Polar cooperation between South Korea and Norway

Today leaders of the Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI) and the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) signed an agreement regarding a joint research centre at the premises of the Norwegian Polar Institute at the Fram Centre in Tromsø, Norway. This will facilitate research cooperation between the two institutes.

People signing documents

SIGNED AGREEMENT Research Director Nalan Koç, Norwegian Polar Institute, director Jan-Gunnar Winther, Norwegian Polar Institute, Deputy Director Moon Young Choe, KOPRI, international management, Hyoung Chul Shin, KOPRI. Photo: Elin Vinje Jenssen / Norwegian Polar Institute

People signing documents

RESEARCH AND LOGISTICS The agreement agreed to collaborate on research and logistics and to share resources, data and facilities. Photo: Elin Vinje Jenssen / Norwegian Polar Institute

People signing documents

BASED IN TROMSØ The agreement that was signed today is a specification of the cooperation agreement signed in 2012. Photo: Elin Vinje Jenssen / Norwegian Polar Institute

Group photo of scientists and managers from KOPRI and the Norwegian Polar Institute

WORKSHOP Scientists and managers from KOPRI and Norwegian Polar Institute attended the workshop after the signing. Photo: Elin Vinje Jenssen / Norwegian Polar Institute

Polar research is a prioritized theme when it comes to cooperation between Norway and South Korea. During the visit of the President of South Korea to Norway in 2012, a Memorandum of Understanding between the two institutions was signed. This agreement states the intention to cooperate in matters relating to research and logistics, including sharing resources, data and space.

The agreement signed today is more specific, granting KOPRI an office at the NPI through the KOPRI–NPI Cooperative Research Centre. The office will be manned by up to two persons intermittently.

“Our two countries are a long distance away from each other, but we have much in common within polar research. We are sincere players who share a passion for the Arctic and Antarctica,” said Dr. Moon Young CHOE, vice-president of KOPRI. “Our cooperation efforts will set an example for the polar community.”

“The physical proximity will make it easier for the two sister institutions to cooperate on research,” said NPI Director Dr. Jan-Gunnar Winther. “In this way we can meet more often face to face and strengthen the possibilities for cooperation in the Arctic and Antarctica. We regard KOPRI as a very serious partner, and we are looking forward to developing this starting point of our collaboration.”

Next year KOPRI will participate in the NPI’s N-ICE2015 project by carrying out atmospheric research. The project plans to freeze NPI research vessel Lance into the ice at 84 degrees northern latitude, north of Spitsbergen in the Svalbard Archipelago, in January. The ship will act as a floating platform for research on climate and the environment, and it will move with the ice until it breaks loose a few months later.