Polar issues have been rising up the political agenda across Europe over the past decade since the rapid changes occurring in the Polar Regions are significantly influencing global climate with consequences for global society. As a result, the European Union and its executive body, the European Commission (EC), attribute increasing importance to science and innovation in the high latitudes. As a first step in this direction, EC has launched a five-year coordination and support action “EU-PolarNet – Connecting Science with Society” which will provide advice and support to the EC in their efforts to shape Europe’s polar research and policy agenda.
EU-PolarNet will establish an ongoing dialogue between policymakers, business and industry leaders, local communities and scientists to increase mutual understanding and identify new ways of working that will deliver economic and societal benefits. The results of this dialogue will be brought together in a plan for an Integrated European Research Programme for the Antarctic and the Arctic that will be co-designed with all relevant stakeholders and coordinated with the activities of many other polar research nations beyond Europe.
In a first step, the project consortium has compiled a set of European research priorities for the Polar Regions, which shall serve as a basis for the upcoming research planning process in EU-PolarNet. These priorities have been identified by a desk study based on national Polar strategies, international consortia and major scientific clusters. The list of the consulted documents is reported in annex 1.
The following synthesis is based on the polar research strategic documents in Annex 1. Based on the information extracted from the polar research strategic documents, a comprehensive analysis and synthesis into 12 broad and overarching topics has been conducted, which we hope represent a best possible approximation of the large number of scientific priorities found in the reference documents. A paragraph describing the relevant Societal Challenges connected to each scientific topic has been added in order to fit the research priorities to societal needs.
The EU-PolarNet consortium needs your input into the compilation of research priorities and related societal challenges. Please answer the following questions and help us to identify if our compilation is complete and the societal relevance well addressed.
The questionnaire is completely anonymous.
The public consultation was open until 9th March 2016.
Thank you very much to everybody, who participated in our public consultation on European research objectives in polar research!
We recived a total of 236 replies from 23 countries and are now working on evaluating the responses. Further consultation results will be published here in the course of the following weeks - so please check back.