Polar Connect

polar connect

Polar Connect is the Northern European initiative to acquire resilient connectivity through the Arctic to Asia (Japan) and North America for the Research, Development, Innovation (RDI), and Education sectors.


All R&E sectors are facing a data explosion, which means a rapidly increasing demand for efficient data infrastructures. The global lockdowns and remote education demonstrated once more the significance of digital infrastructures. In addition to addressing the increased capacity need of existing intercontinental collaborations, Polar Connect will spur new innovative collaboration models and support the rapid ongoing digital transformation.

NORDUnet and the Nordic NRENs are working with several initiatives investigating and planning a first submarine cable system between Europe, Asia, and North America taking a shorter route through the Arctic Ocean, an area unused so far for submarine cable systems, hence this unique route will dramatically increase resilience.

Major European involvement in these initiatives will substantially strengthen European digital autonomy. By being early partners in such initiatives, we aim to secure capacity owned and managed by the research and education communities, adding huge benefits in terms of cost, bandwidth, latency, and resilience. The ultimate goal of Polar Connect is to have at least two such routes for increased resilience.

Polar connect will be a strategic investment into fundamental digital infrastructure that will support and advance regional development of the Nordics and Northern Europe. Additionally, it will connect all of the European R&E networks and thus support European RDI & Education sectors and it will contribute to European recovery.