BIDDEFORD, Maine — A university in southern Maine is the newest member of a network of institutions called the University of the Arctic that seeks to promote the economy of the world’s northern reaches.

University of New England officials say the move will help the university engage with North Atlantic and Nordic states. The university became a member of the group Monday.

University of the Arctic launched in 2001 and has more than 100 member institutions, including universities, college, research organizations and others. University of New England president James Herbert says joining the group is the “next step in utilizing both UNE’s expertise and curiosity to explore ways to help shape Maine’s and the Arctic region’s vibrant future.”

The university’s students can also apply for exchange grants to study at other Arctic institutions.

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