena from the front page.

Please note that due to security reasons we need to manually approve all member requests. Thank you for your patience!



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.

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.

Arcsar General Assembly

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.

Innovation And Knowledge Exchange Event

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 and North Atlantic 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 oil spill response, and Network development concepts.

Arctic Circles Assembly Breakout Session

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.


ARCSAR Upcoming events

Fifth Joint Arctic SAR Workshop and TTX 2020, April 15th, 2020 – April 16th, 2020, Reykjavik, Iceland. More info: https://www.aeco.no/events/joint-arctic-sar-workshop-and-ttx/