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About the company

Non-profit project

Members type

72 rue de la prulay

Company size

Paola Catapano



  • Clean water and sanitation

  • Affordable and clean energy

  • Responsible consumption and production



Association Statutes

Polarquest2018 Project Synopsis


Alliance member

Polarquest2018 - Sailing in the Arctic in a passive Igloo for our sustainable future.

Polar research to find answers to the challenge of climate change and raise awareness about its consequences

We are a Swiss association created in 2017 with the support of several national and international scientific institutions and gathering researchers (both junior and senior), science communicators and polar explorers united by firm belief that the only effective way to solve big global challenges like the ones we’re confronted today on the planet is to bring together citizens and scientists and make them to collaborate in new ways. We support and carry out expeditions in polar areas for the purpose of scientific research linked to climate change and sustainability, exploration (both geographical and historical) and at the same to create awareness among the public and young students of the environmental challenges due to Anthropocene. We focus on polar regions because these are at the same time victims and witnesses of climate change and, as such, the ideal ambassador of a very powerful message for the planet. Our 2018 polar campaign focusses mainly on microplastics research in the Arctic at latitudes never reached before.


The Polarquest2018 Arctic expedition - On the tracks of the ITALIA Airship

A voyage to the last untouched wildernesses on earth, to convey the importance of the Arctic for our sustainable future.

From July to August 2018, our international team of arctic researchers, experienced scientists and young future scientist and science communicators will travel to the Arctic sea on board of Nanuq (i.e. polar bear in Inuit), a 60 feet sailboat designed and built by naval architect and Genevan explorer Peter Gallinelli for sailing in arctic regions in a self-reliant mode. The voyage starts from the North-East coast of Iceland (where the boat has spent the 2017-2018 winter) to reach the Svalbard archipelago, above the Artic Polar Circle, circumnavigate it and finish the expedition in Tromsø (Norway). Our mission: we will be looking for answers to one of the greatest challenges of our time, climate change, and raise awareness about its consequences. Polarquest2018 takes inspiration from the very first scientific expedition to the North Pole, the ITALIA Airship ‘s, the very first airborne scientific laboratory led by Air Force General and Airship engineer Umberto Nobile in 1928. Like the ITALIA, our vessel Nanuq will carry scientific experiments of special interest for Arctic regions, so far never performed before above 78°N and up to 82°N that we will reach: • PolarquEEEst, the cosmic ray explorer – the first cosmic ray detector that will measure the intense (due to the magnetic pole attraction) cosmic ray flow above the Arctic circle. This research will contribute to measuring the role of cosmic rays on climate. • Mantanet for Microplastic – the first study to assess the presence and distribution of microplastic in the Arctic waters up to 82° N, and in particular to sample the hypothetical sixth “garbage patch”, a microplastic island that , according to recent studies, should be situated near the Beaufort Gyre, a wind-driven ocean current located in the Arctic Ocean region where vortexes and downwellings work as a trap for marine debris. Five of these microplastic islands have been identified and sampled in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. • AURORA (Accessible UAVs for Research and Observation in Remote Areas) surveying remote and inaccessible areas along the coast of the Svalbard archipelago to observe ice cover variations, floating ice distribution, vegetation and fauna, including polar bears. • POLARQUEST2018 will take advantage of the unprecedented level of melting ice in the region to make a pioneering attempt at locating the sunken wreck of Umberto Nobile’s Airship Italia, on the 90th anniversary of its crash.

Available in
Norway, Iceland, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Italy, France, Switzerland,

Categories of application
Clean water and sanitation, Affordable and clean energy, Responsible consumption and production

Sector of application
Water distribution and use, Renewable fuels, Energy distribution & management, Clean energy production, Primary resources management