EU funding for the Swedish project Polar Connect

The Swedish Research Council, together with NORDUnet and the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat, has been awarded EU funding for the first part of the Polar Connect project. The goal is a fibreoptic connection via the Arctic linking the Nordic region to Japan and South Korea.

With the geopolitical situation changing, the need for a secure and resilient data connection has increased. In December, the European Commission announced that it was spending up to 260 million EUR on funding 42 European projects to improve the digital infrastructure in Europe. One of the Swedish projects awarded funding is Polar Connect – a collaboration between the Swedish Research Council (Sunet), the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat, and NORDUnet.

The North Pole Fiber project is that start of Polar Connect, where the long-term plan is to link the Nordic region to Japan and South Korea through a fibreoptic cable across the Arctic Ocean. This cable link with increase the robustness of the global network infrastructure, and create a faster route for data transfer to Asia. The project will also create added value for researchers, through SMART (Science Monitoring And Reliable Telecommunications) Subsea Cables, which will make it possible to produce measurement data on an ongoing basis for factors such as temperatures and flows in the area around the subsea cable. These mesurement data will provide a better picture of the climate changes taking place in the Arctic.

Polar Connect will also explore the opportunity to instal branch cables to North America and other parts of the Indo-Pacific region.

The EU funding will be used in part to fund the extension of the infrastructure from Sweden to Norway.

Read the Government’s press release: “14 miljoner Euro till svensk utveckling av 5G och undervattensinfrastruktur för elektronisk kommunikation” Länk till annan webbplats (in Swedish) External link.

Read more about Polar Connect on NORDUnet’s website Länk till annan webbplats External link.

Globe demonstrating where the cable will go.



Pdf / Printout

About Sunet

Sunet (Swedish University Computer Network) is a part of the Swedish Research Council and simultaneously a research infrastructure that meets the data communication and IT service needs of Swedish higher education institutions.

Read more at (in Swedish) External link.


  1. Valter Nordh appointed acting CEO of NORDUnet

    NORDUnet, the collaboration organisation for the Nordic countries’ research and educational networks, has a new acting CEO as from 1 November 2021. Valter Nordh, who currently holds positions at both Sunet and the Swedish Research Council, will lead ...

  2. The Zoom service from Sunet differs from the public version

    Many higher education institutions (HEIs) are using Sunet’s e-meeting service Zoom right now, to conduct remote teaching. The US company Zoom has been criticised for a lack of security, but for users of Sunet’s Zoom service the risks are considerably...

  3. FAQ about Sunet’s Zoom service

    Many institutions and organisations linked to research and higher education (HEI) are using Zoom via Sunet. Here we have gathered together frequently asked questions about the security and integrity of the service.