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Norwegian-American Space Seminar on Space Cooperation

A travelogue by Kjetil Bilic Michaelsen, Domain Manager Defence at the Norwegian Space Agency.

December 20, 2023
Having a break in the Norwegian Embassy Garden
Having a break in the Norwegian Embassy GardenCredit: NOSA

The Norwegian Space Agency (NOSA) had the pleasure of welcoming more than 80 participants from the USA, Canada, and Norway to the very first "Transatlantic Cooperation on Space Technology and Policy in the Arctic" seminar on November 14th to 16th, 2023.

The legacy from successful transatlantic collaboration between Norway, US and Canada spans several decades, and NOSA considers the future possibilities to be even greater. The objective of the seminar was to provide a meeting place for policy makers, researchers, state authorities and space industry . 

The first day, hosted at Norwegian embassy in Washington D.C., was filled with high-level presentations and discussions around historically, present, and future Norwegian-American space collaboration. The program was followed by a reception at the House of NADIC (Norwegian-American Defense and Homeland Security Industry Council).

Anniken Krutnes, the Norwegian Ambassador to the USA, is speaking at the Norwegian-American Space Seminar on Space Cooperation.

The Norwegian Ambassador to the USA, Anniken Krutnes, is speaking at the Norwegian-American Space Seminar on Space Cooperation.

Credit: NOSA

The second and third day, kindly hosted by the George Washington University´s Space Policy Institute, covered more in-depth talks and discussions regarding strategy and policy perspectives, civil-military cooperation, access to space and science collaboration. 

The seminar provided an excellent overview of the vast areas of space cooperation between Norway and North America. Our heritage with science, earth observation and surveillance, will be continued. With an emphasis on small satellites and the Arctic, Norway is developing its civil-military Arctic Surveillance Program, and this is likely to be a good foundation for strengthened transatlantic collaboration. 

The ongoing development of Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission (ASBM) is praised by both Norwegians and Americans. Responsive access to space and space situational awareness are two areas we are foreseeing increased collaboration on in the near future.

During the seminar we got feedback regarding the content and its outcome. The networking opportunity was the most highlighted outcome from the seminar. The excellent and time-relevant presentations from the governmental, institutional and industry leaders were highlighted by several, and getting an overview of the wide range of existing and potential collaboration topics was something many participants mentioned. 

Kjetil Bilic Michaelsen

Kjetil Bilic Michaelsen.

Credit: Stig Jarnes

A key takeaway from the seminar is that Norwegian actors may seem too small compared to large US budgets, but that a combination of Norwegian competence, efficient and lean projects, and geographical location, can lead to cost-effective and relevant results.

Among the 80+ participants, we were very delighted to receive speeches from several governmental and industry leaders. We would especially like to thank the Norwegian ambassador Anniken Krutnes, Bob Cabana (NASA), Ed Grigsby (NOAA), Harald Aarø (KDA), Col. John-Arild Bodding (Norwegian Armed Forces), Merrick Garb (USSF), Ole Felix Dahl (Norwegian MoD), Jill Smyth (Embassy of Canada / CSA), Ketil Olsen (Andøya Space), Mary Ann Kutny (NOAA), Scott Pace (GWU), Svein-Erik Hamran (UiO), Jeremy Novosad (Northrop Grumman) and Christian Hauglie-Hanssen (NOSA).

Based on feedback and suggestions from several attendees, we are considering creating a follow-up seminar in 2024/2025.

Download a PDF of the program for the event.