Uarctic Thematic Network

UArctic Thematic Network on Arctic safety and security

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 Security addresses 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 social communities in the Arctic.  Cross-border cooperation and optimal use of the preparedness resources of the Arctic countries are highlighted.

​The thematic network includes two sub-groups, one on Tourism Safety and the other on Emergency Preparedness.

The UARCTIC THEMATIC NETWORK ON ARCTIC SAFETY AND SECURITY is one of the networks fostered by the University of the Arctic – more information about the University of the Arctic can be found at:

Overall Goal
The overall goal of the UArctic thematic network is to provide knowledge that may mitigate the risk of accidents and major threats to life, environment values and communities. The network will emphasize the responsibility of the various actors in the Arctic, and raise safety awareness among both commercial players, local communities and governments. Secondly, we will contribute to emergency preparedness competence to increase emergency response capacities. Thirdly, the network has as a goal to contribute to international cooperation among the Arctic countries on these issues. The network will relate to international organizations and forums as well as representatives of the indigenous organizations of the Arctic

Main Activities
The thematic network will:

  • Facilitate research on commercial and other activity in the Arctic region and issues related to safety and security threats
  • Stimulate collaborative, cross-disciplinary research on safety, security and emergency management and preparedness
  • Facilitate integration of the research network into national and international research programs
  • Develop cooperation on the development and implementation of educational programs both for practitioners and academics, as well as training and exercise schemes aimed at safety and soft security
  • Create meeting places for knowledge sharing and innovations between the industry, the academia and the professionals within the preparedness system of the Arctic region
  • Stimulate cooperation on search and rescue, and protection of people, environment and society
  • Engage with international forums such as the Arctic Council’s Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response (EPPR) working group and the Arctic Coast Guard Forum
  • Provide opportunities for student exchange, practitioner mobility as well as faculty mobility among network partners, in order to strengthen knowledge exchange and research collaboration

    The UARCTIC THEMATIC NETWORK ON ARCTIC SAFETY AND SECURITY is one of the networks fostered by the University of the Arctic – more information can be found at:

Network structure

The umbrella network consists of two sub-groups:

Secure Societies and Maritime Emergency Preparedness

This sub-group contributes to increased focus on the preparedness for mitigating the consequences of unwanted incidents related to commercial and other activity in the Northern regions. The goal is to provide solutions that outline how societies may achieve strengthened cooperation and superior coordination of preparedness resources within the industries, the voluntary sector and the civilian and military governmental preparedness system. The network will highlight safety and soft security issues, the risks patterns of different geographical areas, and how the countries in the Arctic take responsibility and cooperate on safety and security management. A second objective is to create innovation networks between academia, the professional preparedness institutions and industry. The network will have a special focus on the international cooperation among the Arctic countries on these issues, and will feed into forums such as industry associations, the Arctic Council EPPR working group and, the Arctic Coast Guard Forum, as well as representatives of the indigenous organizations of the Arctic. The thematic network will promote joint educational programs and courses at different levels, exchange agreements for faculty and students, and R&D cooperation.

Coordinator of Sub-group:

Professor, dr. ekon. Odd Jarl Borch
Telephone: +47 75 51 76 16

Tourism Safety Network

This sub-group focuses on the safety and security aspects of tourism in the Arctic, with special focus on reducing the probability of accidents and other unwanted incidents. At destination level, the aim is achieved by raising safety and security awareness. The activities of the thematic network require networking with public administration, safety and security authorities, academia, associations and NGOs. Research and development activities (international projects) will aim to enhance capacities of all relevant stakeholders in their safety management procedures in the Arctic. The UArctic thematic network will enable the exchange of research on tourism safety and security in the circumpolar north, and contribute to developing safety and security within tourism. Linking researchers and developers into more intensive cooperation will open new possibilities for safety theory innovations and practical management solutions. Moreover, the work opens avenues for resource pooling in public-private-people cooperation in the industry.

Coordinator of Sub-group:

Ms. Eija Raasakka, Project manager
Tel. +358407098160

Dr. Eila Linna, RDI-manager
Tel. +358407355300


Educational programs

Lapland University of Applied Sciences
Arctic Guide Course

Laurea University of Applied Sciences
Bachelor's Degree Programme in Security Management


Hólar University College
Bachelor in Tourism studies
Master of Tourism

Nord University

UiT – The Arctic University of Norway
Bachelor in International Emergency (Harstad)
Bachelor Societal Security and Environment
Bachelor in Safety and Environment Engineering
Master Societal Security
Master-Technology and Safety in the High North 

The Norwegian Defence University College

Master in Military Studies

University of Stavanger
Master of Technology in Societal Security
Master in Societal Security
Master in Marine and Offshore technology
Master in Risk Management

UNIS - The University Centre in Svalbard
Shipping in the Arctic
Arctic Survival and Safety


NArFU - Northern (Arctic) Federal University
Bachelor in Techno sphere Safety
Training Center of Rescue Competencies
Environmental Risks Management in the Arctic (ERMA)

MSTU - Murmansk State Technical University
The Initial Training of Rescue
Global Maritime Communications Systems for distress
Maritime training centre of the International Management Code Safe Operation of Ships and Pollution Prevention
Training Centre the security of ships and port facilities
Bachelor in Techno sphere Safety
Environmental safety


World Maritime University
Master of Science in Maritime Affairs
Diploma in Maritime Safety & Security


University of Alaska Fairbanks
Master of Security and Disaster Management (MSDM)
Bachelor of Emergency Management (BEM)
Bachelor in Homeland Security HSEM

US Coast Guard Academy
International Accredited Management
Professional maritime studies
Strategic intelligence courses

University of Florida
Fire and Emergency Services
Military Science: Navy / Marine Corps
Masters of Science in Tourism & Recreation Management, with a specialization in Destination Development & Crisis Management


The final report on the Arctic Search and Rescue Exercise in Svalbard “SARex” is now available at:

Project findings from all 7 work packages of project “SARiNOR” on Search and Rescue in the High North are now available at

A range of findings and activities on Arctic Tourism Safety are published in the latest edition of the Shared Voices magazine:
Side event at Arctic Frontier 2017 on safe polar water navigation and preparedness within the cruise industry
The 7th MARPART Conference “Competence Development within Maritime Preparedness in The High North was held in Nuuk, Greenland ( The conference was organized by the High North Center at Nord University Business School (Norway) together with the University of Greenland (Greenland). Several members of UArctic Thematic Network on Arctic safety and security participated at the conference. Researchers and practitioners from 23 different institutions in nine countries met up in Nuuk to discuss maritime emergency management. Large-scale incidents such as cruise ship accidents, large oil spills and violent action incidents were among the most critical challenges discussed. The conference gave insights into the current research on maritime emergency management and the need for additional competence. It linked up to practitioners’ demands for adequate resources and technology, and the development of competences with the help of training schemes, exercises and joint education programs. Training infrastructure such as simulators were discussed.

A new thematic area of Digitalisation and Safety for Tourism on Smart Specialization Platform ( was launched on European Tourism Day in Brussels 27.9.2017. The aim is to support EU regions committed to generate a pipeline of industrial investment projects following a bottom-up approach - implemented through interregional cooperation, cluster participation and industry involvement.

A new online course in English is available It will provide you with skills for performing, leading groups and working responsibly in nature of an Arctic operating environment. The course is 100% virtual, 5 ECTS, and after finishing the course an electric badge is provided. The price of the course is 19,95 €.

Contact information

Coordination and secretariat: Nord University, Bodo, Norway
Project leader: Prof, dr. Odd Jarl Borch
Telephone: +47 75 51 76 16

Tourism Safety Network
Coordinator of Sub-group

Ms. Eija Raasakka, Project manager
Tel. +358407098160

Dr. Eila Linna, RDI-manager
Tel. +358407355300

Secure Societies and Emergency Preparedness
Coordinator of Sub-group: Professor, dr. ekon. Odd Jarl Borch
Telephone: +47 75 51 76 16