Arctic Connections Fund: successful projects 2021 to 2022

List of successful applicants to the Arctic Connections Fund, launched in July 2021 to help Scottish organisations and communities collaborate with partners in the Arctic.

The Arctic Connections Fund was launched in July 2021 to help Scottish organisations and communities collaborate with partners in the Arctic. It promotes exchange of expertise on shared issues and aims to raise awareness of common ambitions in line with our Arctic policy framework

Scotland-based organisations were able to apply for a minimum of £1,000 and maximum of £10,000. Applications were assessed using a competitive scoring process during September 2021.

The original available budget for 2021 to 2022 was £70,000. However, due to overwhelming demand – 58 applications were received – we have been able to increase it to £105,000, which enables us to fund the following 12 projects.

Ref no:  ACF21-01
Grantee:  Dogstar Theatre company
Grant:  £6,966
Title:  Arctic Winds – Nightlands & The Fallen Angels of the Moine Part 1 – Creative Learning Programme

A Creative Learning Programme for schools and colleges in partnership with Profilteatern of Umeå, Sweden. The programme is an important element of the theatre and film project Arctic Winds Part 1 which features two new thematically-linked environmental dramas, both set in far northern locations. George Gunn’s The Fallen Angels of the Moine uses the proposed North Coast space port and its potential impact on the world’s biggest blanket bog as its focus; Jack Macgregor’s Nightlands is a dislocated generational conflict which takes place in the extraordinary ex-Soviet ghost town of Pyramiden on the Svalbard Archipelago during a ferocious Arctic winter.

Ref no: ACF21-02
Grantee:  Heriot Watt University
Grant:  £9,216
Title:  Scanning the Horizon: identifying challenges, knowledge gaps and opportunities for sustainable development of port infrastructure for the Arctic’s Shipping Routes

Cooperation among the Arctic states, non-Arctic shipping states and the global maritime enterprise will be critical to developing sustainable shipping strategies that achieve effective protection of the marine environment while meeting the needs of Arctic communities. Associated expansion of port infrastructure is of particular importance. This project utilises online tools and workshop activities including: interactive mapping exercises; virtual “World Café” style discussions; and real-time polling to explore some of the key challenges and opportunities from different stakeholder perspectives. Participants will consider knowledge gaps/data needs, technology innovations/limitations, environmental/socio-economic/policy drivers, opportunities, and recommendations for future shipping infrastructure within Arctic and sub-Arctic waters.

Ref no: ACF21-03
Grantee:  Kyle & Lochalsh Community Trust
Grant:  £8,800
Title:  Viking Networks: vocational skills for young adults in Lochalsh

Kyle & Lochalsh Community Trust (KLCT) will use Arctic Connections Fund grant investment for a six-month pilot scheme that tests the waters for a longer three-year project now being developed in collaboration with the Lofotr Viking Museum in Norway and the Skagafjörður Heritage Museum in Iceland. The longer project scheme will utilise Viking heritage projects being taken forward by the participating organisations for initiatives to widen the horizons and improve the employment prospects of young adults in remote coastal regions. For the pilot scheme KLCT will formalise links with Plockton High School, instituting the proposed new Viking ‘living museum’ it is developing in Kyle of Lochalsh as an established resource for sixth-year pupils and/or recent school-leavers seeking workplace experience placements and paid apprenticeships.

Ref no: ACF21-04
Grantee:  Robert Gordon University
Grant:  £9,941
Title:  Addressing the out-migration of young people from the Scottish Highlands and Islands

Rural and island communities have long faced the problem of the out-migration of young people, who leave their local areas to pursue education and employment opportunities elsewhere. This project will explore the ways in which Arctic region countries address these challenges; and will identify policies, interventions and good practice that might be adopted, or adapted, in the Scottish context. It will consist of a review of relevant academic, government, third sector, and ‘grey’ literature, and a series of online interviews, with experts and other stakeholders from across the region, that will explore the issues and potential solutions in greater detail.

Ref no: ACF21-05
Grantee:  Scottish Association for Marine Science (UHI)
Grant:  £9,961
Title:  Scotland Model Arctic Council (SCOTMAC)

Scotland Model Arctic Council (SCOTMAC) is an experiential learning event at which students play the roles of Arctic diplomats tasked with negotiating consensus on issues of Arctic sustainable development. SCOTMAC will contribute to putting Scotland on the Arctic map. Educationally, it offers Scottish participants a window on the ‘human Arctic’, especially the Arctic as an Indigenous homeland, and a chance to connect with peers internationally. Academically, it generates further links between Scottish universities and their University of the Arctic counterparts. More broadly, it opens new pathways to develop enduring Scottish-Arctic connections, including with the Arctic Council, to emphasise Scotland’s Northern status.

Ref no: ACF21-06
Grantee:  University of Aberdeen
Grant:  £9,952
Title:  Arctic Periods: Transnational Knowledge about Menstrual History and Wellbeing

During the 2010s, menstrual activism, art, media and policy in the Arctic region increased. In 2020, Scotland became the first country in the world to make period products free, and Arctic countries launched public health campaigns about menstruation. This project will bring together menstrual researchers from the region to exchange expertise and raise awareness of common ambitions regarding promotion of menstrual research and wellbeing in the Arctic. We will prepare the first literature review on menstruation in the Arctic, collaborate through online workshops, and organise one public event, thus providing policy makers in the region with historic and contemporary knowledge.

Ref no: ACF21-07
Grantee:  University of Aberdeen
Grant:  £7,070
Title:  Just Energy Transition in Scotland and the Arctic: Managing Environmental and Social Impacts of Low-Carbon Energy Projects

Transforming our energy systems is essential to meeting climate goals. Low-carbon energy projects can have significant impacts on environments, communities and wildlife, amplified in the Arctic due to remoteness, importance of sites and habitats for Indigenous Peoples, and increased vulnerability to climate change. In Scotland, ‘Just Transition’ principles, integrated in climate legislation, aim to reduce injustices during the fossil fuel phase-out and renewable energy deployment. This project will identify the main challenges and opportunities in optimising regulation to achieve a just energy transition in Scotland and the Arctic and thereby exchange knowledge, experience and best practice.

Ref no: ACF21-08
Grantee:  University of Edinburgh
Grant:  £7,778
Title:  Creating a Scottish framework for mobility with the University of the Arctic (UArctic)

Scotland now has the second largest number of University of the Arctic (UArctic) members of any non-Arctic country. Despite this, there is not yet a framework which can enable any of these institutions to engage in the north2north mobility scheme at UArctic. This project would scope out what would be needed to create a Scottish framework for all UArctic members – potentially benefitting a wide range of students from Scottish universities to engage with other UArctic members, but also allowing students from other UArctic member partners across the world to engage with students and staff from Scottish universities, and also possibly visit Scotland.

Ref no: ACF21-09
Grantee:  University of Glasgow
Grant:  £5,915
Title:  Gaelic and Sámi: Promoting Mutual Learning in the Protection of Indigenous Languages

This project compares current institutional arrangements for the maintenance and revitalisation of Gaelic and Sámi. It assesses the suitability of these arrangements in light of the challenges faced by speakers of these Indigenous languages and discusses possible new or supplementary approaches that could help to realise the potential cultural, social, and economic added value of linguistic diversity. Bringing together academic experts and practitioners from Scotland, the Arctic region and beyond (including from Indigenous peoples’ organisations), the project boosts public awareness and supports knowledge exchange and mutual learning on best-practices to preserve and support vulnerable Indigenous-languages.

Ref no: ACF21-10
Grantee:  University of Stirling
Grant:  £9,957
Title:  Assessing Land-Marine Carbon fluxes in the Arctic from Space (LANMARCS)

LANMARCS will use in-situ data and Earth Observation methods for assessing land-marine carbon fluxes in the Arctic. This is a scoping study to identify gaps to fully exploit recent developments for monitoring land-marine carbon fluxes in Arctic environments. LANMARCS will build on previous experience in Scotland and Norway to develop an interdisciplinary framework for a continuous, high-quality data and accessible monitoring system to understand the effects of increasing glacial runoff in the Arctic. Moreover, the project will bring together different disciplines to support responsible, inclusive, and sustainable decision-making towards mitigation and adaptation of climate change.

Ref no: ACF21-11
Grantee:  University of Strathclyde
Grant:  £6,901
Title:  The Role of Territorial Cooperation in Supporting Just Transition

The project will explore the role of territorial cooperation in supporting the delivery of Just Transition in remote and sparsely-populated areas of the Arctic and near Arctic. A research paper will be produced to set out the key issues, innovative examples, and future recommendations concerning Just Transition. The project will culminate in a workshop to exchange experiences, and a blog article will be written to facilitate the dissemination of results. The project is expected to inform future territorial cooperation partnerships. The project will be led by the European Policy Research Centre in partnership with the Arctic Centre and the Centre for Sustainable Development.

Ref no: ACF21-12
Grantee:  University of the Highlands and Islands (Shetland UHI)
Grant:  £9,999
Title:  Nordic Connections: learning from the past to shape the future

This project proposes to research two issues that currently threaten contemporary society — the fear of catastrophic climate change and the fear of nuclear war, which haunted us throughout the Cold War period. These issues have much in common. By bringing different generations together in Iceland and Scotland through public engagement projects, we aim to learn from one another by sharing history, ideas, experience and expectations. The maritime communities taking part share Cold War histories and a deep concern for the future viability of our planet - Hornafjörður in southeast Iceland, and Unst in Shetland, Scotland’s most northerly island.

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