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GoNorth – exploring the Arctic Ocean

13 Norwegian research and education organizations, collectively known as GoNorth, have promoted a comprehensive, cross-disciplinary program to investigate the Arctic Ocean.

The Norwegian Government has defined the Arctic as its most important strategic foreign policy area. The government’s Ocean Strategy, Blue Opportunities, addressing knowledge building and sustainable development, adds a new dimension to the policy.

The mission of GoNorth is to organize and launch a series of scientific expeditions – on its own and through international collaboration. The GoNorth consortium proposes a wide-ranging and cross-disciplinary program to acquire new and essential knowledge about the oceanic areas, from the sea floor and subsea geology, through the water column, to the surface sea ice. Education will be an important part of the program.

GoNorth adopts a stepwise approach, starting in the coastal areas north of Svalbard, before gradually moving northward. These are the areas covered by the extended Norwegian continental shelf, which got the support of the United Nations’ Continental Shelf Commission in 2009.

Collaborative cruises with international partners are vital, for scientific, logistical and financial reasons. Ice breakers will be necessary in the northernmost areas. We are already in dialogue with several international partners who share our ambitions and goals in the Arctic Ocean.

GoNorth has the support of the Norwegian Scientific Academy for Polar Research.


Opening up a new era in Norwegian polar research, the coast guard icebreaker KV Svalbard reached the North Pole on 21st of August 2019, 125 years after Fridtjof Nansen tried to drift across the North Pole with his sailing vessel Fram. The picture shows commanding officer Geir-Martin Leinebø and expedition leader Hanne Sagen from the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center. (Photo: Håvard Sagen)

The GoNorth consortium includes the following universities and research institutes:
UiT: The Arctic University of Norway (UiT)
University of Bergen (UiB)
University of Oslo (UiO)
University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS)
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
Akvaplan-niva
Geological Survey of Norway (NGU)
Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC)
NORCE
NORSAR
Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI)
Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI)
SINTEF