Overall Goal

The idea of the TN is to unite the efforts of the academic personnel from universities and research institutions as well as representatives from public sector institutions and businesses in the High North who share an interest in the concept of smart societies. To promote the TN outside the Arctic region, the project intends to include an international group of researchers in the field of Smart governance, technology, management, innovations and public administration to contribute to the development of the TN.

In the long run, the TN is to develop, promote and disseminate knowledge in potentially thematic areas that are relevant to Smart Cities and Societies in the High North, e.g. Human and Investment Attractiveness, Clusters of Innovations, Participatory Governance, Financial, Social and Environmental Sustainability, Performance Management, Energy and IT Technologies, Risk Management, Digital Literacy and/or the Role of Indigenous peoples.

That the thematic network is not only formally established but also receives circumpolar attention from both academics and practitioners. Because the Thematic Network will aim to develop, promote and disseminate knowledge related to Smart Societies in the High North.

Main Activities

Because the Thematic Network will aim to develop, promote and disseminate knowledge related to Smart Societies in the High North, we will establish a foundation for TN activities by

  • Learning from existing experience by talking to academics and practitioners who are involved in such projects internationally and in the circumpolar area, establish a dialogue arena.
  • Evaluating of the demand for new educational programs, courses and/or short workshops (by making surveys and roundtable discussion/focus group interviews with practitioners/users in each country).
  • Analyzing the potential sources of funding for joint research, education and development projects both internationally and in each partner country related to Smart Societies in the High North.
  • Work with a TN strategy statement highlighting what should be the focus areas/priorities of the TN on a short and long term – both in terms of development, research and educational programs. We will also
  • Promote academic interest to the topic of Smart Cities and Smart Societies in the High North by open seminars and webinars in order to recruit a wide number of relevant institutional participants.
  • Exploring opportunities to establish specific stakeholder dialogue arenas e.g. in relation to the High North Dialogue annual conference in Bodø.

Current and Planned Activities

  • High North Dialogue week 2020, including High North Dialogue Research Workshop where the new members will take part

  • 14-15 October 2019 – SmartNorth project Research Seminar and International conference “Opportunities and Challenges for Smart Development of the High North: Regional and Municipal Governance, Business and People” where several TN members took part and presented their work (Nord University: Anatoli Bourmistrov, Nadezda Nazarova, Andreas Raspotnik; Tyumen State University: Irina Liman; University of Alaska Anchorage: Professor Heather Hudson), attached are the conference photos 1, 2, and 3

  • 15 January 2020 – Opening seminar for international students “Value creation in the High North” at the Nord University Business School where TN Lead Professor Anatoli Bourmistrov talked about Smart Societies development in the High North and Stephan Andre Skjelvan (Director, Department of business, development and agriculture, Bodø municipality) introduced The Smart Bodø program with the focus on Opportunities for the sustainable and smart city in the High North
  • 16-17 January 2020 – Meeting arranged with new TN members from Luleå University of Technology (Sweden), Architecture Group represented by David Chapman and Agneta Larsson specialized in spatial planning in winter cities and with The Technical University of Denmark, Arctic Technology Centre represented by Kåre Hendriksen who teaches at the Arctic Engineering education in Sisimiut, Greenland, and his research focuses on development of dynamics in Arctic and primary Greenlandic communities with focus on island operations, including the link between social infrastructure and business development. Potential ways for cooperation were discussed, see social media post here as well as meeting photo
  • Publication of the strategy and information material about the TN on UArctic web-page (February, 2019)
  • Advertising and recruiting new members and signing at bi-lateral/mulita-lateral institutional cooperative agreements
  • Publishing newspapers’ chronicles/debates about Smart Society development in the High North
  • Submission of a research application to national/international research/development funding with TN participants as partners
  • Launching a special issue on management of Smart Cities and communities in the High North in the Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting and Financial Management (JPBAFM) (April, 2019)

Past activities

  • Mapping member institutions’ capabilities and priorities. Establishing a steering committee
  • Development of the TN strategic document
  • Organizing the thematic network kick off webinar (January, 2019), presentation and approval of the strategic document
  • Organizing of first project workshop with existing partners (January, 2019)
  • Project result workshop in relation to High North Dialogue 2019, e.g. research track on Smart Societies in the High North, stakeholder dialogue and major forum in Bodø (as a side event)
  • Establishment of the reference group in TN SmartNorth