Norway’s Minister for climate and environment, Sveinung Rotevatn, visited Ny-Ålesund from the 28th to the 29th of June to officially open the renovated Service Building. In their speeches to mark the event, Minister Rotevatn, Lars Ole Saugnes (Kings Bay’s director), Tor Instanes (chair of the board of Kings Bay), Ole Arve Misund (director at the Norwegian Polar Institute) and Maarten Loonen (chair of Ny-Ålesund Science Managers’ Committee – NySMAC) all stressed the important role that the Service Building plays in bringing together the diverse Ny-Ålesund community. Sharing three meals a day gives ample opportunity for dialogue across disciplines and institutions, for discussions of future joint projects, and for finding quick, unbureaucratic solutions to practical problems.

During his stay at Ny-Ålesund Research Station, minister Rotevatn also had the opportunity to visit several of the key research and monitoring infrastructures on site – among them the Zeppelin Observatory and the Norwegian Mapping Authority’s Geodetic Earth Observatory.

There was also time set aside for a meeting with Maarten Loonen, chair of NySMAC to discuss how to further strengthen and expand the role of Ny-Ålesund research station as a unique location for Arctic research and environmental monitoring.