Organisation

The Geothermal Training Programme (GRÓ GTP) is one of the four Programmes in Iceland that forms GRÓ: the International Centre for Capacity Development – Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Societal Change.  The GRÓ Centre serves as an umbrella for the four Programmes and is under the auspices of UNESCO - The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.  Prior to joining UNESCO, the Geothermal Training Programme was in cooperation with the United Nations University from 1978-2019 as the United Nations University Geothermal Training Programme (UNU-GTP).  

The GRÓ Centre, through the Programmes aims to strengthen organisational, institutional and individual, capacities in developing countries with each Programme working towards the Sustainable Development Goals within their own theme:

GRÓ Geothermal Training Programme established in 1978; promoting the utilisation and sustainable management of reliable, economically viable, and environmentally sound geothermal energy resources.

GRÓ Fisheries Training Programme established in 1998; promoting sustainable use and management of living aquatic resources.

GRÓ Land Restoration Training Programme established in 2010; promoting restoration of degraded land and sustainable land management.

GRÓ Gender Equality Studies and Training Programme established in 2013; promoting gender equality, women’s empowerment and social justice.

GRÓ GTP is hosted at Iceland GeoSurvey (ISOR).  ISOR is a a self-financing, state-owned, non-profit institution under the Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources.  It receives no direct funding from the Government and operates on a project and contract basis like a private company.  Iceland GeoSurvey was established 2003, when the GeoScience Division of Orkustofnun, the National Energy Authority of Iceland and the former hosting institute of GTP, was spun off as a separate entity.  ISOR is based on seven decades of continuous experience in the field of geothermal and hydropower research and development.  Its focus is on geothermal exploration, development, and utilization, although its experience covers many other geoscience-related fields as well, including groundwater studies, marine geology, and environmental monitoring.  

GRÓ GTP annually hires the services of experts at ISOR and Orkustofnun, in accordance with contracts. The GRÓ GTP Fellows have full access to the research facilities and the multidisciplinary research environment of ISOR and Orkustofnun, which united, for over four decades, have been amongst the leading geothermal energy research institutions in the world.

GRÓ GTP also has a close cooperation with the University of Iceland (UI) and Reykjavík University (RU).  Staff members of the Science and Engineering Faculties have been amongst key lecturers and supervisors of the Fellows since the establishment of GTP.  A co-operation agreement was signed in 2000 between GTP and the UI on MSc studies in geothermal energy and PhD studies in 2008.  A similar agreement was made with Reykjavík University in 2013.

GRÓ GTP has five full time staff members (employed by its host institute ISOR), but lecturers and support staff are hired from ISOR, the UI, RU, and other agencies/companies. Every year, about 80-100 experts of these institutions render services to the GRÓ GTP under contracts. This allows the flexibility required to provide highly specialized training in the eight fields of specialization offered.

The GRÓ GTP is academically governed by a Studies Board, which is composed of experts (from ISOR, UI and RU) responsible for each of the specialized courses. The GRÓ GTP Director is the chairman of the Studies Board.