Feedback to the European Commission's public consultation on the future approach for the EU's arctic policy - Feedback to the European Commission's public consultation on the future approach for the EU's arctic policy
CSC emphasized that the EU should support the strengthening of the digital connectivity in the area, as data connections in the Arctic region are international by nature and connectivity to Central Europe as well as to other continents is vital as the volume of data in all sectors is rapidly and exponentially growing. Better connections would attract investments, generate economic benefits and contribute to the socio-economic development of the Arctic area on a broad scale.
Digital connectivity is crucial for the research, education and innovation sectors. Remote and low dense population is often underrepresented in the research as their data is missing due to insufficient connectivity. Thus, it is important to improve connections to research infrastructures and strengthen the education and research networks across Europe. As the demand for e.g. remote education is growing dramatically, improved connectivity provides unforeseen opportunities for learning and competence building also in the Arctic region, which will enhance inclusion.
Research infrastructures and sufficient data connections play a major role in supporting the priorities of the EU’s Arctic Policy. Climate change is affecting Arctic region heavily and there is an urgent need to understand the consequences of this development. Thus, more and more data needs to be collected and transferred from the Arctic region for research purposes. Satellite communication must be complemented with terrestrial networks to support the growing volume of data and its connection to the European researchers and data infrastructures, such as EuroHPC supercomputing ecosystem LUMI in Northern Finland. As the Arctic Connect subsea data cable linking Europe and Asia will be built in the Arctic route, it is of utmost importance to acquire a dedicated fiber pair for research and education purposes (Arctic Connect R&E). Arctic Connect R&E will support substantial investments in world leading research infrastructures currently under construction in the Nordics, such as LUMI, European Spallation Source and EISCAT3D. In addition, Arctic Connect R&E will boost new collaboration initiatives between the continents, such as collaboration in genomic research in the framework of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH). Also cross-border data sharing and initiatives such as European OpenScience Cloud and the European Data Spaces will benefit from the enhanced connectivity. A new high-speed data connection will also increase Europe’s digital sovereignty and resilience.