An innovative café dialogue

ARSCAR Table top event
The High North Center and NORDLAB continue their groundbreaking digital only exercises on security to protect our oceans.

​​On May 5th, the ARCSAR​ project continued with a successful third Innovation and knowledge exchange event and a second dissemination workshop.

The event was all digital and gathered more than 40 practitioners, representing industry and academia from Norway, Finland, Canada, USA, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Iceland, Italy, and the Faroe Islands.

​Learn and share

The first part of the event came out of the second Dissemination Workshop, organised by Lapland University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with Portsmouth University, where work package leaders presented project status and current achievements and discussed further developments. 

The second part of the event, the third Innovation and Knowledge Exchange Event, was organised by the High North Center at Nord University and NORDLAB, in cooperation with the project leader Joint Rescue Coordination Center North Norway and other project partners. The purpose of this event was to learn and to share knowledge about innovations that are currently available at the institutions the participants belong which are being developed in ongoing projects.

​Digital café

It was called Innovation and Knowledge Exchange Event and applied a digital “Café dialogue” format to discuss new and current available innovations in education and training in the field of preparedness, pollution control and search and rescue in the Arctic and North Atlantic region, through the discussions of three special topics: 

  • Innovations in training and education within pollution and incident control in the Arctic and North Atlantic. Moderated by Jan Pedersen (Senior Advisor, Norwegian Coastal Administration)
  • Innovations in training and education within mass rescue operations in the Arctic and North Atlantic. Moderated by Rob Brown (Research Scientist, Marine Institute, Memorial University)
  • Innovations in training and education in the Arctic and North Atlantic induced by Covid-19 pandemic. Moderated by: Natalia Andreassen (Associate Professor, Nord University Business School)

"There are plenty of innovations in equipment and materials that are being developed in the field of search and rescue in the Arctic and North Atlantic "


Natalia Andreassen, Associate Professor at Nord University Business School, Nordlab and the High North Center, and Andrey Kazakov, advisor at HNC and the business school, took the lead in designing the event concept. They invited the participants to collaborate through an innovative online platform before the event and take part in the participant-active discussions in breakout rooms. 

​​​– We need training

Odd Jarl Borch, Professor at the business school and the leader of Nordlab, started the discussions with an opening speech on the topic “Training for innovations and innovations for training in the Arctic and North Atlantic – a crisis response perspective”. 

– There are plenty of innovations in equipment and materials that are being developed in the field of search and rescue in the Arctic and North Atlantic, says Nalia Andreassen. 

– However, we need training and education in the use of these innovations. There are a lot of new innovative training approaches and methods that can be used by practitioners. 

Education: Associate professor Natalia Andreassen and professor Odd Jarl Borch were important participants in the exercise. They emphasize the need for education in handling naval crises, and published a book about crises management last year. Photo: Hogne Bø Pettersen/High North Center

Coordination of response

The High North Center and NORDLAB contributed as organizers, and shared knowledge from the ongoing research projects and developments in the education and training field. 

HNC is an international center for research, education, and communication, connected to societal and business development in the Arctic. The Center is managing the project Marec "Inter-organizational coordination of mass rescue operations in complex environments” financed through the SAMRISK-II programme of Research Council of Norway (https://app.cristin.no/projects/show.jsf?id=590053). 

– The project emphasizes the coordination of response resources involved in mass rescue operations, says Andreassen. 

– The researchers are currently working on launching an interactive map for analyzing scientific results and recommendations for training and exercises in mass rescue operations in complex environments like the Arctic.

​​Nuclear submarine on fire

Nord University preparedness management lab NORDLAB provides an arena for education, research, exercises, and tests related to sea, land, and air-based emergency response. Through NORDLAB we are developing emergency preparedness exercises and training for public and private actors, including practitioners and students. 

Nordlab shared knowledge about innovative simulation technology, communication, coordination and control tools and training equipment that is available at Nord university to facilitate exercises and shared experiences with different types of exercises, including the digital solutions introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

"The researchers are currently working on launching an interactive map for analyzing scientific results and recommendations for training and exercises"


A good example of such a digital tabletop exercise is the event  from last year, where the situation was that a nuclear submarine was on fire in Norwegian waters. 

​Great opportunity

Andreassen says they have learnt a lot about projects and developments from all participants.  


– In addition, we learned about the challenges that occurred with the current innovations or barriers for the innovation uptake.  Most importantly, practitioners and academia exchanged knowledge and viewpoints on the ongoing innovations in training and education in the Arctic and North Atlantic region. This Innovation and Knowledge Exchange Event resulted in better understanding of currently available and customary innovations as well as the available innovative education and training tools and methods. The event has become a great opportunity to analyse and learn about other projects within crisis response in the Arctic and North Atlantic.

Andreassen adds: 

– The ARCSAR project will be ongoing for several years. The results of this event will contribute to further project activities and especially, to the development of the ARCSAR innovation platform. NORDLAB and the High North Center at Nord University Business School will still be active participants and contributors to the project’s execution.


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