Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge: Nowhere is climate change more evident than in the high latitudes. Increased shipping for transport and tourism purposes, highly variable fish stocks, increased oil and gas exploration and mining are challenges and opportunities faced in polar regions that require sound scientific knowledge of vulnerabilities and risks in order to develop appropriate regulatory policies. In the 2012 Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council 'Developing a European Union Policy towards the Arctic Region', the Commission and the High Representative point out that the EU will 'support research and channel knowledge to address the challenges of environmental and climate changes in the Arctic'. Rapid environmental changes in the Arctic and parts of the Antarctic continent have global impacts both by accelerating global warming and in a geo-strategic and socio-economic dimension. European countries operate world class research infrastructures in both Arctic and Antarctic regions and are leading in many fields of polar research with regards to climate, ecosystems, life in extreme environments, pollution monitoring and other aspects. Making the most efficient use of these resources and the latest scientific developments, for addressing the abovementioned challenges requires a high degree of coordination within Europe and beyond.

Scope: Proposals should coordinate polar research in Europe and develop a comprehensive European Polar Research Programme. By setting up a continuous stakeholder dialogue the action should communicate user needs to the appropriate scientific community and/or research programme managers. In line with the objectives of the EU strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation (COM (2012) 497) proposals should contribute to implementing the Transatlantic Research Alliance, launched by the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation in May 2013, and should benefit from the inclusion of partners from the US and Canada[1]. Cooperation is as well encouraged with partners from other third countries, such as Russia, Japan, China, India and Latin American countries [2], also by supporting Belmont forum cooperative research actions. This initiative strives for enhanced coordination with international research organisations and programmes related to polar research (e.g. AMAP[3], WCRP[4], and JPI[5] 'Climate') as well as with relevant operational services including Copernicus. It is also expected to provide support to the coordination and optimisation of existing monitoring and modelling programmes and related infrastructures and work towards interoperability of and open access to observational and modelling data and related products.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:

  • Substantially increase the scale and ambition of polar research cooperation in Europe.

  • Increase the coherent and efficient use of European resources.

  • Improve global cooperation.

  • Induce a step change in the domain of open data access, quality control and interoperability.

  • Contribute to policy advice at national and EU level and support to the EU's international commitments with respect to the Arctic Council, the Montreal protocol, and UNFCCC[6] and others related to polar sciences.


Type of action: Coordination and support actions

[1] This is without prejudice to the general rules on the funding of legal entities from third-countries, as set in part A of the annex to the work programme.

[2] This is without prejudice to the general rules on the funding of legal entities from third-countries, as set in part A of the annex to the work programme.

[3] Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme

[4] World Climate Research Program

[5] Joint Programming Initiative

[6] United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

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