A position paper released by the European Polar Board (EPB) calls for focusing polar research into the European Research Area so that it not only becomes a priority for the upcoming 8th R&D Framework Programme from the European Commission and polar funding agencies at national level in EU member states but that it also minimizes the overlap between participating European nations and organisations.
“We need an ambitious and broad strategy for investment in research activities in the Polar Regions for the long-term benefit of Europe,” said Professor Carlo Alberto Ricci, Chairman of the European Polar Board. “This approach will also serve to increase the weight of European science within the international polar science effort.”
European research currently accounts for some 300 million euro per year in the Polar Regions, but much of this research is fragmented and susceptible to overlap. With increasing climate change in the region the overlap will become more critical as the accessibility of the region opens up and industries once restricted move into the area, such as fisheries, tourism, oil, gas and transport.