The 2nd workshop on Artificial Intelligence & Data Science for the Arctic

When: 29th September 2021
Where: Virtual event

There are extreme challenges unique to the Arctic, from human activities and impacts in remote Arctic locations to Arctic data acquisition, sharing, and quality. There is a strong need to direct AI applications towards solving Arctic challenges that are important for the world as well as to highlight the ‘black holes’ or knowledge gaps and raise awareness on what does not work, needs improvements, and what needs critical attention in Arctic and other freezing areas. 

Face Arctic challenges, join us!

We invite you all to the virtual talks and discussions series hosted by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. We gather industry, government, academia, and engaged citizens who are willing to share their experiences and to learn across disciplines.



(Time Zone - Europe/Oslo)

09:30-12:30 Keynotes & Debates:

Chair: Siri Granum Carson, Director NTNU Oceans

Maurice Borgeaud (Head of the Science, Applications and Climate Department, European Space Agency): Arctic challenges seen from space

Torbjørn Eltoft (UiT - The Arctic University of Norway): Deep Learning Challenges in Sea Ice Classification Tasks

Jan Rene Larsen (The Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) Secretariat): The SAON ROADS process, (abstract, pdf)

Alex Moltzau (Norwegian Artificial Intelligence Research Consortium (NORA)): Towards an International Political Strategy for Sustainable Use of Artificial Intelligence and Data in the Arctic

Panel debates "Transforming the Arctic future with AI " - Torbjørn Eltoft, Jan Rene Larsen, Alex Moltzau and Maurice Borgeaud

14:00-18:00 Technical Session: Arctic Applied AI and Data Science:

Chair: Knut V. Høyland

14:10-14:30 Peter L. Pulsifer (Arctic Data Committee, Carleton University): Towards an Ecosystem of Interoperable Data Infrastructures in Support of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Applications (abstract, pdf)

14:30-14:50 Thomas Y. Chen (Association for Computing Machinery / Polar AI Task Force): AI for Sea Ice Forecasting and Monitoring: Use Cases and Challenges (abstract, pdf)

15:50 -15:10 Yue Ying (NERSC): Correcting position errors in sea ice linear kinematic features: application of a multiscale alignment data assimilation approach

15:10 Discussions, Q&A

16:00 - Break 

16:15-16:35 Renat Yulmetov (C-Core): Data-driven iceberg drift modelling (abstract, pdf)

16:35 -16:55 Bjørnar Brende Smestad (NTNU): Predicting ship speeds in the Arctic without knowledge of ice conditions

16:55- 17:15 Andreas Stokholm (DTU Space, National Space Institute): Solving ambiguous SAR textures in convolutional neural networks for sea ice charts / ESA AI4Arctic

17:15 David Arthurs (Managing Director of Polar View): ESA Phi lab Sea ice challenge

17:20 Discussions, Q&A

18:00 – Closing



Maurice BorgeaudPhoto Maurice Borgeaud

Maurice Borgeaud is Head of Department at the European Space Agency (ESA), responsible for science, applications, and climate activities in the Earth Observation (EO) Directorate.

His main tasks are to interact with both the scientific community, ESA member states, and industry in order to propose new and innovative EO satellite missions. He also plays a key role in the definition of the long-term EO data exploitation strategy to be realized via a coherent programmatic framework that addresses the full spectrum of EO user communities. He is managing the ESA effort on climate change including the development of essential climate variables, promotes the use of EO data to monitor the UN SDG’s, and represents ESA in the Board of the International the International Charter Space and Major Disaster.

M. Borgeaud earned an Engineer Degree from EPFL, Lausanne and a Ph.D. Degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and associate Editor for the “IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing”. 

Torbjørn EltoftPhoto of Torbjørn Eltoft

Title:  Deep Learning Challenges in Sea Ice Classification Tasks

Torbjørn Eltoft  is a Professor at the Department of Physics and Technology, UiT the Arctic University of Norway. He is the Director of CIRFA (Centre for Integrated Remote Sensing and Forecasting for Arctic Operations), a Centre for Research-based awarded by the Norwegian Research Council in 2014. His research interests cover multi-dimensional signal and image analysis, statistical modelling, and machine learning, with special emphasis on applications in multi-channel Synthetic Aperture Radar and ocean color remote sensing. 

Jan Rene LarsenPhoto of Jan Rene Larsen

Since 2011, Deputy Executive Secretary at the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP). AMAP is a working group of the Arctic Council. Secretary of the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON). The vision for SAON is a connected, collaborative, and comprehensive long-term pan-Arctic Observing System that serves societal needs.

Involved in organising international conferences with an Arctic Perspective, including the Polar Data Forum and the Arctic Observing Summit. 

Involved in EU Horizon2020 projects (Arctic PASSION, EU-PolarNet and INTERACT) and ESA’s Arctic Mission System Study as task lead.

Biologist (environmental) from University of Copenhagen, Denmark with additional background in biostatistics and computer science.

Alex MoltzauPhoto of Alex Moltzau

Title: Towards an International Political Strategy for Sustainable Use of Artificial Intelligence and Data in the Arctic

Alex Moltzau is responsible for AI Policy and Ethics in the Norwegian Artificial Intelligence Research Consortium (NORA). NORA is one of the most comprehensive efforts to coordinate research in the field of AI in Norway, as it is currently a research collaboration between eight universities, two university colleges and four research institutes.

While working at NORA he is studying a MSc in Social Data Science at the University of Copenhagen. His background is within management, political science, anthropology and data science. Before working at NORA he was employed as a consultant in KPMG within the Risk and Compliance department in Norway evaluating technology-related projects for clients such as United Nations, Innovation Norway and NORAD while advising Red Cross on financial innovation. His most recent work in NORA is to develop the Norwegian AI Directory ( gathering a broad range of data about the field of AI in Norway.

In collaboration with:

In collaboration with:

link to norwegian open ai lab

link to ntnu oceans

logo Cluster for Applied AI logo

With support from:

With support from:

link to the research council of Norway

Organizing and steering committee members

Organizing and steering committee members

  • Arthur Mason, NTNU
  • Ekaterina Kim, NTNU
  • Jon Hellevang, GCE Ocean Technology
  • Kerstin Bach, NTNU
  • Knut Vilhelm Høyland, NTNU/UNIS
  • Laurent Bertino, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC)
  • María Azucena Gutiérrez González, NTNU
  • Marianne Jansson Bjerkman, Cluster for Applied AI, Smart Innovation Norway
  • Martin Ludvigsen, NTNU/UNIS
  • Nick Hughes, The Norwegian Meteorological Institute (MET)
  • Sachin Gaur, Norwegian Artificial Intelligence Research Consortium (NORA)
  • Siri Granum Carson, NTNU
  • Øyvind Mikkelsen, NTNU/UNIS