Subsequently, a few years later, a group of individuals in an Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme / AMAP meeting in Kautokeino, Norway, put down some initial thoughts on a concept for an Arctic University. Having heard of this concept, the Senior Arctic Officials of the Arctic Council asked the Circumpolar Universities Association / CUA to do a feasibility study on the possible creation of a University of the Arctic. The then CUA President and University of Lapland Rector, Esko Riepula, organized funding from the Finnish government and the feasibility study was conducted through the CUA Secretariat. The ensuing work performed by the CUA laid the groundwork for the creation of UArctic which was founded in 2001.
President Ylä-Kotola paid tribute to Esko Riepula, as well as to Lars-Otto Ryersen and David Stone original members of the AMAP group.

Participants to the In the Spirit of Rovaniemi Process conference included prominent representation from all the Arctic states, including the Prime Minister of Finland, Jyrki Katainen; the Canadian Ambassador to Finland, Ms. Andrée N. Cooligan; former Defence and Foreign minister for Norway, Thorvald Stoltenberg; and former Minister of the Environment for Finland, Kaj Bärlund.

Among the conference keynotes are Mary Simon, of the Arctic Institute of North America / AINA in Canada; Peter Prokosch, Managing Director of UNEP GRID‐Arendal, Norway; and Mikko Alestalo, Director of the Finnish Meteorological Institute