Norwegian Institute of Water Research (NIVA)

Akvaplan-niva is a member of the NIVA group.

The Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) is Norway’s leading multidisciplinary research institute on the use and protection of water bodies and water quality, both fresh and marine waters. Since its establishment in 1958, the aim of NIVA has been to serve authorities, the private sector and the public - both nationally and internationally - towards the common goal of improving aquatic environments through better water management. NIVA is a part of CIENS; a strategic research collaboration between independent research institutes and the University of Oslo that is organized under a shared scientific strategy and research program (Strategies and Actions for Common REsearch – SACRE).

Akvaplan-niva is the northern node of the NIVA group which consists of five branch offices and five companies based in Norway and abroad. Together the NIVA group has a team of 240 specialists on aquatic issues, with over 120 professionals with doctoral and graduate qualifications. NIVA maintains comprehensive R&D facilities including accredited chemical laboratories, ecotoxicological laboratories and field research stations.

For additional information go to: or contact Akvaplan-niva Deputy Director, Anton Giæver.

Some of the activities that Akvaplan-niva and NIVA currently cooperate on:

  • Metals and water quality in lakes in the Russian-Norwegian border area (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  • Environmental mercury and human health in Arctic Norway (Norwegian Research Council)
  • Monitoring projects related to EU’s water framework directive (Municipalities)
  • Effects of produced water on Arctic and temperate species (Statoil)
  • Biodiversity monitoring and the development of guidelines and regulation on biodiversity (Norwegian Ministry of the Environment)


The High North Research Centre for Climate and the Environment (FRAM)

Akvaplan-niva is committed to engaging in cross-disciplinary research to address the major challenges which arise from climate change in the Northern areas and the Arctic.

The High North Research Centre for Climate and the Environment (Fram Center) was established in Tromsø in 2010. The Centre hosts nineteen institutions with special research interests in, and competence on the Arctic region. Centre institutions cooperate to maintain Norway’s prominent status in the management of environment and natural resources.

The Fram Centre developed from the Polar Environmental Centre; Norway’s premier center of expertise on the Barents region from 1998 until 2010. Akvaplan-niva was a founding institute of the Polar Environmental Center and is a core institute within the Fram Centre. Akvaplan-niva researchers are involved in all of the Center’s flagship research programs with co-leadership of two of the five programs. Akvaplan-niva contributes to the Center’s early career science education programs and research dissemination activities for the benefit of environmental management bodies, the business sector and the general public.

FRAM Centre scientific priorities and Akvaplan-niva representatives are:

  • Sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, technology and Agreements
    • Salve Dahle
    • Michael Carroll
  • Effects of climate change on sea and coastal ecology in the North
    • Paul Renaud (flagship co‐leader)
  • Ocean acidification and ecosystems effects in Northern waters
    • Claudia Halsband
  • Effects of climate change on terrestrial ecosystems, landscapes, society and indigenous peoples
    • Guttorm Christiansen
  • Hazardous substances ‐ effects on ecosystem and human health (co‐leader Akvaplan‐niva)
    • Anita Evenset

For additional information on Fram Centre go to:

For additional information on Akvaplan-niva’s activities within Fram Centre contact: Anita Evenset

The High North Research Centre for Climate and the Environment (FRAM)

Selected Fram Center research projects that we participate in:

  • Clams as climate and ecosystem recorders during the Holocene
  • Benthic biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in Svalbard
  • Impacts of ocean acidification and warming on reproduction in Atlantic cod
  • Arctic Tipping Points: impacts of acidification and increased temperature on early life-stages of benthic organisms
  • Climate variations and contaminants in the Pasvik border area – effects on limnic ecosystems
  • Contaminants in Polar Regions
  • Effects of petroleum production and ship traffic on Arctic marine ecosystems


ARCTOS International Research Network

Akvaplan-niva understands that environmental challenges are solved through the integrated achievements of many individuals with diverse skills and experience.

The ARCTOS international research network was established in 2002 by researchers from 5 northern Norwegian institutes with interests in multidisciplinary research collaboration on Arctic marine ecology and biogeochemistry in a Pan-Arctic perspective. Today, ARCTOS consists of 41 leading international institutes, mainly from Russia, North America and the European Union. The ARCTOS secretariat is located at the Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics, University of Tromsø, and additional administrative activities are localized at The University Centre at Svalbard, Akvaplan-niva and the Institute of Marine Research. Connected to the network are national and international research projects, a PhD school, and a young scientist’s forum.

Akvaplan-niva helped create the ARCTOS network. Several Akvaplan-niva researchers are active members of the network, participating or leading a number of ARCTOS network research projects. In addition, Akvaplan-niva serves on the ARCTOS Council and Scientific Steering Committee.

For additional information go to:

For additional information on Akvaplan-niva’s activities within ARCTOS contact: Assistant Director, JoLynn Carroll

ARCTOS International Research Network

Examples of ARCTOS research projects that we have participated in:

  • Arctic Tipping Points (European Union 7th Framework)
  • SAARP, The Statoil-ARCTOS Arctic Research Program (Statoil)
  • Circumpolar Flaw Lead (Canadian International Polar Year Project)
  • CABANERA, Carbon flux and ecosystem feed back in the northern Barents Sea in an era of climate change (Norwegian Research Council)
  • On Thin Ice? Climatic Influence on Energy Flow and Trophic Structure in Arctic Marine Ecosystems (Norwegian Research Council)


Cooperation with Russia

Akvaplan-niva recognizes that multi-lateral cooperation is the key to a better environment for all.

As Norway shares its northern border region with Russia, the company has been particularly active in Russia beginning in the late 1980s. Today Akvaplan-niva is recognized for our enduring and positive impact on cooperation within Northwest Russia. As a result of our extensive cooperation partnerships with universities, research institutes, and authorities throughout Russia members of our staff have been given unique access to areas of global importance, such as the site of the 1989 Komi Oil Spill, the nuclear-industrial complex of the Kola Bay, and Novaya Zemlya, where nuclear waste dumping and underwater nuclear testing activities occurred during the second half of the 20th century.

Akvaplan-niva has broad experience doing business in this region as well. In cooperation with Russian colleagues, we are able to provide unique services and achieve results for businesses with interests in Russia, particularly in Northwest Russia and the Russian and Norwegian Arctic regions. We have an extensive portfolio of projects on aquaculture development and on environmental issues related to oil and gas exploration and development. In 2006, Akvaplan-niva established the subsidiary company in Murmansk, Akvaplan-niva Barents Ltd.

For additional information contact: Alexei Bambulyak.

Examples of Multilateral activities:

  • Partnership agreements: Murmansk Marine Biological Institute, Polar Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography, VNIIOkeangeologia, Sevmorgeo
  • Bilateral and multi-lateral programmes: Joint Russian-Norwegian Environmental Commission, Norwegian Research Council (NorRus, Petromaks), Arctic Council (AMAP, AMSA), European Union Kolarctic programme, and bilateral regional agreements of Troms County with Russian regions.


ARCTIC FRONTIERS Conference Series

As secretariat for the Arctic Frontiers Conference series, Akvaplan-niva is creating new avenues for communication among policy-makers, scientists, students and business leaders; helping to ensure a sustainable future for the Arctic.

Each year in concert with the return of the sun to Tromsø after 2 months of darkness, the Arctic Frontiers Conference is opened by top politicians from arctic countries. Arctic Frontiers is recognized as a meeting place for discussing cross-cutting issues on policy and science for the Arctic region. The conference series provides a platform for all stakeholders to define priorities for development and research under the motto, Balancing human use and ecosystem protection. The ultimate goal of Arctic Frontiers is to provide a better understanding of Arctic regions within a pan-Arctic perspective, and to promote sustainable levels of human activity based on scientific knowledge, cultural sensitivity and cooperation across borders.

“Today is yet another milestone for me, as this is the first time I am taking part in the Arctic Frontiers conference. I would like to congratulate the organisers of this annual conference, which has evolved into such an important arena for scientists, policy makers and business representatives for discussing High North and Arctic issues.”

Norway’s Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre when he opened the 5th Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø on 24 January 2011.

Akvaplan-niva launched the Arctic Frontiers concept in 2006 together with The University of Tromsø and ConocoPhillips, gathering and developing the financial and organizational partnerships behind the success of the conference series. Today, as the secretariat of Arctic Frontiers, Akvaplan-niva is responsible for day-to-day operations and the organisation of the annual conference.

For additional information go to: or contact: Arctic Frontiers director, Ole Øvretveit.

Arctic Frontiers logo

Arctic Frontiers Conference Series:

  • 2017: White Spaces/Blue Future
  • 2016: Industry and Environment
  • 2015: Climate and Energy
  • 2014: Humans in the Arctic
  • 2013: Geopolitics and Marine Production
  • 2012: Energies of the High North
  • 2011: Arctic Tipping Points
  • 2010: Living in the High North
  • 2009: Age of the Arctic
  • 2008: Out of the Blue
  • 2007: The Unlimited Arctic


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