Our work

The Arctic Economic Council’s Working Groups

The AEC’s Working Groups reflect the AEC selected business areas. The AEC currently has six Working Groups:

  • Maritime Transportation
  • Responsible Resource Development
  • Connectivity
  • Investments & Infrastructure
  • Energy
  • Blue Economy

The AEC’s work is based on the priorities set by the businesses forming the organization’s membership.

Brief work plan for the Working Groups:

  • Analyze the current business climate in the Arctic
  • Incorporate the five overarching themes of the AEC
  • Define actionable recommendations and variables that will raise the standard of economic development in the Arctic
  • Execute, report and review

For more information of the AEC Working Groups, please see: 

AEC – Maritime Transportation Working Group

AEC – Responsible Resource Development Working Group

AEC – Investments & Infrastructure Working Group

AEC – Energy Working Group

AEC – Connectivity Working Group

Information exchange through collaboration

The Arctic Economic Council’s Maritime Transportation Working Group focuses on gathering and exchanging available information on national and international Arctic maritime traffic, related regulation, development and status of hydrographic mapping. This aspect of the Maritime Transportation Working Group is especially valuable, since safety in Arctic waters and the availability of the information are limited. The Working group also co-operates with the Arctic Council’s Best Practices Information Forum that follows the implementation of the International IMO Polar Code.

The Maritime Transportation Working Group’s membership consists of representatives of the premier Arctic ship operators, confederations of shipowners from across the globe, indigenous corporations and the representatives of the academia. The best insight available The Maritime Transportation Working Group stays up to date on the upcoming changes in traffic management, environmental regulation and status of hydrographic mapping. Maritime Transportation Working Group provides an information and experience exchange platform to provide the members insight and guidelines.

Benefits to members

The members of the Maritime Transportation Working Group participate in gathering information and in the process of creating relevant deliverables.

The information consists of:

  • analysing the national and international Arctic navigation rules and regulations and developments
  • instructions and issues related to freedom of trade.
  • safety of Arctic waterways Members gain access in invaluable sources of information and benchmarking regarding maritime traffic in the Area and the vast network of businesses operating in the Arctic areas. Members have the opportunity to add business perspective and participate in the forming of regulative/legislative issues affecting the Arctic.

Chair of the AEC Working Group on Maritime Transportation Mikko Niini has vast experience in Arctic technology and shipbuilding. He is the Chairman of tanker shipping company Navidom Ltd and Chairman of the Rauma shipyard of Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC), Board member of the dry bulk shipping company ESL Shipping Ltd as well as Managing Director of his own Arctic & Maritime Consultancy Vientistrategit Oy.

Maritime Transportation WG Fact Sheet 


Infrastructure and Investments Working Group-Guidelines for responsible investments in the Arctic

Stimulating economic growth

The Arctic Economic Council’s Investments & Infrastructure Working Group focuses on creating guidelines that aim for responsible investments and stimulating economic growth in the Arctic region. The goal of these guidelines is to provide information on who to consult when investing in a specific field and/or region in the Arctic. These guidelines are formed by the Arctic businesses, the local people and communities with the participation of financial institutions.

This benefits the local communities in the Arctic and the businesses pursuing the markets inside the Arctic area.

The Arctic is full of untapped potential

The Investments & Infrastructure Working Group aims to increase understanding that the Arctic is not a region with limited economic opportunity and potential but has potential to grow. The Investments & Infrastructure

Working Group aims to find out how different funding options can serve the region and how the Arctic can attract growth capital. This is a continuation of the work of World Economic Forum’s Arctic Investment Protocol to facilitate sustainable investments in the Arctic.

Benefits to members

Members participating in the Investments & Infrastructure Working Group will gather and provide the information needed in the process and participate in the formulating of responsible guidelines for the development in the Arctic.

Members will gain access to invaluable sources of information and the vast network of businesses operating in the Arctic. Members have the opportunity to participate in the forming of investment principles of the Arctic through the AEC.

The work of the Investments & Infrastructure Working Group is led by the Chair of the Investments and Infrastructure Working Group: Mr. Tero Kiviniemi.

“These guidelines can help make the Arctic investable, thus benefitting the socio-economic development of the region. Coming from the Northern parts of Finland myself, I see it of great value that these principles are prepared by the people of the Arctic in the driving seat.”

– Mr. Tero Kiviniemi, President and CEO of Destia Group Plc

Destia Oy is a Finnish contractor of road maintenance, roadworks, railways and other infrastructure construction

Mandate and Work Plan

Investments and Infrastructure WG Fact sheet 

Provide, review and facilitate

The Arctic Economic Council’s Responsible Resource Development Working Group is focused on providing the necessary framework for responsible resource exploration and development in the Arctic.

This is achieved by exploring the following aspects:

  • identifying opportunities for resource development in the Arctic
  • highlight potential barriers to development
  • explore alternatives for financing Arctic development
  • risk management and sustainability for Arctic projects
  • local benefits from development
  • human capital component
  • sources of data and alternatives for sharing data regulatory aspects to consider with Arctic development projects
  • infrastructure needs for development

The Responsible Resource Development Working Group identifies challenges and healthy investment factors regarding Arctic resource development. The work culminates in a report that assists with evaluating the potential impacts of development in the Arctic region. The deliverable provides best practices and a framework for business conduct that is harmonious with indigenous residents and communities across the Arctic area.

Benefits to members

Members participating in the Responsible Resource Development Working Group bring their individual expertise from a variety of disciplines to jointly develop the guide to best practices for project development in the Arctic. Members gain valuable information, business contacts and an opportunity to participate in the discussion at the national and international level through the Arctic Economic Council. management, sustainability and local benefits

Chairs:  Lillian Hvatum-Brewster is the Vice President, Indigenous Community Relations &Development for ATCO Group. Bruce Harland is Vice President Business Development for Crowley Marine Services.

Terms of Reference

Responsible Resource Development WG Fact Sheet

Mineral Development in The Arctic

Chair of the AEC Working Group on Connectivity: Dr. Pam Lloyd

The AEC Working Group on Connectivity builds upon the work of the AEC Working Group on Infrastructure: Telecommunications chaired by Robert McDowell (USA). The Working Group on Infrastructure: Telecommunications concluded its work in 2017 with the publication of its report “Arctic Broadband – Recommendations for and Interconnected Arctic”.

Report: “Arctic Broadband – Recommendations for an Interconnected Arctic”

The report: “Arctic Broadband – Recommendations for an Interconnected Arctic” was published in January 2017. The AEC’s Telecommunications Working Group’s report was the first of its kind, providing an analysis of the state of Arctic broadband. It also presents different funding options applicable in the Arctic, an overview of planned and ongoing projects related to connectivity, and gives recommendations for future. The report can be found here

Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summit

The Working Group has initiated the AEC Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summit (TOW Summit). The first TOW Summit was held in Barrow, Alaska in 2016. It gathered more than 100 participants including policy leaders, tech industry experts and other executives. Following positive feedback from the industry, the second TOW Summit was held in Oulu, Finland in 2017 in collaboration with the City of Oulu. Being held back-to-back with the EU Arctic Stakeholder Forum, the 2017 TOW Summit provided great synergy opportunities for improved dialogue between the Arctic business community and policy decision makers. The 3rd TOW Summit was held on June 27-28, 2018 in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. For more information regarding program, presentations and press releases, please see our website under “Events” and the respective Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summit banners.

A summary of the Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summits: AEC TOW Summits 


Connectivity WG Fact Sheet 

The BEWG aims to facilitate a pan-Arctic alliance of ocean clusters to leverage the knowledge, expertise and funding instruments throughout the region to fast track product development and economic growth in the sector. At the core of this working group’s activity will be commitment to balancing sustainability and business and demonstrating through its work that the two are not mutually exclusive.

The BEWG will coordinate activity with other AEC working groups such as the Maritime Transportation Working Group on matters related to shipping.

Blue economy business development themes will include:

  • Marine biotechnology and bio-products – the application of scientific and engineering principles to the processing of materials by marine biological agents to provide goods and services
  • Ocean food systems – value chains in fisheries, aquaculture, seafood trade
  • Maritime Transportation – improving the sustainability of the shipping and cruise industries in terms of social, environmental and economic impacts
  • Marine Technology – technologies for the safe use, exploitation, protection of, and intervention in, the marine environment.

The first phase of the work will start with a consultation round with Arctic Blue Business Innovation Networks with the aim to identify models of success.

For more information about the BEWG Mandate

The Arctic is a vast region of diverse nature, physical environment and cultures. Access to energy is critical for Arctic inhabitants and energy resources can present positive opportunities for business development provided this is done with due regard to traditional and indigenous lifestyles and sustainability.

International concern about global warming in the Arctic has resulted in increasingly negative stakeholder opinions of Arctic resource development. Science based discussions around Arctic opportunities compete against popular media opinions, potentially risking that responsible Arctic investment is being unduly influenced by the views of those living outside the region.

The AEC recognizes that many people live and work in the Arctic, and that industry has been present across the regions for decades. The physical environment has driven solutions for energy efficiency and high operating standards. AEC therefore believes that business activity to utilize resources in the region should be viewed in terms of local benefit and sustainable practices and recognized as complementary to global resources.

An AEC Energy Working Group (EWG) is proposed to address “Energy Resources in the Arctic”.

The objective of the EWG is to provide simple, balanced information to key stakeholders regarding the context, opportunities and challenges for use of Arctic energy resources.

The work of the AEC Energy Working Group is led by Equinor, and the Working Group is currently being populated.


Energy WG Fact Sheet