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European Polar Board moves to Sweden

The European Polar Board (EPB) is an independent organisation focused on major strategic priorities in the Arctic and Antarctic. EPB Members include research institutes, logistics operators, funding agencies, scientific academies and government ministries from across Europe. Established by the European Science Foundation in 1995, the EPB has been an independent entity since 2015, with its Secretariat hosted by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) in The Hague. With the current hosting period coming to an end in Dec 2024, the EPB Members have decided that the Secretariat will move to the Umeå University, Sweden from January 2025.

As part of its activities, the EPB participates in large-scale Arctic and Antarctic projects with European and international partners, with tasks focusing on coordination of polar research and communication with policymakers or other stakeholders. Current projects include INTERACT III, SO-CHIC, Arctic PASSION, OCEAN:ICE, POLARIN and EU-PolarNet 2. As a legacy of EU-PolarNet 2, the EPB will host the European Polar Coordination Office (EPCO) from January 2025.

The EPCO will serve as a single contact point between the European science community and the European Commission (EC) and other policy and decision makers, and other relevant stakeholders. The EPCO will represent EU funded polar projects and broadly, European researchers working in both polar regions. This will enable European policy actors, like the EC, or national and regional agencies to gain access to expert input and advice for an informed decision-making process on polar issues, opportunities, priorities and challenges. EPCO aims to raise awareness of the importance of the polar regions in the global climate systems, aiming to ensure funding for polar research is available in EU and other funding agencies’ funding calls. The EPCO will coordinate the EU Polar Cluster and facilitate collaboration and cooperation within the European polar science community.

“With the relocation of the EPB from the Netherlands to Umea University in Sweden and the implementation of the EPCO, a new and exciting phase in the work of the EPB is beginning, which I am personally very much looking forward to. I think that the EPB and the EPCO have found an excellent host in Umea University. In particular, the lively university environment and the direct proximity to the university's students and scientists will certainly have a positive impact on the EPB's future work” remarked Dr Nicole Biebow, Chair, European Polar Board.

"The dynamic, academic and research environment at the Arctic Centre and University of Umea, and will create opportunities for future collaboration for the EPB. Being an integrated part of a living, academic environment will enable the EPB to continue developing as an organisation and lead the way in European Polar research"  says Renuka Badhe, Executive Secretary of the European Polar Board.

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