Noveria is a cool, rocky world, with most of its hydrosphere locked up in massive glaciers. A privately chartered colony world, the planet is owned by the Noveria Development Corporation holding company. The NDC is funded by investment capital from two dozen high technology development firms, and administrated by an Executive Board representing their interests.
The investors built remote hot labs in isolated locations across Noveria's surface. These facilities are used for research too dangerous or controversial to be performed elsewhere, as Noveria is technically not part of Citadel space and therefore exempt from Council law.
By special arrangement, Citadel Special Tactics and Reconnaissance agents have been granted extraterritorial privileges, but it remains to be seen how committed the Executive Board is to that principle. Given its unique situation, it is understandable that Noveria is often implicated in all manner of wild conspiracy theories.