Northern Dimension Institute Think Tank

The Northern Dimension Institute Think Tank aims to enhance genuine regional cooperation in the Northern Dimension area through science diplomacy, capacity building and people-to-people contacts.

© Solarseven | Dreamstime

© Solarseven | Dreamstime


The Northern Dimension (ND) is a joint policy of four equal partners: the European Union, Russian Federation, Norway and Iceland. The Northern Dimension area covers the European Union member states (in particular Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Germany), Russian Federation, Norway, Iceland and Belarus. 

The ND works in close collaboration with the regional councils in the Baltic Sea and Barents regions: Council of the Baltic Sea States, the Barents Euro-Arctic Council, the Arctic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers.

ND area countries are confronted with common future challenges and opportunities, essentially across the state borders and especially in relation to the environment, climate change, healthy ageing, transport and logistics, emerging trade routes in the Arctic and role of culture in solving societal challenges. 

The ND focuses on very practical, result- and solution-oriented cooperation in the Baltic Sea and Barents regions. The four priority areas are the environment, transport and logistics, health and social wellbeing, culture. The wide range of sectors covered by the ND also include nuclear safety, energy, promotion of trade and investment, research, and education.  

The Northern Dimension operates through four partnerships; the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP), the Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being (NDPHS), the Northern Dimension Partnership on Transport and Logistics (NDPTL) and the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC). In addition, the Northern Dimension Business Council (NDBC) integrates businesses in the ND policy and activities. 

The Northern Dimension Institute (NDI) is the academic partner in the ND, a university network of 33 partners, open to all interested higher-level educational institutions and research institutes. 

NDI Think Tank Action

The Action is coordinated by Center for Markets in Transition (CEMAT) of the Aalto University and its Business School, working in partnership with IIASA-AFIUniversity of OuluSaint Petersburg State University of Economics (UNECON), and Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov(NArFU). The action is co-financed by the European Commission DG NEAR. 

The Action thematic research areas are 1) Environment: Curbing Black Carbon Emissions in the Arctic; 2) Transport and Logistics; 3) Healthy Ageing; 4) Culture and Creative Industries in solving societal challenges.  

In this project, NDI functions are developed into a regional think tank to enhance evidence-based policy-making as well as improve policy relevance of research conducted in the ND area. For targeted research on the four themes, the project partners will build up international expert teams/research groups, serving as the foundation for developing regional thematic knowledge networks in the ND area. 

The NDI Think Tank Action provides research-based knowledge and a neutral platform for research collaboration, open dialogue, people-to-people-contacts between decision-makers, business, NGOs and the academic community in order to create common approaches for finding solutions to future challenges.  

Research teams in close dialogue with decision-makers take part in co-creation workshops, produce policy briefs, analysis and reports on the pressing challenges and their potential solutions. 

The Action contributes to capacity building of the participating civil society actors, in particular the academic community, by conducting effective interaction and outreach training activities, hence strengthening their voice in the ND area.

By connecting decision makers and other stakeholders within the ND and Barents collaboration structures (as the end-users of the provided scientific evidence) at various levels into dialogue with the academic community, both the policy relevance of research conducted within the NDI is improved and evidence-based policy-making is supported. 

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Last edited: 16 May 2019


1 Jan 2019 - 31 Dec 2021

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313