From the experience with the Arctic Programme of Wageningen UR it became clear that networks in the Netherlands are separated. Scientist mostly discuss with scientists, industries with industries and policy makers with policy makers. Little interaction exists between these different stakeholders. Therefore Wageningen UR and Wing took the initiative to bring these networks together to form the Dutch Arctic Circle. The aim of this initiative is to connect supply and demand of Arctic knowledge in the Netherlands in order to work towards responsible offshore operations.
During the first meeting it became clear that a vision is needed. Where do we want to stand in 2030? How are the Arctic regions being used in 2030 and what needs to be done now to achieve this? How to achieve a sustainable use of resources? From this general idea more specific themes have been selected in other meetings, such as the use of Building with Nature principles during Arctic operations. Another important topic is the economic meaning of the Arctic regions for The Netherlands Inc in terms of jobs and turnover. At the same time Dutch industries have to prove the sustainability of their operations by developing international standards and reducing environmental impacts. The Dutch Polar Policy including the scientific programme has to be evaluated. The Dutch Arctic Circle advices on how to incorporate industries within the new programme. Another challenge is how to incorporate the Arctic theme within the Dutch topsectoren policy, aiming to focus research funding directly on the research needs of companies.
The Dutch Arctic Circle comes together each quarter of the year to discuss a wide range of issues. The platform is also used by the partners to disseminate relevant knowledge, ideas, developments, news, conferences and seminars. Represented organisations include: NWO, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Shell, Van Oord, Boskalis, Royal Haskoning DHV, Project Delta Group, Arctic Centre Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Canatec, Marin, TU Delft.
This initiative is financed by the Maritime Innovation and Impulse Programme. Wageningen UR and Wing are the coordinators and facilitators of the process.