Technology Innovation and Application

Enabling, accelerating, and delivering accurate information and products to Arctic residents and researchers

Scope of activities

At a broad scale, technology and technological solutions will enable, accelerate, and deliver accurate information and products to Arctic residents and the Arctic research and development (R&D) community as they strive to address challenges posed by the priority areas identified in this plan. In working with Arctic residents and researchers to deploy new and existing technologies, it is likely that unknown challenges will emerge. This team encourages the broad R&D community across the priority areas to adopt the most relevant, efficient, and sustainable technologies of today. It will also define future technology research, development, and innovation required to support the priority area research needs of tomorrow.

Calls for cutting-edge technology R&D emphasize four common themes that support science, security, and stewardship of the Arctic region: (1) modernized fundamental infrastructure (e.g., energy efficiency, generation, storage, and distribution; water and wastewater; telecommunications; transportation solutions; search and rescue); (2) improvements in accuracy (e.g., high-resolution sensing application and development; data diversity; model and forecast improvements); (3) increased autonomy & autonomous data collection (e.g., to expand domain awareness and data collection, and to improve the safety of data collection in hazardous areas/situations/seasons such as wildland firefighting, flooding, unstable sea ice and permafrost, and winter hazards); and (4) accelerated information delivery (e.g., real-time or near-real time observations; consistent and reliable communication for Arctic residents and among Arctic partners).

Technology and innovation required to support the priority areas are not limited to hardware, but also include software (e.g., AI, database development, and supercomputing), modeling, mapping, forecasting, and better exploitation of environmental satellite observations. Improved models of the entire Arctic domain, from human systems to the edge of the atmosphere and the depths of the ocean, will provide better virtual testbeds for technology, infrastructure, and sensor development, and lead to a better understanding of the interplay of the atmosphere, land, ice, and water.

Where IARPC focuses on coordinating agency activities across the Arctic region, it is critical to emphasize the unique role of public-private partnerships in technology development. Public interests and academic partners excel at setting standards and identifying needs. Private companies, alongside government, can provide the rapid influx of human and financial resources necessary to drive accelerated development and commercialized solutions. IARPC will facilitate these collaborations with the aim to accelerate delivery of technological solutions across the priority areas.

IARPC is well-positioned to identify the existing commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technologies. For example, challenges related to infrastructure are broad and overarching across the Arctic domain. Insufficient infrastructure technology continues to impact the effectiveness of R&D activities. Technological solutions that address similar large-scale challenges will provide substantial return on investment. IARPC will help identify cross-cutting technological solutions with rapid impact that can accelerate progress, enhance domain awareness, and increase fundamental knowledge for priority area R&D. For example, this could include light detection and ranging (LiDAR) or novel underwater sensing and their derived products, expanded use of AI, and increased access and use of supercomputing resources.

Implementing cutting-edge technology will accelerate the achievement of priority area goals. Technology development is a multi-agency effort, and IARPC will convene agencies to employ the best technology of today, define cyberinfrastructure gaps, determine common technology needs, and design solutions that impact the broader R&D community while also providing improved technology services as identified by Arctic communities.

Team leaders

Jonathan Blythe
Environmental Studies Program

Lisa Sheffield Guy
Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (Website)

Mark Seefeldt
University of Colorado - Boulder


To be added in 2023.