Maritime Preparedness and International Partnership in the High North (MARPART)


The main purpose of this project financed by the Norwegian ministry of foreign affairs, The Nordland County Administration and the University of Nordland is to assess the risk of the increased maritime activity in the High North and the challenges this increase may represent for the preparedness institutions in this region. We focus on cross-institutional and cross-country partnerships between preparedness institutions and companies. We elaborate on the operational management of joint operations including several parts of the preparedness system and resources from several countries.

We emphasize the responsibility of the governments for preparedness as to safety, security and environmental protection in the High North. Maritime preparedness is defined as the system for damage avoidance and reduction related to unexpected and unwanted incidents at sea. We elaborate on the need for enhanced measures to respond to composite challenges including search and rescue (SAR), oil spill recovery, firefighting and salvage, and actions against terror or other forms of destructive action. To increase both effectiveness and efficiency within the preparedness system, we are in need of management tools for coordination and control making optimal use of the joint resources of several institutions both within and between countries

In this project, we take as a starting point the increased commercial activity in the High North and the vulnerability related to human safety, environment, and physical installations/vessels. The commercial activity in the High North includes intra- / interregional transportation, search for and exploitation of petroleum and mineral resources, fisheries, and cruise tourism. Limited infrastructure, low temperatures with ice and icing, polar lows, and a vulnerable nature challenge maritime operations in this region.

Project goals:

  • To increase understanding of future tasks and the demands for a preparedness system in the High North including both search and rescue, oil spill recovery, firefighting and salvage, and actions against terror or other forms of destructive action;
  • To provide analytical concepts for studying coordination challenges in cross-border, multi-tasking operations;
  • To contribute with organizational concepts for inter-organizational partnership and management of joint operations.

project partners

High North Center at Nord University Business School (Norway)

Norwegian Defense University College (Norway)

Norwegian Police University College (Norway)

Arctic University of Norway, University of Tromsø (Norway)

University Center in Svalbard (Norway)

University of Greenland (Greenland)

University of Iceland (Icelnad)

Northern (Arctic) Federal University (Russia)

Murmansk State Technical University (Russia)

project structure

WP 1. Future maritime activity level and risk patterns in the High North

WP 2. Institutional framework, governance, resources and institutional strategies within different sea regions

WP 3. Organizations and operational management structures linking cooperating institutions in joint maritime operations

advisory board

Resources and Competence Center for Safety and Preparedness in the Northern Region – RKSN (Norway)

International Coordinator, Department for preparedness, Norwegian Coastal Administration (Norway)

High North Center at Nord University Business School

Salten Region Police Department (Norway)

Maritim Forum Nord North Norway (Norway)

Joint Rescue Coordination Center, North Norway (Norway)

Nordland County

The Norwegian Police Directorate liaison to the Norwegian Defense, Joint Operative Headquarter (Norway)

Salten Fire and Rescue Department (Norway)

The Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection – DSB (Norway)

The Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority

The Norwegian Coast Guard

Troms Offshore Management

Barents Euro Arctic Council Joint Working Group on Education and Research

Executive director Frigg Jørgensen, AECO – Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators, Norway


Borch, Odd Jarl; Andreassen, Natalia; Marchenko, Nataliya; Ingimundarson, Valur; Gunnarsdóttir, Halla; Jakobsen, Uffe; Kern, Bolette; Iudin, Iurii; Petrov, Sergey; Markov, Sergey V; Kuznetsova, Svetlana (2016)
Maritime Activity and Risk Patterns in The High North. MARPART Project Report 2. Bodø: Nord Universitet 2016 (ISBN 978-82-7456-757-3) 124 s. Nord universitet / FoU-rapport(4)
Borch, Odd Jarl; Andreassen, Natalia; Marchenko, Nataliya; Ingimundarson, Valur; Gunnarsdóttir, Halla; Iudin, Iurii; Petrov, Sergey; Jakobsen, Uffe; Dali, Birita I (2016)Maritime activity in the High North - current and estimated level up to 2025. MARPART Project Report 1. Bodø: Nord Universitet 2016 (ISBN 978-82-7456-756-6) 130 s. Nord universitet Utredning(7)


Schmied, Johannes; Borch, Odd Jarl. 2016. THE MANAGEMENT OF THE EMERGENCY RESPONSE VALUE CHAIN IN MASS SHOOTING INCIDENTS - an Arctic maritime perspective . Preparedness and Emergency Response Logistics Conference (PERL), 2016-11-02

Schmied, Johannes. 2016. Competence within emergency management – Host nation support challenges. Seminar with USCGA, 2016-06-22

Schmied, Johannes. 2016. Joint exercises - a useful tool for training and capacity building in maritime operations in the North. SARINOR seminar Bodø, 2016-06-08

Marchenko, Nataliya; Borch, Odd Jarl; Markov, Sergey V; Andreassen, Natalia. 2016. Maritime safety in the high north - Risk and preparedness, ISOPE - International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference. Proceedings 2016 ;Volum 2016-January.,pp. 1233-1240

Kheiri Pileh Roud, Ensieh; Borch, Odd Jarl; Jakobsen, Uffe; Marchenko, Nataliya. 2016. Maritime emergency management capabilities in the arctic. ISOPE - International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference. Proceedings 2016 ;Volum 2016-January. pp. 1241-1248

Nese T. & Dalsand R. (2016) Identification of Challenges and Hazards associated with Cruise Traffic and Evacuation in the Arctic. Master thesis in Technology and Safety in the High North. The Arctic University of Norway (UIT), Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Engineering and Safety, Tromsø

Kvamme B. O. (2016) Validation of heat transfer coefficients – Single pipes with different surface treatments and heated dek element. Master’s thesis at faculty of science and technology. University of Stavanger (UIS), Department of mechanical and structural engineering and materials science, Stavanger. 

Andreassen, N., Borch, O. J., Kuznetsova, S. & Markov, S. (2015). Emergency management in mass rescue operations. The case of the joint Norwegian-Russian rescue of MV Maxim Gorkiy. The ShipArc 2015 international conference. Malmø.

Andreassen, N. (2015). Maritime activity, risks and international preparedness partnership in the High North – results from the MARPART project. Arctic patrol and reconnaissance conference. Oslo.

Marchenko, N.A., Borch, O.J., Markov, S.V. & Andreassen, N. 2015. “Maritime Activity in the High North – the Range of Unwanted Incidents and Risk Patterns, conference paper, Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on Port and Ocean Engineering under Arctic Conditions”.

Marchenko N.A. 2015. “Ship Traffic in the Svalbard Area And Safety Issues. Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on Port and Ocean Engineering under Arctic Conditions”.

Borch, O.J. & Andreassen, N. 2015. Joint-Task Force Management in Cross-Border Emergency Response. Managerial Roles and Structuring Mechanisms in High Complexity-High Volatility Environments., in Weintrit, A & Neumann, T. (Eds) “Information, Communication and Environment: Marine Navigation and Safety of Sea Transportation”, CRC Press 2015 ISBN 978-1-138-02857-9, pp. 217-224.

Andreassen, N., Borch, O.J., Kuznetsova, S. & Markov, S. (2015) Emergency management in maritime mass evacuation operations - the case of the high Arctic, paper presentation at the joint WMU-IMO-Arctic Council International Conference on Safe and Sustainble Shipping in a Changing Arctic Environment ShipArc-2015 conference, 25-27 August 2015, Malmø, Sweden.

Ackrén, Maria & Jakobsen, Uffe (2015) Greenland as a self-governing sub-national territory in international relations: past, current and future perspectives, Polar Record, Vol.51, Iss. 04, pp.404-412.

Jacobsen, Uffe (2015) Climate Change and Risk Management Challenges in the Arctic, paper presentation at the European Consortium for Political Research ECPR General Conference, Université de Montréal, 26-29 August 2015.

Barland, Bjørn (2015) “Fighting” criminality in The High North – possibilities and limitations, Poster at the 15th Annual Conference of the ESC, porto, 2-5 September, 2015.               

Jacobsen, Uffe (2015) Climate change risks, human security and governance in the Arctic, presentation at the China-Nordic Arctic Cooperation Symposium CNARC, Shanghai, China, 26-28th May 2015.



Reykjavik Conference
The Marpart project, together with the EDDA Center of Excellence at the University of Iceland, recently hosted a conference in Reykjavik. The focus was on cross-institutional and transnational cooperation. It is a pivotal point for us that Norway, Russia, Iceland and Denmark/Greenland can combine resources, and work together to meet future challenges in the Arctic environment.
There were many issues discussed at this third Marpart conference in Reykjavik. The Marpart conference has earlier been arranged in Arkhangelsk and Murmansk, and the next one will take place in Bodo, Norway.



MARPART2-MAN has been launched!
The first Kick off meeting in the MARPART2-MAN project has taken place. In the fall of 2015 the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Nordland County Administration granted an additional six million NOK for the Marpart project carrying the title: Joint task force management in High North Emergency response (MARPART2-MAN).
The project is expected to conclude in December of 2017, and participants include The Norwegian Police University College, World Maritime University, University Center in Svalbard, Murmansk State Technical University, Northern (Arctic) Federal University, Norwegian Fire Protection Institute, The Royal Norwegian Naval Academy Navigation Center and the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment.
The purpose of the Marpart – 2 Man project is to contribute to more competent host-nation relief support and efficient cross-border cooperation through knowledge transfer in and between competence institutions, and between these institutions and the preparedness system. The project shall also contribute to a tailor-made education and to more goal-oriented and cost-efficient training and exercise schemes.



Russerne vil ha Forsvaret inn i Arktisk beredskap til sjøs
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MARPART Workshop on Future R&D Priorities in Maritime Preparedness
As part of the MARPART project, the project workshop was held in February 26.2016 in Reykjavik at Coast Guard Operational Zone (Keflavik Airport). Around 35 participants, representing SAR-related authorities, organizations and academic institutions from Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Russia and Greenland touched and discussed issues. The topics focused primarily on the management of large-scale maritime emergency operations and conceptual innovation in education, training and exercises. As part of the program, workshop participants visited the Icelandic Coordination Command Center in Reykjavik, where they had a chance to experience the work of the Icelandic Coast Guard, the Civil Protection Department, ICE-SAR and 112 the National Emergency Number units up close. The participants were able to observe how these organizations function and cooperate within the same building


The conference was organized jointly by the High North Center at Business School Nord University (Bodø, Norway) and EDDA – Center of Excellence at the University of Iceland (Reykjavík, Iceland). It took place in Reykjavik on February 25.2016 at the National Museum, located on the campus of the University of Iceland.
 The event gathered around 100 participants representing SAR-related authorities, commercial and non-commercial organizations as well as academic institutions from Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Russia and Greenland. A number of diplomats and ambassadors located in Reykjavik visited the conference as well. Another important group of participants were students of the University of Iceland.

During the event several questions connected to different aspects of safety and security for maritime activities in Arctic waters were up for discussion. The conference ended with a very interesting round table discussion under the topic “Challenges to Search and Rescue and Post-emergency Operational Management: State versus Corporate Interests, International Norms and Legal Regimes, and Responsibilities of Security Actors while Arctic strategies and security policies: crises management and coordinating, safety and security for commercial activities in Arctic waters”.

The conference served as a good platform for the continued development of a SAR-related partnership network in the High North.


Torghatten ASA gjør som de pleier: Leverer rekordresultat. For 2015 er resultatet før skatt på 483,4 millioner kroner.
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Marpart researchers are evaluators at Barents Rescue 2015 exercise in Finland

The Marpart researchers Natalia Marchenko from UNIS Svalbard together with Frode Nilssen and Odd Jarl Borch from the University of Nordland is participating as observers/evaluators at the Barents Rescue exercise in Levi, Finland. This bi-annually exercise includes emergency capacities (ambulances, fire fighting trucks, helicopters) from Russia, Sweden, Finland and Norway. From the Marpart project we are in particularly interested in the command structure led for this operation. The rescue operation is led by the Finnish Lappi region Fire and Rescue services and the coordination of resources from other countries, so called host-nation support.

We also look into the exercise concepts that will be of interest for the Marpart 2 project (starting in January) that will focus on competence development and training. Laurea University of applied sciences in Southern Finland has developed an app for evaluation of exercises that we are testing out during the exercise. They are also coordinating the evaluation. There will be a large evaluation report finished in January from the exercise with contribution from all the evaluators.


New researcher

Ensieh Roud has started working at the High North Center as an advisor / a researcher for the MARPART project.

Ensieh Roud was born in Tehran, Iran in 1990. She has been living in Norway since 2007 until now. She has done her high school in Berg videregående in Oslo and she has been awarded an International Baccalaureate diploma (IB). In 2009 she started her bachelor at BI, Norwegian business school and graduated in Business Administration specialized in shipping. Due to her interest in maritime and shipping, she studied her master in Maritime Management from HBV in Tønsberg.

Currently she is working on MARPART project as an advisor/researcher at the High North Center at University of Nordland. Her main research area will be organizations and operational management structures, which falls within work package number 3 in MARPART. She intends to do her further research on Coordination of Joint Multi-national Operations in the High North with focus on dynamic capabilities, cultural challenges and managerial roles.

MARPART in Murmansk (Russia)
MARPART project team and advisory board members visited Murmansk during April 7-11.2015.
During the visit project partners, including project advisory board members took part in the conferences “Arctic Logistics” and Joint “MARPART-SEBS Conference On Maritime Preparedness Partnership And Search And Rescue In The High North”. April 11 MARPART project workshop was held on the board of the first Russian nuclear powered icebreaker “Lenin”. During the meeting, partners discussed project status and further steps. MRPART team also visited Marine Academy at Murmansk State Technical University and local company “Eco Service” where equipment used for fighting against oil spills were presented.


MARPART in Arkhangelsk (Russia)
MARPART project team and advisory board members visited Arkhangelsk from 23 of Septemebr to 25 of Septemebr. During these days, MARPART partners visited Rescue Coordination Center (Arkhangelsk regional division of EMERCOM), Arkhangelsk Regional Rescue Service named after I.A. Polivanyi (ARRS) and took part at the opening of the EMERCOM Arctic Emergency Center in Arkhangelsk. September 24 partners took part, as participants and key speakers, in the international conference «Challenges in Emergency Preparedness and Response in the Arctic. Staffing issues» that was held by the Northern Federal (Arctic) University (NArFU). In addition, Karsten Peter Jensen (PhD student, University of Iceland) and Bent-Ove Jamtli (Director, JRCC North of Norway hold lectures for students of the Northern Federal (Arctic) University. September 25 project partners visited the Institute of Integrated Safety at NArFU and had MARPART project meeting there. During the meeting, partners discussed project status and further steps.


12. 17-18.02.2013:
MARPART project kick-off seminar was held in Bodø 17-18.02.2013 at the University of Nordland. Projects partners and Advisory Board Members took part in the seminar. At the beginning of the seminar, Odd Jarl Borch (Project leader, Professor at Business School at University of Nordland) presented the project. Further, during the seminar project partners discussed project content, planned activities and project timeline. Advisory Board members gave own contribution to the discussion of MARPART further focus areas and activities. In addition, seminar participant visited headquarter of the Joint Rescue and Coordination Center of the North of Norway what is located in Bodø.



contact information

Project Leader:
Odd Jarl Borch, Professor, Business School, University of Noddland.
Phone: +47 755 17 616, mob. +47 901 92674

Research Assistant:
Natalia Andreassen, PhD, High North Center/Business School, University of Nordland
Phone: +47 75 51 77 11, mob. +47 948 40 469

Project Administration:
Andrey Kazakov, Advisor, High High North Center/Business School, University of Nordland
Phone: +47 75 51 77 11, mob. +47 414 12 810