Final report on the need for an icebreaking research vessel

The government-appointed commission to investigate the governmental need for an icebreaking research vessel have been reported today.

The final report contains a continuous and in-depth analysis of research needs and detailed proposals of how the Government best can meet the research needs through a long-term solution for the research vessel with icebreaking capacity.

Summary of the report

There is a continued great need for a research icebreaker

The need for a Swedish research icebreaker remains great. This need continues to grow, primarily as the result of climate research and the need to make research expeditions in Swedish winters.

International collaboration should be a point of departure

The social challenges, research questions and research groups are all international, while the icebreakers constitute national resources. A continuing strong international collaboration on a Swedish research icebreaker should be the departure point for Sweden’s future marine polar research.

A future without a Swedish research icebreaker would cause irreparable damage

Sweden has established itself as a leading nation within polar research through access to its icebreakers Ymer and Oden. The research initiatives that have been made possible through the use of icebreaker Oden are significant and of the highest international standard. A future without a Swedish research icebreaker would cause irreparable damage to Swedish polar research and to Sweden’s participation and reputation in the international research arena.

Annual international research expeditions initiated by Sweden

The level of ambition for the coming ten years should be for Sweden to take the initiative for international research expeditions to the Arctic on an annual basis. Annual research expeditions to the Antarctic could be realised through renewing collaboration with the USA.

Oden could provide valuable data for planning the construction of a new ship

The investigation report recommends transforming Oden into an outright research vessel as soon as possible, in order to continue and expand its use. This would allow the first winter expeditions to the Arctic to take place within the remainder of Oden’s lifetime, i.e. until 2030. The experience of using Oden as an outright research vessel could provide valuable data for planning the construction of a new ship. A decision regarding the construction should be made no later than in 2025.

Read the full report on the need for an icebreaking research vessel

Inquiry into how to best fulfil the state’s need for a research vessel with icebreaker capacity intended for scientific expeditions in the polar regions (pdf 2 MB, opens in new window)

References