A new innovation competition seeks to engage youth in transforming the Arctic economy

Nominations for the Arctic Future Challenges opened Monday.

By Kevin McGwin - May 12, 2020
A street scene from Nuuk, Greenland, in a March 13, 2016 file photo. (Kevin McGwin)

Young people from around the Arctic have been invited to participate in an innovation competition aimed at promoting entrepreneurship while also generating interest in the investment potential of the Arctic.

Created last fall by the governments of Denmark, Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Iceland, the Arctic Future Challenge seeks to provide young entrepreneurs with a forum to showcases the businesses that can providing the turning point in the region’s efforts to develop viable economies, according to Jeppe Kofod, the Danish foreign minister.

“It is the young people who are responsible for the region’s natural resources being used in a sustainable way in the future. It is the young people who will understand how to reap the benefits of the improved digital infrastructure,” Kofod said.

Nominations to compete for the 25,000 Danish kroner (about $3,640) award are being accepted in three categories: Youth Founder of the Year, Youth Startup of the Year and Best Business Concept for Students. The competition is open to anyone between the ages of 18 and 29 who is studying or operating a business in an Arctic region of one of the eight Arctic Council states.

Nominees selected to compete at the national level will receive business counselling and mentoring ahead of national competitions to find entrants for the Arctic-wide competition during the 2020 Arctic Circle conference.

“It is important that we give young people the tools they need to innovate be enterprising. It is the young who will build the foundation for tomorrow’s economic and social development,” Ane Lone Bagger, Greenland’s education minister, said in a statement.