Statement on Call for Tenders for Polarstern’s Successor

[20. May 2022] 

Prof Antje Boetius, Director of the Alfred Wegener Institute: “We were extremely pleased and relieved to pick up on the signals from the political community that the Budget Committee of the German Bundestag has opted to provide funding for the procurement of the Polarstern II. Thanks to this wonderful news from the Adjustment Session on the Federal Budget for 2022, we have come a major step closer to acquiring a modern, high-performance and sustainable successor to our research icebreaker Polarstern." 

Over the past several months, we have received substantial political support for this endeavour at both the regional and national level. We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to all those involved for continuing to recognise the relevance of climate, polar and marine research, despite the difficult times we now find ourselves in. By doing so, they are also sending a clear signal regarding the transformation of maritime infrastructures, since the integration of climate-friendly technologies and innovative elements significantly increased the funding needed for the construction of the Polarstern II.

We are now waiting on the official confirmation from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), after which we will promptly launch the Europe-wide call for tenders.

We can only pursue world-class polar and marine research with a high-performance icebreaker. Accordingly, in February 2020 the BMBF declared its intention to enable the AWI, as public contracting body, to issue a call for tenders on the construction of the multifunctional icebreaking polar research and resupply ship Polarstern II. The BMBF is now delivering on that promise.

To ensure that the AWI can continue to pursue its research mission in the decades to come – which will likely be critical ones for the future of our planet – we need a ship that can operate under all ice conditions in the Arctic and Antarctic, and which will allow researchers to gather observations and data from those regions hardest hit by climate change. This will provide the basis for the critical insights our society so urgently needs in order to make the right choices when it comes to climate protection, environmental protection and nature conservation – to safeguard the future of the polar regions and biodiversity on land and in the sea for generations to come.”


Press Office

Sebastian Grote

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