International projects of the Kolarctic cross-border cooperation program were presented in NARFU

December 7, NArFU and its Boiling Point hosted the workshop “Kolarctic Day at NArFU: Best Practices of NARFU’s participation in Kolarctic CBC international projects”. As a reminder, Arkhangelsk and specifically NArFU have been partners to Kolarctic projects since 2010.

“The international cooperation in the Arctic remains highly relevant, and the role being played in it by Russia’s northern areas, primarily Arkhangelsk, cannot be overestimated. Arkhangelsk is an active contributor to projects that are funded by the federal and international programs and seek to protect the ecosystems and retain the population. Of the 48 projects supported by Kolarctic between 2014 and 2020, Arkhangelsk was a partner to 17. We are here to sum up our performance over the past seven years and to plan for more joint activities for the next program period,” Ivan Dementiev, Deputy Chairman of the Government of Arkhangelsk Region, said in his welcome speech.

“When it comes to modern development, introduction of innovations, and interaction between businesses, schools, research organizations and regional authorities, one commonly accepted way to promote joint efforts, in whatever geographical area, is through projects. As a dedicated program, Kolarctic offers the project method as a way to promote the best technologies at regional venues – by bringing together businesses, universities, research organizations, executive authorities and the economic sectors. Our university has been an active participant for years and boasts a vast experience, as evidenced by the twelve Kolarctic-funded projects we have been a party to in recent years. We are the leader in the number of projects,” said Konstantin Zaikov, NArFU Vice-Rector for International Cooperation and Information, said in his greeting.

Olga Klisheva, Coordinator of the Kolarctic CBC Program in Arkhangelsk Region and Nenets Autonomous Okrug, spoke about the interim results of the 2014-2020 Kolarctic Cross Border Cooperation Program and the prospects for the 2021-2027 program period.

“Universities stand as drivers of the program and its projects. This is true not only about NArFU, but also universities in other regions. I would say that universities in northern areas have a special mission: they are the place for their home areas’ best minds, they are the place where things never stop happening, they do research and this makes them look attractive to students,” Olga Klisheva emphasized. “Kolarctic sees universities as partners of special priority.”

Olga further noted that Kolarctic’s upcoming period will enjoy even greater financial support.

“As the area’s key academic and research organization, NArFU has been participating in the program for ten years. We are a school with the largest number of Kolarctic-funded projects in the Barents region. The topics of the projects we are involved in are quite diverse but all of them are closely linked to the strategic objectives outlined in NArFU Development Program and the strategies envisaged by the Barents and the Arctic Regions. We see international projects as an important mechanism to spur achievement of our own academic and research tasks. Every year, NArFU and its partners, who currently number as many as 190, are working on 70+ research and academic projects. The total grant funding allocated by the Kolarctic program to our joint projects over the past three years amounts to approximately 100 million rubles. These funds have been used to support the research work and research teams, and to purchase laboratory equipment,” said Lyubov Zarubina, NArFU Deputy Vice-Rector for International Cooperation and Information, Head of International Cooperation Department.

The workshop further briefed its audience on some of the projects in Kolarctic family with active input from NArFU. The first of the presented projects was DeConcrete: Eco-Efficient Arctic Technologies Cooperation. Reporting on its progress, outcomes and contributors were Nadezhda Baykina, DeConcrete manager, leading expert on EU projects at NArFU Department of International Cooperation; and Arkady Aisenstadt, DeConcrete research supervisor, professor at NArFU Higher School of Engineering, Department of Composite Materials and Environmental Engineering. DeConcrete has conducted a series of studies that show that crushed concrete serves as a good alternative to natural materials, also as a binder and concrete aggregate.

Ice Operations was presented by Svetlana Popkova, administrative coordinator, leading expert on EU projects at NArFU Department of International Cooperation; Ramil Guliyev, project expert, Deputy Director for International Projects at NArFU Higher School of Energy, Oil and Gas; and Lyudmila Drachkova, project expert, head of NArFU Higher School of Natural Sciences and Technologies, Department of Geography and Hydrometeorology. This project tasked its team with collecting data on the ice conditions of the Barents and Pechora Seas, conducting field expeditions and geophysical research, also within the framework of the Arctic Floating University, analyzing the obtained data, and modeling the mechanics of ice and marine operations.

Maria Frolova, associate professor at NArFU Higher School of Engineering, Department of Composite Materials and Environmental Engineering, presented FAMARB: Facility Management of Residential Buildings in Barents region. A collaborative effort of the experts in Russia, Finland, Sweden and Norway, this project is working to develop a new approach to the effective management of residential buildings in the Barents region. Its demo facility – the dormitory of M.V. Lomonosov Northern (Arctic) Federal University, Arkhangelsk – has been used to pilot management and automation of the systems such as heating and ventilation. The first floor of the dormitory, which houses residential, administrative and utility rooms, is now installed with energy-saving technologies. FAMARB will have among its main outcomes the guidance on the operation of multi-apartment residential buildings, which will be called FAMARB-book.

Sergey Koptev, professor at NArFU Higher School of Natural Sciences and Technologies, Department of Forestry and Forest Management, presented two projects – AgroFore: Agroforestry in Barents Region and TRENAT: Treasures from the Northern Nature.

These projects are designed to combine agricultural and forestry technologies in order to generate diverse, productive, profitable, healthy and environmentally sustainable land use systems to increase the use of non-timber forest resources in the Barents region. By analyzing the potential of the agriculture and the forestry, the project is developing recommendations for integrated management of forestry and agricultural farming in the Barents countries.

The project NABL: Northern Axis – Barents Link, presented by its manager Tatiana Petrova, who represents also the Association of Kainuu Municipalities (Finland), is aimed at developing the latitudinal transport corridor and cross-border mobility in the Barents Euro-Arctic region, as well as identifying the bottlenecks of transport infrastructure. Its team are tasked with feasibility studies of the initiatives aiming to promote the transport links between East and West.

Pavel Marjandyshev, NArFU First Vice-Rector for Strategy and Research, professor at the Higher School of Energy, Oil and Gas, Department of Thermal Power and Heat Engineering, presented the projects in the field of renewable energy – Safe Wind: Environmental Safety and Sustainability of Wind Energy Projects at Remote Territories of Arctic Region and NABL: Northern Axis – Barents Link.

These projects evaluate the potential of wind energy in remote northern areas to provide recommendations as to ways for optimizing the criteria for the environmental impact assessment when installing and distributing wind energy in remote and hard-to-reach areas along the international transport corridors –Northern Axis, Barents Link and further along the Northern Sea Route.

Ilya Mayorov, director at NArFU Higher School of Information Technologies and Automated Systems, acts as the scientific director for DIT4BEARS: Disruptive Information Technologies for Barents Euro-Arctic Region. In his presentation, Ilya explained how disruptive technologies can be a useful tool in dealing with the social and economic challenges of the Barents Euro-Arctic Region. The project spans development of personal identification systems for state and municipal services; smart waste management system for northern cities; winter road maintenance in the Barents Region; and IT services for reindeer breeding (monitoring, animal welfare).

Alexey Prokhorov, senior lecturer at NArFU Higher School of Engineering, Department of Engineering of Transport Technologies and Equipment, presented I2P: From Idea to 3D Printing of Metal Products – the project that seeks to make additive technologies more visible to manufacturers. The activities on its agenda are designed to enhance participants’ skills and competencies in the field of 3D printing of metal products. The availability to the project of a 3D printer will allow the participating industries to experiment with prototypes.

Ramil Guliyev, Deputy Director for International Projects at NArFU Higher School of Energy, Oil and Gas, spoke about REMULSFO: Remediation strategies for ultra-low sulfur fuel oil in winter conditions, the project where he acts as a scientific supervisor. REMULSFO team at NArFU are assessing the risks of transport accessibility of vessels using ultra-low-sulfur fuel, taking into account the criteria as diverse as natural and climatic conditions of the Arctic Seas and transport aspects. Ramil presented also the progress achieved by the project partners abroad in laboratory studies of dispersion and biodegradation shown by the spills of ultra-low sulfur fuel oils.

“Summing up the progress so far achieved by these projects, we can safely say already at this stage of their implementation that their tasks are being attained and there are concrete results in place, that are in use by NArFU and its home region. Most importantly, there are prospects for more international projects,” summed up Lyubov Zarubina, NArFU Deputy Vice-Rector for International Cooperation and Information Policy, Head of the Department of International Cooperation.