Overall strategy for the Norwegian Scientific Academy for Polar Research (NVP), 2012-2014
Approved by the Annual meeting in Longyearbyen, 21 September 2012
- NPV’s objectives and roles in the society.
The Norwegian Scientific Academy for Polar Research (NVP), which was founded 27 March 2008 is a non-profit foundation based in Longyearbyen, Svalbard. The Academy’s missions are to:
- Promote research and education in polar areas.
- Stimulate national and international cooperation and interdisciplinary polar research.
- Contribute to communicating the knowledge of the polar regions and the people that live there to national and international governing bodies, industry and the public.
- Contribute to the understanding of environmental and climate changes and human activities that affect and are affected by these.
- Promote sustainable development on Svalbard and in northern regions.
- Contribute to the development of expertise at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) and the polar scientific community in general.
These statements constitute NVP’s chosen role in the society, which in condensed form can be depicted as follows: Through expertise, interdisciplinary and national / international cooperation, NVP shall strengthen research and education in and about the polar regions, and promote sustainable development through enhanced holistic understanding among the society’s stakeholders about relationships between environment, climate, resource management, geopolitics, culture and governance.
In this way NVP has a bipolar focus (Arctic and Antarctic), is multi-and interdisciplinary in approach, utility and user friendly in orientation, independent in work, international in effort, collaborative in solution and knowledge based in contribution.
NVP has three categories of members all relating to the implementation of the overall mission: Individual Members: Persons who are elected on the basis of their polar expertise or because they otherwise have contributed to promotion of polar research. Their mission is basically to produce, teach and disseminate academic knowledge, disciplinary as well as interdisciplinary.
Institutional Members: Organizations (universities, research institutions, industry, nonprofit organizations, etc.) who are elected on the basis of their interest and / or activity in the polar regions. Their mission is multifaceted, defining societal needs in research, providing advice, contributing financial support etc. In knowledge production, research institution will provide supportive academic knowledge to polar insights and non-academic institutions will provide stakeholder knowledge related to the resolution of practical societal problems.
Honorary Members: Persons who are elected on the basis of their significant work to promote understanding of the polar regions. Their basic mission is bridge building, networking and establishing connections between NVP and society.
Currently, the Individual Members count 90 persons, out of which 26 are foreign nationals spread over 11 nationalities, the Institutional Members are five: the University of Bergen, NTNU, the University of Tromsø, University Center at Svalbard (UNIS) and the Nansen Center in Bergen. Four Honorary Members have been appointed, one of whom is dead.
The following strategies have priority in the planning period 2012 - 2014:
- Strengthen NVP’s economic foundation.
- Develop good routines for member contact.
- Increase the Academy's visibility in the public sphere.
- Arrange scientific seminars in Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Tromsø and Longyearbyen.
- Arrange NVP’s summer school at Isdammen (the NVP property in Longyearbyen) in 2013 - in cooperation with UNIS.
- Apply for planning and preparation funding e.g. in connection with the PhD course: "The Interaction of Arctic Dimensions” (working title) - in cooperation with UNIS and possibly the Norwegian Research Council.
The Academy has a capital base of NOK 100,000 and a property valued at NOK 2,000,000. The Institutional Members support the Academy with an annual fee, currently NOK 150,000 for the larger institutions and NOK 100,000 for small, which covers the Academy’s running costs. The academy has currently five Institutional Members, but needs to expand on that.
- Recruit two to three more universities as Institutional Members. Possible candidates are The University of Oslo, the University of Stavanger (UiS) (invitation initiated), The University of Life Sciences (UMB) and the Nordland University.
- Recruit the first private business / industry entity as an Institutional Member. Candidates: Norwegian Shipowners Association, The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) (High North involvement), Statoil etc.
- Prepare for the first study funds for the Academy, including from the Norwegian Research Council.
- Seek to rent out Isdammen (the property of NVP) for local events, and for use by Institutional Members, etc.
- Seek support from the state budget.
- Strengthen the cooperation with current Institutional Members:
Universities are very important partners and stakeholders in the realization of NVPs objectives and functions and can also contribute with significant expertise to the Academy's activities and for quality control of our work. We therefore want to find forms of cooperation that are appropriate and beneficial to both the Academy and the member universities.
- Forge a media strategy for the Academy.
- Define the preconditions to write and speak on behalf of the Academy
- Who represent the Academy in the media?
- Define the need of disclaimers
- Reorganize and redesign the web page to make it a useful, worthwhile and attractive tool of member involvement in the ongoing activities of the Academy.
- Initiate / strengthen cooperation with other Norwegian science academies:
- This work is just getting started in the academic sense. NTVA has been co-organizer of seminars in Bergen and Trondheim.
- The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, The Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters, and the Agder Academy of Sciences and Letters represents a huge potential for cooperation that NVP hope to develop.
- Highlight NVP as knowledge provider and consultant in public hearings, national and international such as:
- The Government's High North policy, new management rules for East Svalbard, the debate on petroleum in the Barents Sea, the climate debate, UN in Antarctica etc.
- Explore the possibility of a reward for polar research on outstanding contributions to the understanding of the polar regions.
- A prize for young researchers – priority goal
- A prize for senior researchers
- Seek affiliation / collaboration with international professional organizations such as:
- The Arctic Council (observer status), ICSU, IASC, etc.
- Strengthen the Academy’s membership contacts through:
- Newsletters and web sites (see above).
- Members involvement in the Academy's ongoing work, eg. as members of consultative committees, editorial committees, event committees, etc.
- Utilize foreign members as speakers when they visit Norway (see next item)
- Mobilize members to organize at least one (preferably two) academic seminar (s) per semester under the auspices of the Academy:
- Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim.
- Tromsø, Longyearbyen.
- Event committees are established for each of these cities.
- The recruitment of new individual members shall seek a balance between various disciplines and improve the international and female membership.
- Social sciences will be secured increased representation.
- Members with expertise on Antarctica should be increased
- Representation from Oceania, South America and Africa should be strengthened.
- Female membership is to be enhanced.
- Other scientific measures:
- Prepare for the Academy’s summer school for 2013 in cooperation with UNIS.
- Set up two editorial committees for two inter-and multi-disciplinary book projects on the Arctic and Antarctica respectively. The committees should have international members. Objective: To describe / discuss "the State of Affairs" in the two polar regions and define the challenges we face in the years ahead. For the Arctic, such work is to a largely extent addressed by the Arctic Council’s working groups, which appear to be necessary and useful partners. Many challenges are related to social and political issues. Antarctica does not have a similar working group program. Contributors to such projects can be found among the individual members, who may contribute as authors of individual chapters. Such editorial committees require external financial support (see above).
- In cooperation with UNIS, develop NVP’s summer school to become an interdisciplinary PhD course (see point 3 above).