Press release from the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) and Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI)

“With this collaboration, we will work together to deal with relevant challenges related to climate change and societal development in Svalbard and in polar regions in general”, says director of natural hazards at NGI, Dominik Lang.

The agreement means that ÛNIS and NGI will collaborate on teaching, research and competence building in technical geosciences such as geology, geophysics, geotechnics, and environmental engineering. The partners will in particular look at the potential for the development of knowledge and technology of high societal relevance adapted to Arctic conditions.

“The challenges resulting from the rapid climate change mean that UNIS want to strengthen its collaboration with NGI in order to make UNIS 'basic research expertise in Arctic science and technology more socially relevant. Thawing of permafrost, landscape changes and landslide problems means that we need more knowledge about construction technology and development of observation systems to secure the Svalbard community against new natural hazards”, says director of UNIS, Jøran Moen.

Mutual knowledge exchange

NGI's experts will contribute with teaching in the guest lecture scheme at UNIS and co-supervision of students at master's and doctoral level. UNIS, for its part, creates opportunities for NGI to strengthen its activities in academia, polar research, and the practical use of its expertise to solve polar problems.

The parties also plan to collaborate on research applications that require special expertise to solve societal challenges in Svalbard.

Formalizes and intensifies the collaboration

“NGI and UNIS have had good collaboration for many years. This letter of intent formalizes and intensifies cooperation. This means that we get a better basis for mutual knowledge exchange and strengthening of competence within challenges that we face in polar regions”, says Moen.

NGI's director of natural hazards is very pleased that the agreement was reached:

“This agreement is historic for NGI. We get the opportunity to contribute with our special expertise in geosciences, at the same time as we get to work more closely with UNIS who are experts on the challenges in polar regions. We look forward to this collaboration and we have great faith that together we can develop unique knowledge to solve geoscientific challenges in polar regions”, says Lang.

This is NGI

NGI is an independent, international centre for research and consulting in engineering-related geosciences that integrates geotechnical, geological, and geophysical expertise.

Contact: Communications Manager Øydis U. Castberg, tel. +47 94 80 31 52

This is UNIS

The University Centre on Svalbard (UNIS) is the world's northernmost higher education institution, located in Longyearbyen at 78º N. UNIS offers high quality courses at bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels in Arctic biology, Arctic geology, Arctic geophysics and Arctic technology.

Contact: Information Manager Eva Therese Jenssen, tel. +47 975 26 931.


The Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) is a leading international centre for research and consulting within the geosciences. NGI develops optimum solutions for society, and offers expertise on the behaviour of soil, rock and snow and their interaction with the natural and built environment. NGI works within the markets Offshore energy; Building, construction and transportation; Natural hazards, and Environmental Engineering. NGI is a private foundation with office and laboratory in Oslo, branch office in Trondheim, and daughter companies in Houston, Texas, USA, and Perth, Western Australia. NGI was established in 1953.