Circumpolar Innovation Workshop

Upcoming Workshop On

Circumpolar Innovation: Making Science and Technology Work for the North

November 25 – November 27
Whitehorse, Yukon Canada

The Circumpolar North faces major challenges in the years ahead. Its future hinges, in substantial measure, on a truly Circumpolar initiative to capitalize on new technologies to address pressing Arctic needs. Circumpolar innovation, however, is at its infancy. To date, there have only been very localized and limited efforts to improving the quality of life through science and technology. Instead, Northern regions get later and smaller versions of southern innovations, with very few North-centred developments. Responding to the technological opportunities of the 21st century requires the rapid and effective mobilization of Arctic talent and resolve. No one northern nation by itself has the technological capabilities, research facilities, entrepreneurial acumen or risk capital necessary to attract sustained attention to Arctic challenges. Collectively, the Circumpolar World has a sizeable market, talent pool, business environment and human capacity to make more out of the greatest sustained, intense and remarkable period of scientific and technological change ever experienced. If this effort is left to national innovation eco-systems and existing free market solutions, the North will fall further technologically behind the rest of the developed world.

Meeting the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century requires a fundamental change in the North’s approach to innovation and capacity building, with these two elements closely linked. To
address this need, ICNGD and Yukon College are planning a Circumpolar Innovation Workshop to bring together industry, government and researchers from across North America and Scandinavia to set the framework for a Circumpolar Innovation Agenda. Members of the Commercialization of Science and Technology for the North Thematic Network (University of the Arctic) recently identified this workshop as a key priority at the 2015 Arctic Frontiers Conference in Tromsø, Norway.

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