MPI is a leading research center focused on various aspects of permafrost, which underlies approximately 65 percent of Russia. Its mandate as defined in its Charter is to conduct basic and applied investigations in two broad areas: (1) permafrost evolution in relation to natural and anthropogenic factors, and (2) thermal and mechanical interactions between engineering structures and permafrost.
Being a member institution of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, MPI conducts research within the framework of Academy’s strategic long-term plans. Its current research activities include five basic projects, which consist of several sub-projects. These projects are, in turn, components of the SB RAS Basic Research Programs 2013-2017 which build upon the Governmental Program of Fundamental Research in National Academies 2013-2020, setting national priorities in research and development.
Several projects falling within the objectives of the five basic projects in priority areas are underway funded by other public competitive sources, such as the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, the RAS Presidium, and the SB RAS Partnership and Interdisciplinary Programs.
MPI has a long history of cooperating with industry to address significant challenges posed by permafrost. Many of the developments and procedures advanced by MPI’s researchers have been successfully implemented into engineering practice. Today, applied research at MPI continues to seek solutions that would provide safe and reliable performance of existing and new infrastructure under changing climate and increasing human activities. In most cases, research is carried out under contracts with sponsoring companies or regional agencies.
MPI staff use their research and knowledge to provide information and recommendations to local governments and public companies on issues related to permafrost and its impact on communities. They also participate in various expert panels convened by government agencies, professional societies, and state-owned corporations to formulate research plans, assess project proposals, and review research reports.
MPI has established and maintains mutually beneficial collaboration with research and education institutions across the country and abroad. Close working relationships have been developed with the State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soil Engineering (China), the National Institute of Polar Research (Japan), the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks (USA), and the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (Germany), among others.