Artsincubator.ca news

Planning: Engaging the UArctic Thematic Network on Northern Food Security  

With the University of the Arctic Entrepreneurship Fund deadline just a few days away, we've been talking about what kind of relationship development and engagement activities could take place.

With the University of the Arctic Entrepreneurship Fund deadline just a few days away, we’ve been talking about what kind of relationship development and engagement activities could take place. Some of the potential UArctic programs and institutions we could consult and engage with in Canada include: Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR)Université LavalUniversité du Québec à Rimouski and University College of the North

One thing is sure, our program definitely plans to find ways to reach out to some of the UArctic Thematic Networks. The one that really interests us is the Thematic Network on Northern Food Security.

Thematic Network on Northern Food Security

The Thematic Network on Northern Food Security focuses on indigenous peoples food culture, arranges courses and programs and facilitates student and faculty exchange. 

Some of the ideas they’ve had on their web site involved an Arctic Foods Innovation Cluster! The information on the web site is from 2018:

Within the Arctic region there are considerable opportunities for commercial food production, both for export and for meeting local food needs. Food industries are producing large volumes of food commodities that are culturally comparable with Indigenous/local food preferences and also have high export value. However the Arctic foods value chain is challenged by a host of social, economic, logistical and political obstacles.

Industries located along value chain tend to be fragmented and have little to no coordination or communication. This has perpetuated an overreliance on raw export, bottlenecking of distribution points, and limited innovation in primary and secondary product development. Given these conditions the Thematic Network on Northern Food Security is proposing to establish an Arctic Foods Innovation Cluster (AFIC). An AFIC would pull together relevant actors in the Arctic food value chain for a cluster-based approach to food producers with governments, indigenous communities, universities, research centres, vocational training providers and industry associations, with a shared aim of increasing the Arctic’s competitiveness in food industries.

Some of the suggested activities of an Arctic Foods Innovation Cluster include: 

  • Serving as hub(s) of expertise drawn from communities, industry, investors, governments and researchers — all converged on food innovations.
  • Being an incubator for business models, new technologies and value-added products; Bring greater awareness to Arctic foods and their globally unique places of origin; 
  • Being a global leader in food innovations that can find solutions to Arctic food challenges.

The goal of their network is to advance the Food Security and Self-Sufficiency of Northern Communities, and increase training and research in increasing plant low temperature stress resistance. It supports a number of activities, particularly in the areas of Outreach and Engagement and Academic Programming.

The Outreach and Engagement section organizes conferences and workshops to increase cooperation and connect different interest groups, discuss challenges and/or barriers in key areas in addition to solutions and opportunities present. The Academic Programming section is responsible for organizing courses and programs for students while facilitating student exchange between institutions. The Academic program has been active since 2007, where the first students participated in one of the network’s courses.

Relevancen to our Niriqatiginnga project:

These are all things that our project really wants to explore in detail as we being our Niriqatiginnga program’s journey.

We’re going to build activities into our UArctic Entrepreneurship Fund Submission, where we reach out to this thematic network.

The Thematic Network on Northern Food Security also focuses on: 

  • Increasing institutional partnerships between the TN on Northern Food Security and other UArctic member organizations and the Circumpolar Agriculture Conference.
  • Organizing conferences
  • Continuously facilitating student and faculty exchange programs

Our program is excited about the prospect of engaging with the UArctic Thematic Network on Northern Food Security. Their network’s focus on Indigenous peoples’ food cultures, its commitment to academic and research activities, and its vision to establish an Arctic Foods Innovation Cluster seem to align really well with our objectives in advancing Northern food security and self-sufficiency. We are super keen to learn more about the valuable work this thematic network is doing and to explore potential avenues for collaboration and partnership.

Check their website for more information!

Picture of 1860 Admin

1860 Admin

Subscribe to our Mailing List

Our program began with a pilot program aimed at building organizational capacity for digital arts administration, skills development and training. It is supported by the non-profit organization Niriqatiginnga.

Stay Connected