Greenland Research Council and Swiss Polar Institute enter a new partnership

On Thursday 20 April, there was a signing ceremony between Greenland Research Council and Swiss Polar Institute. The ceremony was held at Katuaq Culture House in Nuuk on the occasion of the visit of Ambassador of Switzerland in Denmark Florence Tinguely Mattli.

21 April 2023

Greenland Research Council and Swiss Polar Institute have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU was signed on Thursday 20 April at a signing ceremony marked by the Minister for Education, Culture, Sport, and Church Peter Olsen and Ambassador of Switzerland in Denmark Florence Tinguely Mattli.

Research cooperation on natural hazards and integrated risk management
The MoU seek to strengthen and support cooperation between the research communities of Greenland and Switzerland, which, over the past year has been particularly revolved around natural hazard mitigation – partly through the installment of a rockslide monitoring system in Karrat Fjord, North Greenland, and through the development of a local avalanche forecasting service in Sisimiut.
“This research cooperation has come about, in particular, because of the things we have in common: the mountains, the snow, and the glaciers – the natural environments that are part of our DNA. In Greenland, we feel the effects of climate change faster and more drastically than most other places. We have seen extreme events such as the landslide that triggered a devastating tsunami in Karrat Fjord, sea ice that is becoming increasingly erratic, and glacial lake outburst floods. Science and technology can help mitigate those risks so that we can avoid extreme cases, disasters, and loss of human life”, said Minister Peter Olsen in his speech.

Visit from the Swiss Ambassador
The signing ceremony was held on the occasion of the visit of the Ambassador of Switzerland in Denmark Florence Tinguely Mattli. She highlighted the importance of research diplomacy which plays an increasingly important role in foreign policy:
“As all scientists in this room know, most international cooperation arises directly between scientists without being initiated by governments: And it is rightly so! However, it is important that this cooperation be also recognized, supported, and facilitated by governments. Science Diplomacy is becoming an important part of foreign policy and strengthens close relations that go beyond scientific collaboration. In this sense, we were very pleased with the visit of the Greenlandic delegation to Switzerland at the beginning of April that was led by the Minister of Mineral Resources and Justice, Mr. Aqqaluaq B. Egede. This visit was very well received and made an important contribution to Greenlandic-Swiss science cooperation!”

A framework for cooperation
The MoU between Greenland Research Council and Swiss Polar Institute formalize the cooperation to support joint research projects on natural hazards but also in other areas. Means to develop the cooperation include The Koni Steffen Grant which funds Greenlandic-Swiss research projects.
“It is an important strategic goal for Greenland Research Council to strengthen international research cooperation that promotes Greenland research priorities. Strengthening Greenland’s participation in international research naturally requires that the area is prioritized politically and economically. In this context, Greenland Research Council has, among other things, proposed the Government of Greenland to establish a research grant scheme to support Greenland participation in international research cooperation,” says chair of Greenland Research Council Josephine Nymand.

More information:
Secretary Maliina Jensen, Greenland Research Council, tel. 361200/222090, email:
Chair of Greenland Research Council Josephine Nymand, tel. 361234, email:


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