Research in Svalbard (RiS) is a database for registration of all kinds of science projects in Svalbard, including information about participating scientists and institutions, publications and data collected (metadata). The user-friendly portal offers open access to all relevant information in one place. It is a valuable tool for coordination and cooperation for those carrying out research in Svalbard and a place to search for information about activity in the field.
In the RiS Portal, registered projects may easily submit applications to the Governor of Svalbard and book services in Ny-Ålesund.
The portal provides open access to anyone wishing to search among registered projects and does not require them to have a user name or password. Project participants will receive a dedicated user name and password and may enter data from their own projects, whereas project managers will be granted the highest access level, allowing them to register research projects and apply for relevant authorisations.
It is mandatory to register all research projects requiring authorisation pursuant to the Svalbard Environmental Protection Act or which will be carried out in Ny-Ålesund or Hornsund via the RiS Portal. Svalbard-related research projects receiving funding from the Research Council of Norway are also required to register via RiS.
All other research projects with a connection to Svalbard are encouraged to register in the database.
Svalbard Science Forum
The Svalbard Science Forum (SSF) promotes coordination of and collaborative efforts in research activities in Svalbard. Our objective is to contribute toward the development of Svalbard as a platform for international research cooperation in the Arctic.
The SSF's tasks include managing the RiS Portal and database, which contains information relating to over two thousand projects in and around Svalbard.
The SSF organises workshops and administers funding schemes targeted towards the polar research community while continuously working to minimise the environmental footprint of research activities. The Svalbard Science Forum is administered by the Research Council of Norway.
SSF Strategic objectives:
- Increased and improved international and inter-disciplinary research cooperation
- Increased coordination of research activities
- More and open sharing of data
- Reduced environmental impact through coordination of logistics and activity, use of new technologies and efficient use of existing infrastructure.
Kings Bay AS
Ny-Ålesund is a hub for international Arctic scientific research and environmental monitoring. In its mission statement, Kings Bay AS seeks to support "the best interests of Arctic research and environmental monitoring" and the company's main task is to be a facilitator for Ny-Ålesund.
The role of Kings Bay AS as a facilitator revolves primarily around the provision of infrastructure services, but the company also offers other services that promote greater research coordination and collaboration. Furthermore, Kings Bay AS plays a central role in ensuring adequate information flow between actors in Ny-Ålesund and the world at large. Kings Bay AS works to build networks to expand and maintain contact with similar Arctic research stations and research communities.
Office of the Governor of Svalbard
The Governor of Svalbard is the Norwegian Government's representative in Svalbard. The Office is a unique entity within the Norwegian government administration, with an environmental protection department, a police department and several other administrative areas all under the same roof.
Researchers conducting fieldwork in Svalbard must familiarise themselves with all relevant regulations. As a general rule, most field activities require a permit from the Governor's Office. All temporary and permanent installations require permission from the Governor's Office, except installations in the settlements, which have their own area plans. (Please note that permission may also be required for settlements but these will be administered by the local authorities.) Fieldwork in protected areas requires a permit regardless of the nature of the fieldwork. You can read more about this in the Svalbard Environmental Protection Act.
Svalbard Environmental Protection Act
The Act entered into force on 1 July 2002. Its purpose is to preserve a virtually untouched environment in Svalbard with respect to continuous areas of wilderness, landscape, flora, fauna and cultural heritage. Within this framework, the Act allows for environmentally sound settlement, research and commercial activities.
If you are in doubt as to whether you need a permit, do not hesitate to contact the Governor's Office. Start your planning process early; you should allow at least one month for administrative processing at the Governor's Office.