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Harper announces National Research Council Arctic Program launch

The program will look for research partnerships to advance Northern economic development

Photo: Government of Yukon Facebook page.

During his ninth annual Northern Tour, Prime Minister Stephen Harper  announced the launch of the National Research Council (NRC) Arctic Program.

Its goal will be to enter into research partnerships to develop technology and to "advance the Northern economic development," read a press release sent by the PM's office.

In detail, the main priority areas of the program are: resource development; northern transportation and shipping; marine safety technologies; and community infrastructure.

The government listed the outcomes it expects once the program is fully operative:

  • Increasing the safety of resource development in ice-covered waters by reducing the uncertainty in ice loads, and increasing the reliability of ice management, as well as enabling the effective detection and remediation of oil under ice;
  • Developing and implementing technologies that will reduce the number of incidents and vessel structural damage;
  • Increasing the number of days of operational use of ice roads;
  • Increasing the survivability rates in lifeboats;
  • Increasing the performance of immersion suits in a cold and harsh ocean environment; and,
  • Reducing catastrophic failures in urban infrastructure, and increasing energy efficiency and durability of northern housing, thereby decreasing the cost of maintenance and repairs.


The launching of the NRC took place at the Yukon Cold Climate Innovation Centre, within the Yukon Research Centre of Excellence at Yukon College, where the Prime Minister highlighted NRC-supported practical research into high efficiency home insulation suited for Northern climates.

“Our Government recognizes the full potential of the North. We will continue to support northern development by ensuring sustainable, low impact, responsible resource development in the Arctic, while creating jobs and improving the quality of life for residents of Northern communities,” Harper said.

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