The first two SPI Flagship Initiatives have been selected for funding. These Swiss-led multi-annual programmes will combine polar science and technology projects from different disciplines. Dr. Francesca Pellicciotti (WSL) and Prof. Martin Hoelzle (University of Fribourg) will lead the project “From ice to microorganisms and humans: Toward an interdisciplinary understanding of climate change impacts on the Third Pole.” (PAMIR). Prof. Julia Schmale (EPFL) will lead the initiative “Greenlandic Fjord ecosystems in a changing climate: Socio-cultural and environmental interactions” (GreenFjord). These projects include 9 different Swiss institutions that will lead interdisciplinary research.

Their work will start in 2022, for a period of 4 years. The funding provided by SPI will focus on field campaigns (logistics, safety, etc.), data management, outreach, and programme coordination, thus providing temporary infrastructure for a Swiss-led polar research programme.

We congratulate the two consortia for their inspiring programmes and invite all interested parties for a launch event to be held in spring 2022. Stay tuned!