The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the globe, and the Svalbard region is warming fastest within the Arctic. Ny-Ålesund Research Station, located at 79°N in the north-western part of Spitsbergen, Svalbard, is a unique platform for studies of climate change, and is a a key location for natural science research and environmental monitoring in the high Arctic. While remote, it is easily accessible, and offers extensive research infrastructure.

Norway has facilitated international polar research in Ny-Ålesund for more than 50 years.

Svalbard research is characterised by a high degree of international collaboration, and in Ny-Ålesund more than 20 research institutions are engaged in long-term research and monitoring activities. On top of the more than 50 years of Norwegian research, environmental monitoring and infrastructure investments in Ny-Ålesund, the diverse international presence on site provides unique opportunities for collaboration. To further promote integration between institutions and across disciplines, the research community has established four flagship programmes which cover most of the research and monitoring projects and programmes in Ny-Ålesund.

Formal framework for the continued development of Ny-Ålesund Research Station

The Norwegian Government published its Strategy for research and higher education in Svalbard (pdf) in May 2018, outlining the main priorities and ambitions in this field for Svalbard as a whole. Given the central role that Ny-Ålesund has in Svalbard research, the Government, in a follow-up of the strategy, tasked the Research Council of Norway with developing a research strategy specifically for Ny-Ålesund research station. The Ny-Ålesund research strategy (pdf) came into force in May 2019.

Key institutions and forums for Ny-Ålesund research

All research actors in Ny-Ålesund have a responsibility to coordinate their activities with the other institutions on site.