The purpose of the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) is to support and strengthen the development of multinational engagement for sustained and coordinated pan-Arctic observing and data sharing systems. SAON was initiated by the Arctic Council and the International Arctic Science Committee, and was established by the 2011 Ministerial Meeting in Nuuk.
The SAON inventory builds on a survey circulated in the community at the inception of the activity. This database is continously updated and maintained, and contains projects, activities, networks and programmes related to environmental observation in the circum-polar Arctic.
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RANNIS reports to the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and operates according to the Act on Public Support for Scientific Research ( No. 3/2003). Hallgrímur Jónasson is the General Director of RANNIS.
The Icelandic Centre for Research (RANNIS) supports research, innovation, education and culture in Iceland. RANNIS cooperates closely with the Icelandic Science and Technology Policy Council and provides professional assistance in the preparation and implementation of the national science and technology policy.
RANNIS administers competitive funds in the fields of research, innovation, education and culture, as well as strategic research programmes.
RANNIS monitors resources and performance in R&D and promotes public awareness of research and innovation, education and culture in Iceland. Rannis is the Icelandic national contact point for SAON.
At the end of 2014, RANNIS had a permanent staff of 41. Apart from regular staff, RANNIS also relies on the involvement of external contacts, including scientists and technical experts who assist in the evaluation of grant proposals.
The main competitive funds administered by RANNIS have the following annual budgets for 2014: The Icelandic Research Fund: 1.185 MISK, The Infrastructure Fund: 106 MISK, The Technology Development Fund: 988 MISK.
Main gaps: 1. We need funding for winter measurements allowing us to study ecosystem dynamics outside the growing season. Recent research has demonstrated that important components of ecosystem dynamics occur after the growing season (e.g. Post et al. 2009: Science 325, 1355-1358; Mastepanov et al. 2008: Nature 456, 628-630.). 2. We need funding for increased circum-arctic cooperation between monitoring sites to facilitate comparative studies of ecosystem dynamics in different compartments of the Arctic.