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New European research centre eyes oil-rich arctic

cold-climate-research-centreEurope’s first Cold Climate Technology Research Centre will explore how people and technology respond to arctic conditions — an increasingly important subject for organisations seeking to exploit polar oil reserves as climate change reduces ice cover.

The new centre will be headed by Norwegian-born Arne Erik Holdø, who has spent most of his career working in UK universities.

Holdø was a research group leader at the University of Hertfordshire’s School of Aerospace, Automotive and Design for 20 years before moving to the University of Coventry for 18 months. He has now returned to Northern Norway to become Vice-Chancellor of Narvik University College (NUC), which will open a Cold Climate Technology Research Centre later this year.

The centre, which is a joint venture between NUC and Narvik Norut, the Northern Research Institute, will build on its knowledge and expertise in arctic technology to develop technological solutions for use by businesses operating in the region.

“The world’s largest remaining oil reserves are in the north divided between Russia and Norway and the petroleum companies are moving north to operate in these environments,” said Holdø. “These companies need to know how to operate in arctic conditions and how structures react to low temperatures, snow and ice. NUC and Norut have collaborated in cold climate research for over 20 years; our Cold Climate Technology Research Centre will provide new research information which will make the High North more accessible to companies who wish to operate here.”

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