Greenland Perspective aims at turning barriers into advantages – University of Copenhagen

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14 April 2015

Greenland Perspective aims at turning barriers into advantages

From minus to plus

A new initiative open to researchers from all institutions - Greenland Perspective ­– is exploring how to turn Greenlandic minuses into plusses.

The cold climate, lack of infrastructure, a small population and remoteness. Some of the well-known characteristics of Greenland are often considered to be barriers to a development of the country’s industry. A new initiative open to researchers from all institutions - Greenland Perspective ­– is exploring how to turn these apparent minuses into plusses. 

The point of departure for the Greenland Perspective initiative is that Greenland is rich with human and natural resources which could contribute to solving global problems like food shortage, health problems and climate problems in other parts of the world and at the same time create development and sustainable growth in Greenland.

"Joining Greenland Perspective is a way of activating your research in the Greenlandic society and a chance to collaborate with new interesting partners from many different institutions, disciplines and parts of society.

Professor Minik Rosing

A multi-disciplinary initiative reaching out to the public

The work method of Greenland Perspective is multi-disciplinary and multi-national with a goal of exploring the resources of Greenland – and doing it in collaboration with civil society, industry and authorities. The initiative is divided into theme packages such as the theme package Green Land- exploring natural resources or a theme package called Nation Building with a goal of analyzing the structure and functions of the Greenlandic society and compare with other relevant nations or areas.

Each theme is treated by a wide range of disciplines, making sure that as many aspects as possible are covered. Researchers participate with their own independent ongoing research projects and approximately once a year, the results are assembled in a synthesis report meant for the public.

Identifying new ideas 
The initiative has been started by the University of Copenhagen in collaboration with Ilisimatusarfik, University of Greenland. A broad range of researchers from Danish, Greenlandic and international research institutions, such as DTU, The Greenlandic Institute of Natural Resources, ARTEK and Universities of Aalborg and Aarhus are already involved. By assembling their research new ways to turn some of the special characteristics of Greenland into competitive advantages could be identified: Using hydropower, exploring Greenland as a test bed for new green technologies, finding new creative ways to optimize human capital or finding out how to exploit natural resources in a more sustainable way which might reduce CO2  emissions in other parts of the world are just some of the ideas. 

A chance to activate your research and collaborating with new partners
Leader of the initiative, Professor Minik Rosing, explains:

- Joining Greenland Perspective is a way of activating your research in the Greenlandic society and a chance to collaborate with new interesting partners from many different institutions, disciplines and parts of society. Today, a lot of interesting and highly relevant research on Greenland is done, but often the results are not fed into the Greenlandic or international society. By assembling interesting research of high quality in these theme packages as a basis for synthesis reports, we hope to be able to see new patterns and possibilities. It is a way of creating new synergies between research areas – but each researcher can still focus on their own field of expertise.