Case Studies

Arctic Maritime Safety

Researching historical perspectives on current safety challenges

Grant Awarded: £90,000

Time Frame: October 2023 - March 2024 



The University of the Arctic (UArctic) is starting a partnership with the Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF) and is seeking participants (from within the network) in an exciting new UArctic maritime-focused research programme with funding from the LRF Heritage and Education Centre (HEC). The purpose of the project is to build a strategic partnership between LRF HEC and UArctic. This first step is a new research programme into historical perspectives on current safety challenges in the Arctic ocean economy.

It will be shaped by two discovery seminars and by new research fellowships that will include Indigenous organisations as well as inputs from industry and other institutions in the UArctic network. The programme will deliver new insights, evidence and case materials to policy and change makers, and in parallel it will also explore further opportunities for collaboration. The first seminar will bring together a broad community of interest around the topic of ‘Arctic Maritime Safety: Learning from the past to help address the challenges to the safety of peoples in the Arctic’ and seek contributions and proposals for research to be considered for the programme. The second seminar will refine the research scope. The aim is to substantially raise the profile of safety as a key issue in future management of the highly complex Arctic marine system at a time of profound environmental and geopolitical change.

A key objective of the work is to build research expertise and to extend the reach of the LRF mission in the Arctic marine system through developing connection with the extended number of institutions associated with UArctic, hence leveraging the UArctic communications programme for wider LRF outreach. The fact that UArctic includes partners from beyond the Arctic region (such as institutions from China and South Korea) means that in capacity and reach UArctic is truly reflective of the extensive stakeholder landscape that must be navigated to achieve change.


Alex Stitt, Director of the Lloyd’s Register Foundation Heritage and Education Centre, was glad to observe the workings of the seminar in Reykjavík. “I was pleased to represent Lloyd’s Register Foundation at this workshop. We have identified UArctic as a potential partner to help us increase the understanding of the history of maritime safety in the region, and this seminar was held to design a program for that partnership. I was delighted by the seniority of the participants, and the quality of their engagement. I am very much looking forward to seeing the resulting proposals,” he says.

Over the next few months, contributions from the scoping seminar will be turned into a research program recommendation. Some seminar participants and invited organizations and individuals will continue working together to develop the recommendations, prioritize the focus areas, and outline the resources needed. After a review, the work will begin to deliver the research program with UArctic-HEC fellows in the agreed focus areas, and do outreach on the aims and priorities as well as the findings.

Find out how the UArctic’s new Arctic maritime safety programme learns from the past to address today’s challenges here.

Additional information for 2024-2026 to follow.