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

The main purpose of this project 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.


The MARPART-Project Consortium

Seafarers in the Arctic regions face a number of challenges related to climate, weather and limited infrastructure, and a vulnerable eco-system. Actors involved in activities such as oil drilling, sea farming, cruise tourism and cargo transport have to focus on safety and risk assessments. Both commercial actors and governments emphasize the importance of increasing emergency preparedness in order to prepare for unwanted incidents.

The Marpart Consortium consists of 13 universities and research institutes that focus on emergency management and crisis preparedness. The consortium is coordinated by Nord University in Bodø, Norway. 

The Marpart projects presently include two interlinked projects: Marpart 1 and Marpart (2)-MAN. The Marpart project portfolio is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Nordland County Government and by the participating institutions.

The Marpart Project Consortium investigates the Arctic region’s overall preparedness resources, cooperation challenges, and the organization and management patterns of the broad range of emergency agencies present. Preparedness bodies must prepare for scenarios such as major oil spill response (OSR), fire on board (fi-fi), mass search and rescue operations (SAR) and violent actions (anti-terror). Such situations require support from a broad range of institutions, and may include resources from neighbouring countries, so-called host nation support (HNS). 

The Marpart consortium investigates how joint operations are organized and coordinated in different parts of the emergency response chain. Project researchers look into tactical level on-scene coordination, operational level command systems, and strategic level management structures. The emergency preparedness system involves a number of players, such as the distress vessel Captain and crew, Samaritan vessels, On-Scene Coordinators (OSC), mission coordination centers, and task forces including police, paramedics, fire brigades, and coast guard. This mosaic of actors requires significant efforts of coordination and control.

The Marpart-consortium studies Arctic maritime activity patterns and the potential risks of maritime traffic in High North environments as a platform for understanding organization and management challenges related to maritime preparedness. 

Marpart also focuses on institutional aspects, including multilateral and bilateral agreements between Arctic countries within the field of maritime preparedness. 

Marpart’s research also focuses on managerial roles in the emergency response chain, as well as the preparedness management systems implemented by agencies, such as the Incident Command System (ICS).


Solberg. K.E., O.T. Gudmestad and B.O. Kvamme:"SARex, April 2016. Project report, Search and rescue exercise conducted off north Spitzbergen", Report number 58, University of Stavanger, November 2016; 
Solberg, K.E., Gudmestad, O.T. and Skjærseth, E.Å: “Surviving a maritime incident in cold climate conditions". Stavanger: Universitetet i Stavanger, Report No. 69 2017 (ISBN 978-82-7644-747-7) 250 p.p., 

Gudmestad, O.T. and Solberg, K.E..: "SARex3: Evacuation to shore, survival and rescue", Report 75 from University of Stavanger, 2018, 
Solberg, K. E., Brown, R.., Skogvoll, E., Gaustad, S E., Gudmestad, O. T.:
"Risk reduction as a result of implementation of the functional based IMO Polar Code in the Arctic cruise industry". University of the Arctic Congress, Published by Springer, 2017, Chapter 26, pp 257 - 268
Solberg K-E. and O. T. Gudmestad: "Findings from Two Arctic Search and Rescue Exercises North of Spitzbergen”. Polar Geography, published online March 2019. 

Jensen, J.E., Solberg, K.E. and Gudmestad, O.T.: “Survival in cold waters - learnings from participation in cold water exercises - a regulatory perspective related to the Norwegian offshore industry.” IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering 2019; Volume 700, Stavanger, November 2019

Andreassen, Natalia; Borch, Odd Jarl; Schmied, Johannes (2018)
Maritime emergency preparedness resources in Artic – capacity challenges and the benefits of crossborder cooperation between Norway, Russia, Iceland and Greenland MARPART Project Report 4. Bodø: Nord university 2018 (ISBN 978-82-7456-794-8) 146 s. Nord universitet / FoU-rapport

Elgsaas, Ingvill; Offerdal, Kristine (2018) Maritime preparedness systems in The Arctic : institutional arrangements and potential for collaboration: MARPART Project Report 3. Bodø: Nord University 2018 (ISBN 978-82-7456-787-0) Nord universitet / FoU-rapport 

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)

Andreassen, Natalia; Borch, Odd Jarl; Ikonen, Emmi (2018)
Managerial Roles & Structuring Mechanism within Arctic Maritime Emergency Response 
Arctic Yearbook 2018. Akureyri, Iceland: Northern Research Forum. 


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. 

MARPART-2 (MAN) Project report 2: EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT COMPETENCE NEEDS – education and training for key emergency management personnel in a maritime Arctic environment

MARPART-2 (MAN) Project report 3: Recommendations for development of concepts for education and exercises within maritime emergency management in the Arctic environment​​​

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"Inter-organizational coordination of mass rescue operations in complex environments” (MAREC) 

PROJECT PERIOD: January 2018 – December 2020

The MAREC project is focusing on inter-organizational coordination of mass rescue operations in complex environments. The project aims at improving the knowledge on the emergency preparedness policy framework and the coordinative roles and mechanisms of the rescue services. The project addresses inter-organizational and inter-jurisdictional coordination of large scale crisis situations including several emergency agencies and several countries.

The empirical setting of this study will be mass rescue operations both at sea and land, where a broad range of emergency response actors, including volunteers are involved. Theoretically, we build upon and contribute to the management theory, emphasizing generic managerial roles and coordination processes, organizational theory on structuring mechanisms, and institutional theory in targeting environments where a large number of stakeholders are involved.

There are four work packages (WP) which are described under “Project Structure”.

Project partners

High North Centre at Nord University Business School (Norway)
University Center in Svalbard (UNIS) (Norway)
UiT – The Arctic University of Norway (Norway)
Norwegian Police University College (PHS) (Norway)
Admiral Makarov State Maritime Academy (Russia)
Memorial University of Newfoundland (Canada)
University of Iceland (Iceland)
University of Greenland (Greenland)
World Maritime University (Sweden)

Project structure (WPs)

WORK PACKAGE 1: Policy framework for mass rescue response
WORK PACKAGE 2: Incident command in mass rescue operations, emphasising managerial roles and structuring mechanisms
WORK PACKAGE 3: Information sharing and situational awareness among different actors in mass rescue incident command
WORK PACKAGE 4: Dissemination of results oriented at publishing of scientific articles, as well as at providing recommendations for emergency agencies and educational institutions

Advisory Board

The Advisory board will include members from the government, preparedness institutions, voluntary organizations and the industry. The advisory board will:
• Contribute with input to the direction and focus of the project
• Give support in network development
• Inform about available data, reports, etc.
• Discuss results
• Contribute within distribution of information about and results from the project

UArctic Network on Arctic Safety and Security


The University of the Arctic (UArctic) has established a thematic Network on Arctic Safety and Security including 19 universities and research institutions. 

The University of the Arctic (UArctic) is an umbrella organization consisting of 160 universities and research institutions. The UArctic Thematic Networks form a natural framework for development of UArctic education and research and provide an optimal structure for increased generation and sharing of knowledge across the North. UArctic Institutes are self-governing units devoted to research, monitoring and education throughout the Arctic.

Safety and security are a prerequisite for the growth and welfare of the Arctic communities and for viable and sustainable commercial activities in the region. The UArctic Thematic Network on Arctic Safety and Securityaddresses the risks of operating in the Arctic and ways to prevent incidents that may represent a threat to human life and health, the environment, values and welfare of the local communities in the Arctic. When addressing Arctic Safety and Security, cross-border cooperation and optimal use of the preparedness resources of the Arctic countries are important factors.

The thematic network includes two sub-groups: Tourism Safety, and Emergency Preparedness.

Project partners

Memorial University of Newfoundland (Canada)
University of Copenhagen (Denmark)
Lapland University of Applied Sciences (Finland)
University of Lapland (Finland)
University of Iceland (Iceland)
Hólar University College (Iceland)
Nord University (Norway)
UiT – The Arctic University of Norway (Norway)
FFI – The Norwegian Defense Research Establishment (Norway)
University of Stavanger (Norway)
Marintek (Norway)
UNIS - The University Centre in Svalbard (Norway)
NArFU - Northern (Arctic) Federal University (Russia)
MSTU - Murmansk State Technical University (Russia)
Murmansk Arctic University (Russia)
World Maritime University (Sweden)
University of Alaska Fairbanks (USA)
US Coast Guard Academy (USA)
University of Florida (USA)



Operational logistics and business process management in High Arctic oil and gas operations (Oplog)

The Oplog project studies the offshore oil and gas supply chain and the relations between offshore service vessel companies and the petroleum companies operating oil and gas fields in the Arctic regions. There is a need for increased knowledge on operational concepts suited for Arctic conditions. The Oplog-project analyses innovative business process management concepts in offshore logistics operations, particularly the organizational configuration of the shipping services that support platforms or other floating units located in Arctic waters.
The Oplog project also studies the interface between the ship-owners operational management, the offshore vessels taking part in in a logistics operation and the oil company responsible for the offshore logistics.

Main objective:
The main objective of the Oplog-project is to increase understanding of the relations between the operational context, offshore logistics systems and the management of the business processes included in an offshore supply chain.


  • Map operational logistics challenges and demands for the offshore supply vessel (OSV) fleet in Arctic waters compared with the North Sea.
  • Shed light on business models and specific business processes of shipping firms in different contexts, with emphasis on innovation.
  • Increase knowledge about the operational management of interaction between vessels, platforms, supply base and field coordinators at oil companies

Project Partners

Nord University, Norway
UiT-University of the Arctic, Norway
University College of Haugesund, Norway
University of Stavanger, Norway
University of Southampton, UK
Technological University of Cyprus, Cyprus

Project Structure

Work package 1: Task environment
Work package 2: Operational logistics
Work package 3: Business models and business process management


Troms Offshore
Nor Supply Offshore (NSO)
Eni Norge AS
Vard AS
Norwegian Research Council – MAROFF Program
Nord University

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