Connecting in New Ways - Arctic Frontiers Abroad in Helsinki

Arctic Frontiers in collaboration with ProTromsø contributed to the discussion on digital connectivity in the Arctic



Arctic Frontiers Abroad was today hosted in Helsinki at the Royal Norwegian Embassy, where business representatives from the Nordic countries participated in discussing digital connectivity in the Arctic. 

In addition to promote local businesses in Helsinki and matchmaking between Norwegian and Finnish technology companies, we learned from the best in the industry about the importance of connectivity through 6G, submarine fiber cables, space and earth observation, and drone technology.

Discussing connectivity in a demanding Arctic context, by Olli-Pekka Rantala, Director-General of Ministerial Governance Department, Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications (LVM) Photo: Julie-Helene D. Sørensen

Providing better digital connectivity and a more robust network capacity through fiber cables and satellite services could create business opportunities in the region by boosting local enterprises’ access to the global economy. 

It has the potential to foster new companies along the supply chain thus creating new jobs in the region and helping address larger demographical challenges. It can also contribute to new opportunities for research institutions by giving them access to new data and a larger and faster capacity for data processing. Maritime operations, climate monitoring, telecommunications are among the likely beneficiaries.

Digital connectivity is a prerequisite for modern development. In the Arctic, digital connectivity plays an even bigger role as many communities are distant, sparsely populated, and challenging to reach due to, among others, harsh weather conditions. 

However, the Arctic also presents many advantages for becoming a new marketplace for connectivity, such as land availability, cold climate, access to clean energy, and well-educated workforce. Finland and Norway have set a strong focus on capitalizing on these advantages. This event focuses on the potential of improved connectivity in the Arctic through submarine cables and satellites (1).

Panel one was moderated by Anu Fredrikson, and consisted of Dag-Kjetil Hansen, Ari-Jussi Knaapila and Jørgen Qvist.

The seminar was divided into three thematic panels, where panel one, moderated by Anu Fredriksson, the executive director of Arctic Frontiers, focused on the Pan-Arctic connectivity through the Far North Fiber Project. Dag-Kjetil Hansen from Bredbåndsfylket participated with a presentation along with Ari-Jussi Knaapila, CEO of Cinia and Jørgen Qvist representing NORDUnet. 

Panel two with moderator Gøril Johansen, consisted of Anders Andersen, Nils Arne Johansen and Peter Öster. Foto: Julie-Helene D. Sørensen

The last two panels where moderated by our CEO Gøril Johansen, where panel two asked the panelists: Will ensuring a robust, more resilient digital infrastructure provide a source of growth for the Nordic regions? 

The panel consisted of Per Öster, from CSC – IT Center for Science
Anders Andersen, from The Arctic University of Norway and
Nils Arne Johnsen, from Troms and Finnmark County Council.

Panel three with Yngve Vassmyr, Pekka Rantala, Tero Vauraste and Gøril Johansen as moderator. photo: Julie-Helene D. Sørensen

The final panel invited the following participants: Yngve Vassmyr, from Earth Observation, Tromsø, Tero Vauraste, from Iceye Finland and Pekka Rantala, from Business Finland. Their panel discussion was named: From space to earth – the benefits of modern digital solutions and technology in the Arctic. 

Given the challenges, we need the best possible instruments for climate monitoring, resource management, telecommunications and navigation. The panelist was then giving us the success-stories from Norwegian and Finnish businesses and institutions.

We thank our speakers for sharing their knowledge and inspiration, to the guests for visiting the seminar, and the hosts Arctic Frontiers and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Helsinki for inviting us to participate and welcoming us to the residence.

If you are interested in any of the topics from the program, companies and organizations who participated or have any questions – do not hesitate to contact Arctic Frontiers’ Julia Seljeseth at or ProTromsø at

(1) Arctic Frontiers Abroad: Helsinki, Finland –

The organizers and hosts: Julia Seljeseth, Arctic Frontiers, Gøril Johansen, ProTromsø, Ambassador Dag Stangnes, Anu Fredrikson, Arctic Frontiers and Julie-Helene D. Sørensen, ProTromsø