The European Polar Board (EPB) and the future European Polar Coordination Office (EPCO) will be in Umeå, Sweden, from 2025 to 2029. The relocation from the Netherlands to the Arctic significantly strengthens the foundation of Sweden's Arctic research coordination and regional policy development. 

The new hosts are the Arctic Centre at Umeå University, in collaboration with the Center for the Arctic and Antarctic at Luleå University of Technology, the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat, and the Arctic Five. Hosting these two European polar offices demonstrates the commitment to directly embedding Polar research and policy activities in the Arctic. 

“As we welcome the EPB and EPCO, we proudly recognise the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat and our research institutions for their vital role in polar research. The government’s commitment to addressing climate impacts in the Arctic and Antarctic is strengthened by this collaboration, advancing our global leadership in scientific research and cooperation,” says Mats Persson, Minister for Education, the Swedish Government. 

This historic decision means that the coordination of European Arctic and Antarctic research will, for the first time, take place from the Arctic, reinforcing Sweden’s ambition to be a leader in Arctic and Antarctic research. Hosting the European Polar Board (EPB) and future European Polar Coordination Office (EPCO) in northern Sweden will strengthen the region by creating direct connections with the European Commission in Brussels, improving connectivity with research funders, and becoming a stakeholder. 

“By welcoming the EPB, we are opening the door to a new chapter of polar research for Sweden. Hosting the EPB demonstrates our desire to cooperate and take the lead in the global scientific community, showing Sweden's ambition to shape the future of the polar regions,” says Hans Adolfsson, Vice-Chancellor of Umeå University. 

Collaboration is key 

The EPB's decision to move its operations to Sweden is due to the successful bid created through collaboration between the Arctic Centre at Umeå University, the Centre for the Arctic and Antarctic at Luleå University of Technology, the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat, and our Arctic Five partners in Tromsø, Rovaniemi, and Oulu. This long-term partnership creates a unique research and education environment in the European Arctic that focuses on collaboration, coordination, and communication. 

“With a new and dedicated host, the European Polar Board has solid ground 

to continue the work serving the polar research community. We have 

ambitious plans ratified in the EPB Strategy 20232027, and look forward to 

enhanced coordination, collaboration, and communication,” says Peter Sköld 

EPB Executive Committee member. 

A Milestone – for Sweden 

The EPB and planned EPCO move to the European Arctic marks a significant milestone for Sweden. It strengthens Sweden's position with its two universities in the Arctic, Umeå and Luleå, creating further research and policy development collaboration opportunities. 

"We are pleased to welcome the EPB and EPCO to northern Sweden. The move highlights Sweden's contribution to polar research and aligns with the EPB and EPCO's commitment to working closely with Arctic communities. We look forward to the collaborative opportunities this will bring to improve research and policy activities for the polar regions,” says Katarina Gårdfeldt, Director-General at the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat. 

This gives each university and its researchers unique opportunities to influence European Arctic policy and promotes increased cooperation and collaboration between national, European, and global efforts. 

"While the full extent of this historic development is difficult to predict, establishing not just one, but two European offices in the European Arctic is something that will shape Swedish Arctic and Antarctic research for years to come,” says Keith Larson, Director of the Arctic Centre at Umeå University. 

The EPB and planned EPCO will be co-located with the Arctic Centre to create a unique environment leading to new opportunities for research and education at Umeå University and our partners. Researchers from across our four faculties and our partners at the Centre for Arctic and Antarctic and the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat – as well as The Arctic Five – will be encouraged to visit and sit with the Arctic Centre, strengthening our collective network impact across the Arctic and Antarctic research ecosystems. 

"As the focus on the Arctic and the Antarctic grows, Sweden will play a key role in defining European polar policy. We are thrilled with the EPB's decision to bring their polar policy and research expertise to northern Sweden. Our country has a long history of polar research, and it is paramount to seize an opportunity to work closely with organisations like the EPB and EPCO, advancing research together,” says Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn, Vice-Chancellor of Luleå University of Technology. 

For more information, contact: 

Keith Larson, Director 

Arctic Centre at Umeå University 

Phone: +46 73 046 50 16 


Dag Avango, Director 

Centre for the Arctic and Antarctic, Luleå University of Technology 

Phone: +46 73 065 02 96 


Katarina Gårdfeldt, Director-General 

Swedish Polar Research Secretariat 

Phone: +45 72 517 07 78 


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