Germany and Norway conclude agreement on High North research

From the left: Per Arne Bjørkum, Aslaug Mikkelsen, Kurt M. Reinicke, Viktor Elbling, Bjørn Tore Godal and Ivar Rusdal. Photo: Elisabeth Tønnessen.

From the left: Per Arne Bjørkum, Aslaug Mikkelsen, Kurt M. Reinicke, Viktor Elbling, Bjørn Tore Godal and Ivar Rusdal. Photo: Elisabeth Tønnessen.

As part of the Government’s High North efforts, an agreement was signed today between the University of Stavanger and the Clausthal University of Technology in Germany. Under the agreement, professorships will be established to strengthen cooperation on research and education in the fields of energy and the environment in the High North.

The intention is to promote knowledge development and transfer between the two universities in the fields of energy and the environment through joint research and educational activities.

“I welcome the agreement and am very pleased that these professorships will now be established. Increased cooperation on important energy and environmental issues is a good example of how leading research and educational institutions can contribute to more sustainable development in the north. Developing knowledge on resource management and environmental and climate developments in the north is one of the cornerstones of the Norwegian Government’s High North Strategy,” said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

The cooperation programme will focus mainly on energy efficiency, sustainable production and use of energy resources in the High North. It is a direct result of the High North dialogues  between the German and Norwegian Foreign Ministers that have taken place regularly since 2004. The programme has been further developed under the Government’s High North Strategy, which was launched in 2006.

“We are deeply honoured and very grateful that the Ministries of Foreign Affairs have decided to establish these professorships. We look forward to intensifying our cooperation with our colleagues in Clausthal with the support of our governments. For the University of Stavanger, this will lead to a considerable strengthening of our research in the field of energy, particularly as regards developments in the High North, where we will draw on expertise developed in the North Sea, and also further develop our cooperation with the University of Tromsø,” said Aslaug Mikkelsen, Rector of the University of Stavanger.

The programme, which will have a duration of five years with a possible five-year extension, will be funded by private and public sponsors. The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will provide NOK 5 million in the period 2009–2011, and the power company Lyse Energi AS will provide NOK 13 million.

The announcement of the cooperation was made in connection with the German-Norwegian consultations on energy and climate in Stavanger on 18 June.

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