Arctic Frontiers Abroad Finland

Image shows a man dressed in a green jacket looking at a phone that lights him up. The background shows a map of the Arctic region in a circular shape.

Connecting in New Ways- Digital Communication in the Arctic

Join us for a seminar organised by Arctic Frontiers and The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Helsinki on Wednesday June 14, 2023.

This event is by invitation only, due to the limited capacity at the venue. If you are interested in participating, please contact [email protected]. The deadline for registration is June 2, 2023.

The event focuses on the potential of improved connectivity in the Arctic through submarine cables and satellites. How can improved connectivity serve the Arctic region? How can Finnish-Norwegian cooperation in this field help to bring new knowledge and services to the region? Can connectivity strengthen our businesses and communities? Representatives from Norway and Finland will focus on regional development challenges and opportunities related to increased digital connectivity – potential for new establishments in the region, education, R&E institutions, job opportunities and ripple effects for local communities.


From the bottom of the ocean to space

Digital connectivity is a prerequisite for modern development. In the Arctic, digital connectivity plays an even bigger role as many communities are distant, sparsely populated, and challenging to reach due to, among others, harsh weather conditions. However, the Arctic also presents many advantages for becoming a new marketplace for connectivity, such as land availability, cold climate, access to clean energy, and well-educated workforce. Finland and Norway have set a strong focus on capitalizing on these advantages. This event focuses on the potential of improved connectivity in the Arctic through submarine cables and satellites.

Novel possibilities lie in connecting these countries to a planned fiber optic cable from Asia to Europe via the Arctic. The current plans for the development of Far North Fiber (FNF) from Asia across Northwest passage to Northern Norway could serve such purpose. This cable could strengthen the e-communication infrastructure across the northern regions of Norway and Finland if connected to Finnish infrastructure.
The utilization of space has emerged as an integral part of societal infrastructure because of the unique qualities the space infrastructure provides in telecommunication, navigation and positioning, space research and increasing satellite coverage over the Earth’s surface. The utilization of space requires infrastructure in space and on the ground. Due to the orbit of many of the satellites, the Arctic provides the most effective location for ground stations. This has led to an extensive development of suited ground infrastructure in the region.

Image shows fibre cabels lit by blue light in front of a dark background
Image: Danny Mueller
Photo shows a Satellite antenna pointing upwards. The surface is light and the image has a dark background.
Image: Galen Crout

Providing better digital connectivity and a more robust network capacity through fiber cables and satellite services could create business opportunities in the region by boosting local enterprises’ access to the global economy. It has the potential to foster new companies along the supply chain thus creating new jobs in the region and helping address larger demographical challenges. It can also contribute to new opportunities for research institutions by giving them access to new data and a larger and faster capacity for data processing. Maritime operations, climate monitoring, telecommunications are among the likely beneficiaries.
In addition to strengthening environmental and resource management in the northern area, building and developing digital communication infrastructure can also promote further developments in the education sector of the region. Additional educational opportunities in key sectors will be necessary to train and recruit young people to these industries.
International collaboration is essential in order to implement, operate and finance all facets of this project from logistics, infrastructure and data delivery chains. For projects of this scale, it is important to secure national and regional support. There is a need to build awareness and knowledge on all levels, and to market the opportunities to potential beneficiaries like businesses.

Goal of the seminar

With this seminar, we aim to address the possibilities and challenges for our two countries with improved connectivity in the north. Are there obstacles in terms of international cooperation? Can the changed geopolitical situation propel the urgency for this improved digital connectivity? Are regional authorities and governing organisations ready to support this kind of projects? What kind of business opportunities are there for existing and new companies?

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Olli-Pekka Rantala, Director-General of Ministerial Governance Department, Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications (LVM)
  • Ari-Jussi Knaapila, CEO Cinia
  • Juergen Qvist, NORDUnet
  • Per Öster, CSC
  • Anders Andersen, The Arctic University of Norway (UiT)
  • Dag-Kjetil Hansen, Bredbåndsfylket
  • Nils Arne Johnsen, Troms and Finnmark County Council
  • Yngve Vassmyr, Jordobservasjon AS
  • Petri Hyyppä, Aurora DC
  • Pekka Rantala, Business Finland, 6G Bridge Program
  • Tero Veuraste, Senior BD Advisor, ICEYE
Photo shows image of earth from inside a satellite.
Image by NASA

Venue: The Norwegian Ambassador’s Residence, Rehbinderintie 17, 00150 Helsinki, Finland
Time: Wednesday, June 14. 10:00 – 14:00

This event is organised by Arctic Frontiers and The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Helsinki, and supported by Innovation Norway Arctic Office.

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