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Europe expands polar operations

An antarctic base, yesterday An antarctic base, yesterday Armin Rose
19 May
Europe expands scientific and operational capabilities in polar regions with €2million programme

The EU Horizon 2020 programme, called EU-PolarNet, will fund a €2million five-year polar programme to unite 22 European research institutions for work at both poles.

‘I am very pleased to be involved with this new Coordination Action,’ says Jane Francis, British Antarctic Survey director. ‘The UK has a vibrant scientific community and excellent polar infrastructure – especially in Antarctica.  With this new network there is huge potential not only to shape future European polar research programmes but also to enhance the high-quality operational support for science through even better cooperation and coordination.’

Geographical has previously reported on plans for a UK Arctic ambassador to promote British interests in the region. EU-PolarNet is another reflection of the increasing importance of the polar regions for politics across the world. Climate change, energy security, global food security, innovation and economic growth are all factors in the region.

EU-PolarNet aims to links policymakers, and business and industry leaders in an integrated research programme for the Antarctic and the Arctic. The European Polar Board will oversee the programme’s legacy in cooperation with the European Commission.

‘The European Commission welcomes this new Coordination Action which brings together polar scientific communities and other stakeholders.  It creates a new “home” where science and innovation on polar issues can be discussed for the benefit of our planet and our societies,’ says Dr Andrea Tilche, Head of the Climate Action and Earth Observation Unit.

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