The Arctic is a region with an extremely sensitive climate, where global warming is happening twice as fast as in the rest of the world.

“The Arctic is facing major changes, not only concerning the climate, but also in terms of natural resources, social questions, indigenous peoples, health and culture. Public attention to this important and valuable area is increasing. Umeå University's geographical position and our broad research and education make us well suited to take a national responsibility for the Arctic region. That is why we are establishing Arcum. Our goal is to become Sweden’s hub for Arctic research,” says Lena Gustafsson, Vice-Chancellor at Umeå University.

The inauguration is well-timed during Sweden’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council 2011 – 2013. The seven other Arctic countries have already established Arctic research centres.

“Coordination is necessary to get a better overview of the Arctic research. To gain important knowledge, we must gather researchers from different disciplines, but also from different institutions - both national and international. That is what we hope to stimulate with Arcum,” says Peter Sköld, Director of the Arctic Research Centre.

In Sweden, the counties of Västerbotten and Norrbotten are part of the Arctic region, according to the Arctic Council's definition. Research with a connection to the Arctic is conducted in all of Umeå University’s academic disciplines: medicine, humanities, social sciences as well as science and technology. They include, for example, research on climate, the indigenous Sámi people, Northern industries, and diseases that are common in the North.

“Arcum’s strength is that we have a critical mass of researchers from different disciplines. We will also work actively to attract young scientists and to introduce new disciplines,” says Peter Sköld.

Three internationally known scientists are involved in the opening ceremony of Arcum: David Carlson, former International Polar Year Programme Officer, Robert W. Corell, environmental scientist and international authority on climate change, and Kue T. Young, leading researcher within health on indigenous peoples. The director of the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat Björn Dahlbäck and the Sámi youth representative Ylva Maria Pavval will attend as well. Moreover, researchers from Umeå University’s four faculties will hold lectures.