Historical archive

Knowledge is at the core of the High North strategy

Historical archive

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Education and Research

The Government’s High North strategy attaches great importance to developing knowledge and competence. – Our aim is for Norway to be at the top of the league in developing knowledge in and about the High North, said Minister of Education and Research Øystein Djupedal, when the strategy was presented today.

Pressemelding

Nr.: 84-06
Dato: 01.12.06

Knowledge is at the core of the High North strategy

The Government’s High North strategy attaches great importance to developing knowledge and competence. – Our aim is for Norway to be at the top of the league in developing knowledge in and about the High North, said Minister of Education and Research Øystein Djupedal, when the strategy was presented today.

In the strategy, the Government emphasises that knowledge in a number of fields needs to be strengthened if the ambitions set out in the High North policy are to be realised.

“Norway has internationally leading research centres in many fields of relevance to the High North, and we must mobilise these excellent resources throughout the country to meet the challenges we are facing in the north,” said Mr Djupedal.

The High North strategy stresses that the efforts to develop knowledge must be broad-based and long-term, but the Government has also identified certain areas that will be particularly important for the development of this region. Among the fields that are highlighted are climate and polar research, ecosystem-based management of the seas, marine research, petroleum research and sociological, legal and humanistic research on the High North. Public health, including research on the health effects of environmentally hazardous substances is also an important area.

“Climate research in the polar areas provides us with valuable information on environmental trends and climate change. Norway has a particular responsibility here as a polar nation,” said Mr Djupedal.

Norway is in a good position to contribute to the global development of knowledge, for example through the educational and research establishments in Svalbard. The Government has already launched a major polar research effort through Norway’s participation in the International Polar Year. The Government will seek to ensure that the unique research opportunities in Svalbard are utilised better by researchers from both Norway and other countries in the years to come.

The Research Council of Norway will play a key role in the implementation of the strategy in the research field. Almost all the ministries are channelling funds for research relating to the High North through the Research Council. The Research Council of Norway is responsible for maintaining an overview of these funds and how they are used. The research programme Barents 2020 will also be an important tool for initiating new projects.

Strengthening the knowledge infrastructure in the north is another key element of the strategy. The well-developed higher education system in North Norway will be an important factor in the Government’s knowledge- and competence-building efforts in the region.

“It will be particularly important to improve coordination between the educational and research institutions and the business sector. The institutions themselves and the relevant companies must play their part here,” said Mr Djupedal.

The strategy also focuses on international cooperation on knowledge development. Russia is an important partner, as are the US, Canada, the EU and our Nordic neighbours. Closer cooperation will be sought with other countries, such as Japan, India and China. Norway already has a close educational and research cooperation with Russia in a number of fields, and is establishing cooperation between schools, colleges and universities in North Norway and Northwestern Russia.

Link to more information about the High North strategy