Last week the EU-Russia Kolarctic ENPI CBC, a programme fostering social and economic development in and international cooperation among the northern areas of Finland, Norway, Sweden and Russia, announced the preliminary results of its Fourth Call for micro-projects.
The Call received a total of 53 project proposals. Eleven of them had been prepared by Northern (Arctic) Federal University in cooperation with its partner universities, research centers and businesses abroad, landing NArFU a leadership position among 130 applicants across the Barents Region in terms of the submitted proposals and the engagement of its team in the development of projects as experts and coordinators representing NArFU’s higher schools.
As prescribed by the programme rules, the procedure for results announcement is three-stage. In cluster one, there has been approved 14 international projects, of which three involve NArFU as a partner – “The Strategies for the Recovery from Ultra-Low Sulphur Fuel Oil Spills in Winter Conditions”, “Industrial Tourism: Promoting New Arctic Destinations” and “The Gems of Northern Nature”.
The project dealing with response to offshore spills of low-sulphur fuel oils has been initiated by SINTEF Narvik, PhD students at NArFU Higher School of Power Engineering, Oil and Gas, and Marine Research Centre of the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). Given the 2020 amendments to the Polar Code concerning the use of high-sulphur ship fuels, the relevance of this project cannot be overestimated.
The project that deals with industrial tourism in the Arctic seeks to set up a network-based collaboration for promoting new tourist services – through careful elaboration of ‘Arctic industrial tourism’ concept, branding strategy, list of potential industrial heritage sights and organization of pilot business trips for small and medium enterprises. This projectbrings together the experts of NArFU Higher School of Economics, Management and Law, NArFU Higher School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Cross-Cultural Communication, Lapland University of Applied Sciences and Norway-based private consultancy company.
A logical follow-up to the ongoing Kolarctic-funded project Agroforestry in Barents Region, The Gems of Northern Nature focuses on ways to expand relevant products market and increase awareness of the healing properties of northern wild-growing herbs, while also seeking to set up a chain of custody that would involve all the stakeholders in the process of creating added value. This project has been elaborated by experts representing NArFU Higher School of Natural Sciences and Technology, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, Natural Resources Institute Finland and Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research.
“We are very pleased with our performance in this call of the proposals. NArFU continues to build its capacity as an international project organization, demonstrating excellence in network-based collaboration, high competency as project partner and expert knowledge of the international criteria and requirements to EU-Russia project proposals. This fourth call is the final one in the series of Kolarctic 2016-2020 calls and has paved the way for us to continue in the next grant funding period with the approved pre-projects. It is indeed encouraging that these new projects involve more experts representing our higher schools. They tap into the areas of entrepreneurship and environmental protection that earlier remained undealt with but are still very relevant to Arkhangelsk Oblast and the partners in BEAR,” said Liubov Zarubina, Head of NArFU Department of International Cooperation.
The approved projects are due to start in autumn. As a reminder, NArFU is currently a partner to seven large projects funded by Kolarctic Programme.
The selection results in two other clusters of the Fourth Call project proposals will be announced later.
Department of International Cooperation