The proposal to establish Snowflake IAS powered by carbon-free energy was initiated in 2019 by Russia and on June 8, 2020 was unanimously approved by all Arctic states at the Arctic Council's Sustainable Development Working Group meeting.
The project title is Arctic Hydrogen Energy Applications and Demonstrations (AHEAD).
Project leaders countries - Russia and Norway. Germany is the first observer-country, which received a status of the AHEAD official partner.
The international cooperation will go beyond the Arctic Council member states and engage organizations representing the Arctic's indigenous peoples, as well as the observer nations that have no direct access to the Arctic but are interested in a comprehensive collaboration based on the new four-season facility in the northern latitudes.
The possible formats for IAS-based international cooperation include sending in research teams, testing and demonstrating the equipment provided by companies, allocating funds toward building and fitting the facility, and organizing events at the station, among others options.
Below is a list of the Arctic Council SDWG projects with potential for IAS-based collaboration:
- Arctic Remote Energy Networks Academy II (ARENA II),
- Arctic Renewable Energy Atlas (AREA),
- Arctic Sustainable Energy Futures Toolkit II,
- Solid Waste Management in Small Arctic Communities,
- Zero Arctic: Concepts for Carbon Neutral Arctic Construction Based on Tradition,
- Arctic Indigenous Youth, Climate Change and Food Culture (EALLU),
- One Arctic — One Health,
- Arctic Children: Preschool Education and Smooth Transition to School,
- Arctic Food Innovation Cluster (AFIC),
- Blue Bioeconomy in the Arctic Region,
- Local 2 Global: Circumpolar Collaboration for Suicide Prevention and Mental Wellness,
- Gender Equality in the Arctic (GEA),
- Economy of the North (ECONOR)
- and others.
One of the more obvious possibilities for cooperation is engaging UArctic, a network of over 200 colleges and universities actively collaborating on a range of research and academic programs in the region. Among its member institutions, more than 40 represent Russia.
The Snowflake International Arctic Station is intended as a part of the International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic (INTERACT). Other partner ties to be expected are with the international Arctic centers, such as the VTT Technical Research Centre in Finland, the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) in the U.S., the Ramea Wind-Hydrogen-Diesel Energy Project in Canada and others.