Polar Science and Technology

Knowledge for more secure marine installations, operations in polar regions.

NTNU Oceans Pilot on Arctic marine environment

- project addressing Risk, Reliability and Ice data in the Arctic marine environment

Data and knowledge about the marine environment in arctic regions are lacking. How then to achieve a sufficient safety level for humans and the environment at an acceptable cost? Through multidisciplinary research, combining expertise in civil, marine, cybernetics, remote sensing, mechanical, statistics, economy, management, and history, science based tools for rational design of risk and safety in the Arctic Marine and Coastal environment are to be developed. Typical end-users are shipping companies, local communities, oil companies, regulatory bodies, consultants and construction companies.

The Nansen LEGACY 

This multidisciplinary national initiative is set up to understand and predict the natural and human influences on the Barents Sea ecosystem beyond the present ice edge. The new Norwegian ice-breaker Kronprins Haakon will be a core facility. Recruitment of a new generation Polar researchers equipped with interdisciplinary knowledge and emerging tools is an important task. The project will run from 2018 to 2023.


Knowledge Areas

  • Polar resources
  • Cooperative marine operations
  • Ice monitoring and management
  • Robust structures and processing technology
  • Safety, risk management, ethics and politics
  • Biogeochemical processes

Knut HøylandArctic - Risk, reliability and ice data

Head of Pilot programme
Knut Vilhelm Høyland



Ingrid SchjølbergNansen Legacy

Ingrid Schjølberg

Director NTNU Oceans



The Centre for Research-based Innovation on Sustainable Arctic Marine and Coastal Technology (2011–2019) supports two innovation areas: Marine Technology for Arctic Offshore Field Development, and Technology for Arctic Coastal Development. Research is conducted in Data Collection and Process Modelling, Material Modelling, Fixed and Floating Structures in Ice, Ice Management and Design Philosophy, and Coastal Technology. It is hosted by NTNU and has a large share of industrial partners.


Arctic ABC 

Arctic ABC is a project on Arctic ocean ecosystems - Applied technology, Biological interactions and Consequences in an era of abrupt climate change. By developing a new autonomous observational platform that is to be deployed in the Arctic drift ice, the project will investigate:

  • the extent of dependence of polar cod (Boreogadus saida) on sea ice
  • the life-history traits and seeding processes of ice-associated flora and fauna
  • the existence and magnitude of the biological carbon pump in ice covered waters


"Coastal and Marine Operations and Surveillance" is a strategic research area at NTNU, aiming to accelerate the development of high level research activity within coastal and maritime operations. It supports and initiates new collaboration initiatives involving both industry and international partners within the fields of information technology, mathematics and electrical engineering.



The project will develop, compare and evaluate the effectiveness and environmental effects of different oil spill response methods in a cold climate. It will also develop a system for the real-time observation of underwater oil spills, and will contribute to the development of a cross-border oil spill response strategy and decision making in cold climate and ice-infested areas. GRACE is funded by H2020 and runs from 2016 to 2019.


Marine Night & CircA

Marine Night and CircA are projects under the "Mare Incognitum" umbrella.

Marine Night aims at exploring the Arctic marine ecosystem beyond the boundaries of darkness, focusing both on pelagic, sympagic and benthic organisms. Researchers investigate ecological processes from reproduction and growth to trophic interactions and life-history processes during this nearly unstudied time and how they contribute to the functioning of Arctic ecosystems.

The CircA project studies circadian rhythms of Arctic zooplankton from polar twilight to polar night - patterns, processes and ecosystem implications. By combining acoustic and optical data, with video plankton recorder and net sampling, the aim is to describe observed diel vertical migration (DVM) patterns and the potential effects on the Arctic marine ecosystem. Particular focus is on the biogeochemical cycling of chemical elements like carbon and nitrogen.

Joint Centre of Excellence for Arctic Shipping and Operations

This Centre aims at advancing safe arctic operations and transport through a holistic risk-based approach. It focuses on design relevant actions occurring during the entire life-cycle of the ship or installation at sea. It is a collaboration between NTNU, Aalto University (Finland), Memorial University of Newfoundland (Canada) and the University of Helsinki (Finland), and funded by Lloyd Register Foundation.



The project on "Effects of dispersed oil droplets and produced water components on growth, development and reproduction of Arctic pelagic copepods" runs from 2015 to 2018. Its purpose is to investigate whether oil spills and oil residue in so-called "produced water" can damage copepods in Arctic waters. The researchers will particularly study the copepods Calanus glacialis and Calanus hyperboreus, which are considered to be the most important zooplankton species in the Arctic. They form an important link in the Arctic food web, and are one of the main feed sources for cod fry.


Arctic DP

The main focus of the project on "Safe and green dynamic positioning (DP) operations of offshore vessels in an arctic environment" was to understand the physics of DP vessel motions in arctic sea-ice. Mathematical models and numerical simulators were developed for use in automatic control theory, estimation, and development of decision support tools for improved design and situational awareness. The project was awarded by the Research Council of Norway to NTNU and industry partners Kongsberg Maritime, Statoil, and DNV-GL for the project period 2010–2014.



Sveinung Løset



Asgeir SørensenArctic ABC

Asgeir Johan Sørensen




Marine Night & CircA 

Geir Johnsen




Anders Johny Olsen


Anders Johny Olsen