The Northern Research Forum (NRF) has initiated project groups consisting of experts covering both relevant northern issues and global themes such as legal and political issues, economics, transportation, and climate change and security. The main purpose of the NRF Theme Project Groups is to strengthen the expertise of NRF in general while simultaneously have more continuity in between the biennial NRF Open Assemblies. The expertise in these groups comes from academia, political activity, administration, business and civil society; and hence, these groups can be interpreted to act like an epistemic community in their field(s).
The Theme Project Groups have currently been assigned to the following tasks: first, to promote the preparation of each NRF Open Assemblies, and consequently, feed the discussions and dialogues in these meetings; second, to recruit potential Position Paper authors on the themes of, and potential panellists for, NRF Open Assemblies; and third, to prepare short, policy-oriented reports on the field(s) of each group.
This NRF activity was launched in September 2008 at the 5th NRF Open Assembly in Anchorage, Alaska, U.S.A., when the NRF Theme Project Groups had a Roundtable discussion on its theme(s). These groups will continue their work until the 6th NRF Open Assembly in Hveragerđi, Iceland, where they will give a substantial report on their field(s) including ideas and proposals for the future. In addition that the Theme Project Groups will bring an excellent expertise into NRF meetings, together with the NRF Network of Young Researchers they have great potential to become a solid foundation for a more comprehensive NRF Network of experts on northern and global issues and research.