The Arctic Awards is an annual project competition designed to highlight exceptional projects focusing on topics of particular relevance to the Arctic area. All the projects funded by five Arctic programmes - Northern Periphery & Arctic Programme, Interreg Botnia – Atlantica, Interreg Nord, Kolarctic CBC programmes, and Karelia CBC programme, are welcomed to participate. The categories of the Arctic Award competition rotate yearly. Based on the decision of the Judging Panel made out of representatives from all five Arctic programmes, the winners will be chosen.

What is the objective of the Arctic Awards?

The objective of the Arctic Award is to identify good practice, promote Arctic cross- border collaboration, and raise awareness among projects of each other. The awards are to highlight innovative projects with a clear Arctic dimension, which are viewed as inspirational in their participating regions as well as being seen as creating real, measurable impacts on the ground, and being of direct benefit to Arctic Communities.


Arctic Awards 2022

This year's competition is limited to projects from the 5 Arctic Cooperation programmes, who distinguished for the quality of their achievements and the effectiveness of their engagement strategy. Two projects have been invited from each programmes.

An impartial jury composed of programme representatives and two VIP members will select the 3 finalists. The finalist projects will be contacted by the end October 2022 and will participate in an online campaign.

The public will decide the one and only winner.!

The winner will be announced and celebrated at the next Arctic Cooperation event, planned in early 2023.

Stay tuned #ArcticCooperation #ArcticAward2022


Previous editions

In 2020 the world had to adapt to a pandemic. And so did the Arctic Awards, but we don’t want to miss the opportunity to celebrate our winners: two projects who make a difference for the people who live in the Arctic. For this reason, we celebrated them, well... virtually.

The two winners were announced with a video on Facebook, at the peak of a social media campaign featuring all candidates of the 2020 Arctic Awards edition.

The winners of the Arctic Award 2020 edition are: BRIDGE Barents Region Initiative for Developing Growth and Employability, in the category Arctic Entrepreneurial Spirit, funded by Kolarctic ENI CBC programme. And the project Future CleanTech Solutions funded by Interreg Botnia-Atlantica, in the category "Overcoming Critical Mass".

In the category “Arctic Entrepreneurial Spirit - boosting young entrepreneurs’ abilities”, BRIDGE has demonstrated:

  • focus on enhancing young people’s entrepreneurial skills and employability, as well as creating networks between potential employees and employers.
  • the ability to tackle into relevant day-to-day demands of both universities and SMEs
  • concrete potential to produce a permanent impact on the practices of the participating higher education institutions and the SMEs, i.e.concrete improvement in employment rates and quality of the workforce.

In the category “Overcoming Critical Mass”, Future CleanTech Solutions has demonstrated:

  • a concrete cooperation model innovating CleanTech businesses in the Kwarken region, as well as taking into account natural resources in the regions
  • clustering, promotion of clean-tech solutions and creation of vertical links between Arctic companies which answer to the needs of sparsely populated areas really well
  • an approach that is agile and relatively easy to scale and deploy in other parts of Arctic regions.

Watch the video.

The Arctic Awards paused during 2021, in order to evaluate the experience and learn from the past editions.

The winners of the Arctic Award 2019 were announced during a festive evening reception in connection with the Arctic Cooperation Conference in Copenhagen in September 2019. The awards were handed out by Ambassador Jari Vilén, Senior Advisor in Arctic policy matters at the European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC) of the European Commission.This year, for the first time, the Arctic Award ceremony has been a part of the Arctic Cooperation Conference – “What can cooperation do for Arctic” held in Copenhagen on 17th to 18th September 2019.

The winners of the Arctic Awards 2019 are Our Stories – The Business of using storytelling to draw people in (Interreg NORD) who won the project category "Arctic Entrepreneurial Spirit" and BuSK - Building shared knowledge capital to support natural resource governance in the northern periphery (Northern Periphery and Arctic) who won the project category "Sustainable Use of Resources".

 Our stories demonstrated that it has direct benefits for the people living in Arctic regions, who are directly involved in the design of the solutions. It has also shown successful involvement of underrepresented groups, such as women, young people and indigenous peoples. The project has also been successful in energizing and innovating the Northern Lights Route, raising curiosity, and using common history to bring out the Arctic entrepreneurial spirit.

Busk has been awarded for showing direct benefits for the people living in Arctic regions. It has successfully disseminated best practice knowledge, and increased local acceptance and participation mechanisms in different nature-based industries, as well as it has combined indigenous and local knowledge into land use planning.


The 2018 Arctic Awards were launched in May 2018, with the themes Arctic Entrepreneurial Spirit, and Cold Climate Opportunities. This time, the award ceremony took place during a reception following the European Week seminar Sustainable development of the Arctic region to the benefit of all of at Scotland House, Brussels.

The winner in category "Arctic Entrepreneurial Spirit", was Rural Youth Entrepreneurship - RYE Connect (NPA) while the winner in category "Cold Climate Opportunities", was Wind Centre of Excellence - WindCoE (Interreg Botnia-Atlantica).

RYE Connect demonstrated excellence in promoting innovative thinking that inspires young people to create unique business opportunities across Northern Europe and the Arctic. Through transnational collaboration and networking, RYE Connect develops better business opportunities, services and solutions for young entrepreneurs aged 16 to 30. RYE Connect contributes in a clear and visionary way to the Arctic Award main criteria: innovation, impact and focus. The project aims to bring together remote regions, and bridge the gap offering spirited business support tools innovating the youth to become one of the next generation of entrepreneurs.The project has shown that entrepreneurial spirit in the Arctic is thriving, and that better results can be achieved through cooperation.

WindCoE has established a competence center within wind power in a cold climate. While much of the project content focused on research concerned with wind energy issues, the overarching goal was to create a long lasting center of excellence, bringing together industry, society and government to a platform where more constructive discussions regarding wind power could take place. By improving the conditions for this societal debate the project intends to improve the prospects for the development of the wind energy industry in the region.



In August, the first Arctic Awards project competition was launched. The 2017 categories were "Overcoming Critical Mass", and "Sustainable Use of Resources". In total, 20 projects from 3 programmes applied, and one winner was selected in each category. The winner in category “Overcoming critical mass” was Visit Arctic Europe (Interreg Nord) and the winner in category “Sustainable use of resources” was Transalgae (Botnia Atlantica).

Visit Arctic Europe made a special effort to involve people in the design of the solutions(s) and demonstrates excellence in promoting its’ results to the relevant target audiences. It involves SMEs and stakeholders from Sweden, Finland and Norway, to combine the Arctic area’s strengths and resources to meet the increased competition within the tourism industry.

Translage demonstrated excellence in promoting its (expected) results to the relevant target audiences. There is a need for cost effective and sustainable ways to clean waste streams from different sources. Algae are not used in the Arctic region for this purpose, and the project will contribute to increase the knowledge of algae and develop the algae sector as a part of the bio economy.

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