Technology Innovation and Application Collaboration Team

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

Deliverables from the Arctic Research Plan

1.2 Address emerging threats to food safety and access, as well as food and nutrition security in the Arctic, through research that addresses how climate and environmental change is affecting the abundance, accessibility, and use of traditional foods and traditional ways of life.

  • 1.2.1 Provide funding opportunities for research on food safety and food and nutrition security in the Arctic.
  • 1.2.2 Provide funding opportunities and conduct studies on the impact of harmful algal blooms (HABs) on availability and safety of traditional and commercial foods.
  • 1.2.3 Conduct research and produce a report on seabird mortality events in the Bering Sea, including severity, causes, and ecological implications.
  • 1.2.6 Assess and model changes in abundance, distribution, and harvest of select marine mammals and fishes that are food sources in rural Alaska.
  • 1.2.7 Fund and conduct research, and produce a report, on changes in abundance and distribution of migratory caribou in Arctic Alaska.
  • 1.2.8 Provide funding opportunities and conduct research, and produce a report, on the impacts of rapid expansion of beaver habitat in the U.S. Arctic, including effects on fisheries and ecosystem services, access to traditional foods, and overall community health.

2.2 Observe, understand, predict, and project Arctic ecosystem change and its impacts on humans and the entire Earth system.

  • 2.2.1 Advance capacity to better understand, quantify, and predict methane emissions from permafrost changes in the Arctic through international collaborations.

2.3 Understand interactions between social, ecological, and physical Arctic systems, particularly in the context of coastal, climate, and cryospheric change.

  • 2.3.4 Integrate information from field, laboratory, and remote sensing studies to examine and quantify relationships among surface topography, vegetation composition, hydrology, disturbance effects (including fire, thermokarst, land use change, and wildlife), geophysical processes in permafrost soils, and humans. Share results in reports, presentations, and scientific publications.

3.1 Conduct and support research to foster the development of Arctic infrastructure. This includes research on improvements in community capacity and infrastructure projects that are prioritized by Arctic communities to support resilience and leverage technology in community redevelopment and relocation efforts.

  • 3.1.2 Support new innovations and off-the-shelf technology that can be implemented in community development plans to support the ability of Arctic communities to combat climate change impacts.

4.1 Summarize currently available data and information requirements associated with hazard and risk mitigation, adaptation, and response efforts. Synthesize community-led activities and information to identify potential needs for future efforts.

  • 4.1.2 Share findings of deliverable 4.1.1 as a means (1) to spur additional research and science communication aimed at addressing unmet needs for planning, prevention, response, and recovery and (2) to inform time-sensitive decision-making and planning processes.

4.3 Research to support more resilient and transformative infrastructure to withstand potential impacts from acute and long-term hazards, including those hazards brought about by climate change.

  • 4.3.1 Conduct a study focused on expedient and enduring cold regions infrastructure, including water and wastewater, energy, and temporary and enduring structures. Results will be disseminated into a report that will identify and provide background information on the variety of available and emerging water/wastewater, energy, and structure technologies and best practices.
  • 4.3.2 Conduct a study that looks at novel materials that could be used to improve resilience for physical infrastructure from the effects of hazards. Areas of interest include energy, communications, and transportation infrastructure. Share findings in a report.

DATA 1 Encourage and implement FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) and CARE (Collective benefit, Authority to control, Responsibility, and Ethics) data management principles in the Arctic.

  • DATA 1.1 Identify verified points of contact (e.g., agency champions, data practitioners, Arctic residents, Indigenous organizations) and their areas of expertise and interests for working with the data team on exploring and implementing FAIR and CARE in Arctic data management. As part of developing the points of contact, identify and track representation across many axes of diversity (demographics, disciplines/sectors, IARPC experience, career stage, and others) to ensure a diverse and representative group of contributors. The data team will check in with these groups regularly to ensure the points of contact are up to date.
  • DATA 1.3 Based on input from engagement activities, develop and update centralized documentation of thematic areas of interest, ongoing activities, and key documents and resources that can inform deliverables and future Biennial Implementation Plans.
  • DATA 1.4 Convene quarterly seminars, discussions, and training on FAIR and CARE data management in the Arctic. Ensure a diverse group of presenters and contributors are represented in these activities.

PILR 1 Fulfill Federal requirement to consult with Federally recognized Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations.

  • PILR 1.1 Create a best practices document on meaningful consultation and engagement on Arctic research with Alaska Indigenous communities that is applicable to all Federal agencies.
  • PILR 1.2 Evaluate the Principles for Conducting Research in the Arctic 2018, and update as needed based on the evaluation.
  • PILR 1.3 Develop and deliver training for agencies to implement the Principles for Conducting Research in the Arctic.

PILR 2 Engage Arctic communities and individuals in research in a way that is meaningful to them.

  • PILR 2.1 Create a training toolkit for scientists that can be self-guided and used as needed. Topics may include cross-cultural communication, consultation, participatory research, Indigenous Knowledge, overview of Indigenous culture groups, formal agreements, and how to contract and consult with Indigenous companies and individuals.
  • PILR 2.2 Create a report of examples where IARPC member agencies have engaged Indigenous Knowledge holders in research.
  • PILR 2.3 Request that each Priority Area Collaboration Team host regular meetings that meaningfully engage with Indigenous leaders, groups, and/or communities. This includes developing a list of contacts to support requests for engagement or tracking engagement with Indigenous participation.
  • PILR 2.4 Analyze and develop a report on broader impacts of science/research teams on Indigenous health and resilience.
  • PILR 2.5 Hold interagency meetings/workshops to identify mechanisms for Federal agencies to effectively communicate science plans and findings among themselves and with communities.

PILR 3 Develop guidance for agencies to consistently apply participatory research and Indigenous leadership in research.

  • PILR 3.1 Co-define “Indigenous leadership in research” with Tribes, Indigenous organizations, and Federal agencies; and integrate into the Principles for Conducting Research in the Arctic and its training toolkit and best practices documents.
  • PILR 3.2 Hold interagency meetings/workshops to identify methods to streamline contracting/agreements and compensation processes to make co-stewardship and co-production in research more equitable and achievable.
  • PILR 3.3 Convene discussions to identify mechanisms to foster equitable pathways for Indigenous leadership in research.
  • PILR 3.4 Identify best practices for Federal agencies to support capacity for Tribes and Indigenous Knowledge holders in research. Distribute guidance on best practices to IARPC agencies.
  • PILR 3.5 Ensure consistent terminology for Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Indigenous Knowledge, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and Local Knowledge for IARPC. Suggest primary language for IARPC be Indigenous Knowledge.


  • TIA 1.1 Technology is a crosscutting challenge for Arctic researchers, as the Arctic setting requires dedicated investments in technology support to make research activities possible. The Technology Innovation and Application Foundational Activity does not identify separate objectives or deliverables, but instead will support deliverables across this Biennial Implementation Plan.


To be added in 2023.