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EISCAT in Space: Spatial aspects of the economic and societal importance of the European incoherent scatter radar system and an ionospheric heater in Fenno-Scandinavia and on Svalbard
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Urban and Regional Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0749-8193
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Urban and Regional Studies.
2014 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Over the last three decades, the European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association (EISCAT) has provided the scientific community with outstanding high-latitude data for research on the lower, middle and upper atmosphere and ionosphere using the incoherent scatter radar technique. The research facilities are located north of the Arctic Circle in Finland, Norway, Sweden and on Svalbard, and have since they first were taken into operation in August 1981 contributed a remarkable scientific output. This research has contributed to the understanding of different space and atmospheric phenomena and opened up and to several new fields of research. EISCAT is currently planning the next generation research facility, EISCAT_3D, which is an projected investment of more than 1,1 billion SEK (135 million €) with planned start of construction in 2015, first operations in 2018, and to be in full operation 2021. EISCAT_3D is anticipated to provide researchers with opportunities to conduct novel scientific experiments that may shift the frontiers in several scientific disciplines, but may also be utilized to develop services with specific societal values, see Kero et al. (2013). 

This study examines the economic and societal importance of EISCAT in a spatial context. The results indicate that EISCAT generates minor purely economic effects but contributes to strengthening the regional competitiveness and attractiveness, mainly though a remarkable scientific output and extra-regional linkages which enable continual renewal and dynamism of local knowledge. EISCAT has also implied a large injection of research funding to the region. It is argued ESICAT should not only be considered as a research facility with great scientific value but also as an interconnecting infrastructure and organisation in value creating knowledge networks with global reach. The study suggests that EISCAT_3D is an investment with many important potential implications but that the related development work needs to carefully consider how to promote a high level of absorptive capacity among organisations with related activities. It is obvious that a proactive work and cooperation with national, regional and local actors will impact a full range of benefits from EISCAT_3D.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. , 35 p.
Keyword [en]
Space science, Scientific research infrastructure, Technological change, Agglomeration and networks, Spillover effects, European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association (EISCAT)
National Category
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics Economic Geography Economics
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-140208OAI: diva2:688731

QC 20140123

Available from: 2014-01-17 Created: 2014-01-17 Last updated: 2014-01-23Bibliographically approved

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