Research Institutions and Universities in Ny-Ålesund

Kings Bay AS owns and manages Ny-Ålesund research village. Eleven institutions from ten countries around the world have established research facilities here, three of which are permanently manned. In addition, several more institutions and nations come regularly to Ny-Ålesund to carry out research field activities.


The Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) occupies the Sverdrup. The current building was built in 1999 but NPI has been carrying out research in Ny-Ålesund since 1968. NPI offers its services to all Norwegian institutions. It also hosts projects from countries that do not have own facility in Ny-Ålesund. Sverdrup maintains instruments for long- and short term monitoring programmes, offers logistical services, and research facilities to visiting scientists.

Currently the Sverdrup has a permanent staff of five persons.

NPI owns the building of the Zeppelin Research Observatoryon the Zeppelin Mountain, a couple of kilometers south of the settlement. NILU is responsible for the scientific activities at the Zeppelin Observatory.

Photo: Hans Ole Sandring

AWIPEV (Germany & France)

The Koldewey station

The German Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung (AWI) has been operating Koldewey since 1991. AWI focuses on biology, chemistry, geology and atmospheric physics, and is able to provide bedrooms, office space and a living room at the base. In addition AWI operates the NDACC-Observatory which is used for studies of physics and chemistry of the troposphere and stratosphere.

The Rabot station

The French Institut Paul Émile Victor (IPEV) established the Charles Rabot (Rabot) in 1999. IPEV has been mostly interested in atmospheric and life sciences since the start. IPEV also runs the Jean Corbel (Corbel) located about 5 kilometers, south-east of Ny-Ålesund. Corbel runs almost entirely on green energy and it is often described as the "clean".

In 2003 AWI and IPEV merged their operations (logistics & administration) in Ny-Ålesund and created a joint station named AWIPEV, and has a permanent staff of three persons.

NMA (Norway)

The VLBI antenna

The Norwegian Mapping Authority (NMA) has been permanently based in Ny-Ålesund since 1992, and operates the VLBI-antennae close to the airstrip. The antenna is a part of a global network of VLBI-antennas. Results from the measurements inform about the Earth's rotation speed, helps in definition of boundaries, and opens for prediction of earthquakes and tsunamies. Replacement of the antenna by two new antennas at Brandalspynten are under planning. Four persons are permanently based in Ny-Ålesund.

UK Arctic Research Station (Great Britain)

The NERC station

The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has operated the Harland House in Ny-Ålesund since 1991. The institution management is done on behalf of the National Environment Research Council (NERC).

The location is open during spring-summer and it supports projects related to earth and life sciences.

NIPR - (Japan) - Kings Bay Veksthus

The National Institute for Polar Research (NIPR) from Japan has been permanently established in Ny-Ålesund since 1990. On April 1. 2019 NIPR moved  into the new Kings Bay Veksthus. 

The main focus for the NIPR is Arctic environment, with studies of atmosphere physics, terrestrial biology, oceanography, glaciology and meteorology. there is no permanent manning of the station.

PRIC - Yellow River (China)

The Yellow River station

Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration (CAA) inaugurated the Yellow River in 2004. Since then activities have been increasing within a wide range of science with research on meteorology, space-Earth measurements, glaciology, marine ecosystems and Arctic environment. Yellow River is not permanently manned, but has visiting scientists during large parts of the year.

The Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC) took over administration and management of the Yellow River in 2017.

KOPRI - Dasan (South Korea)

The Korean Polar Research Institute (KOPRI) opened the Dasan in Ny-Ålesund in 2002. Research activities focuses mainly on environmental research, glacial and periglacial geomorphology, hydrology and atmospheric chemistry. Dasan is not permanently manned.

UiG (the Netherlands)

The London houses

The Arctic Centre of the University of Groningen (UiG) in the Netherlands established a presence in Ny-Ålesund in 1995. UiG promotes multi diciplinary research that covers a wide range of science, but has also a strong focus on ecology, notably the ecology of the barnacle goose. These studies have been continued since 1990. The station is closed during the winter.

CNR - Dirigibile Italia (Italy)

Dirigibile Italia

The National Research Council of Italy (CNR) established their base in Ny-Ålesund named Dirigibile Italia in 1997. Dirigibile Italia supports the CNR's studies on climatic changes. Research focuses much on environmental and climatic studies of ice and marine sediments, and research on interaction mechanisms among atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and geosphere. The Dirigibile Italia is not permanently manned.

An important addition to the infrastructure in Ny-Ålesund is the Amundsen-Nobile Climate Change Tower (CCT), which was established on April 30, 2009. The initiative to construct the tower came from the CNR, which also administers the science program using the sensors installed there. Investigations of the atmospheric boundary layer are the main focus, but the use of CCT is open to scientists working in other fields.

NCAOR - Himadri (India)


The National Centre for Antarctic & Ocean Research, NCAOR (India) officially opened Himadri  in Ny-Ålesund on July 1st 2008. The research focuses on marine ecosystems, athmospheric sciences and pollution.