14 September 2023, UK: The third round of the Arctic Connections Fund was launched in March 2023 to help Scottish organisations and communities collaborate with partners in the Arctic. It promotes exchange of expertise on shared issues and aims to raise awareness of common ambitions in line with the Arctic policy framework.
Scotland-based organisations were able to apply for a minimum of £1,000 and maximum of £10,000. Applications were assessed using a competitive scoring process during May and June 2023.
The Institute, along with the International Barley Hub (IBH) has received funding for the project titled ‘Raising the Bar’, partnered with the Innovation Centre for Organic Farming (Denmark) and Agronomy Institute (UHI Orkney). Recent climate warming in Europe has led to northward expansion of crop cultivation into the Arctic regions. Barley, an ancient cereal, has been grown for centuries in these regions, mainly for animal feed and straw. Counterintuitively, increased temperatures may provide a longer growing season, with new opportunities for high value local products.
The project will work towards the organisation of a workshop, bringing together a transnational multidisciplinary group to discuss and address challenges and opportunities, also considering the societal aspects for isolated rural communities. Consequently, a scoping document and roadmap for the future cultivation of cereals in the Arctic regions will be produced.
The original available budget for 2023-2024 was £80,000. A total of 43 applications were received, with a very high quality demonstrated. In total nine projects will be funded with a total value of up to £83,276.
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