Norwegian Polar Institute

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We provide research and facts about the Arctic and Antarctic. We advise the Norwegian state regarding polar issues.

Tromsø has been a hub for explorers and hunters heading northward since the 1800s. It was an important provisioning harbour, earning the town the nickname Gateway to the Arctic Ocean. When ships returned home, the crew often stopped in at the Ølhallen pub to recount their dramatic experiences in the icy north. This shaped the character of the town and the Arctic Ocean became central to Tromsø’s identity.

Norway’s Svalbard and Arctic Ocean Survey, the forerunner of the Norwegian Polar Institute, was established in 1928. Many argued at the time that the headquarters should be in Tromsø. It didn’t turn out that way, but in 1993 Parliament decided to relocate the institute’s main offices from Oslo to Tromsø.

If you stroll from downtown Tromsø to Hålogaland Theatre to see a film, you’ll pass the Fram Centre, which houses the Norwegian Polar Institute’s headquarters today.

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Want to know what scientists do on land and at sea in the Arctic and Antarctic? Check out Norwegian Polar Institute on Instagram

Want to know about events such as the Polar Book Café and Friday Lectures and get the latest polar news? Follow Norwegian Polar Institute on Facebook

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The Norwegian Polar Institute is a directorate under the Ministry of the Climate and Environment, producing scientific knowledge, conducting mapping and providing professional and strategic advice to the Norwegian authorities

The institute has offices in Tromsø and Longyearbyen (Svalbard) and operates research stations in Antarctica and Ny-Ålesund (Svalbard). The Norwegian Polar Institute carries out expeditions and owns one of the world’s most modern ice-breaking research vessels, the Kronprins Haakon. The institute is the environmental authority for Bouvetøya (Southern Ocean) and for Norwegian activity in Antarctica.

The Norwegian Polar Institute is proud to be a TIFF partner!

TIFF is an annual international film festival that expands our perspectives on the world. The Films from the North side-programme is an important platform for the North and the Arctic, which is especially vulnerable to climate change.