The management group

Knut H. H. Johansen

Knut H. H. Johansen

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Knut H. H. Johansen

Knut H. H. Johansen

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Kenth Engø-Monsen

Head of Research
Research

Kenth Engø-Monsen

Head of Research

Kenth received his Master’s Degree in 1995 in Industrial Mathematics from NTNU, PhD in 2000 in Computer Science from University of Bergen, and Master of Technology Management in Telecom Strategy in 2001 from NTNU, Norway.

Before coming to Smart Innovation Norway in 2023, Kenth has more than 20 years of experience working as a data scientist and applied mathematician in the corporate research and startup world. Kenth has extensive knowledge in the field of telecom data, social network analysis, and applied analytics and AI/ML research. He is co-inventor of numerous patents, co-founder of the company T-rank AS, and he has published peer-reviewed papers in mathematics, computer science, data science, and social sciences.

Mette M. Magnussen

Mette M. Magnussen

Head of Communication (leave of absence)
Communication
Mette M. Magnussen

Mette M. Magnussen

Head of Communication (leave of absence)

Mette Marie Magnussen is a Market Economist from BI Norwegian Business School and holds a BSc in English and International Market Communication from Østfold University College and the University of Surrey, UK.

She has more than 11 years of experience within communication and marketing from the energy industry, through the electricity company, Fortum. Her areas of expertise are within digital marketing, marketing strategy and analyses, website development, social media marketing and content management in a multimedia marketing context. During her career, Mette has worked as project manager and strategic marketing expert for several digital projects.

In her current job at Smart Innovation Norway, she holds the position as Head of Communication and is responsible for the company’s overall branding and communication strategy, as well as activities. She is a part of the management team and reports to the CEO.

From 2020 to 2022, Mette was Project Manager for AI+, an international conference on applied artificial intelligence.

Ketil Thomsen

Interim Head of Communication
Communication

Ketil Thomsen

Interim Head of Communication

Ketil Thomsen has studied Theatre history and Drama at the University of Trondheim and started out by producing and working as an actor in several theatre plays in Oslo.

Ketil was also one of the founders of Plan B Management. In Plan B, he worked as a project manager and head of the event area of the company and has been an event producer for several large-scale events. He also worked as manager for several artists in the management. After returning to his hometown, Ketil has mainly worked as project manager in different communication agencies.

He is currently a part of the Communication team in Smart Innovation Norway, where he works with different events, graphical design and is head of the Arena.

Stian Johansen

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Stian Johansen

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Stian Johansen holds a Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Stavanger (UiS) and a Master of Science in Accounting and Auditing from the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH).

He has worked as an auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Stavanger and Sarpsborg and as the Chief Accountant at Fresenius Kabi Norge AS in Halden.

Stian describes himself as structured, detail-oriented and service-minded. Supporting the organization and management group with high quality and timely information is key in order to make good decisions. He is a part of the management team and reports to the CEO.

Mikael Melitshenko

Head of Venture
Venture

Mikael Melitshenko

Head of Venture

Mikael Melitshenko is an experienced leader in innovation, business development, and incubation, with over two decades of driving growth for technology companies. As the current Head of Venture at Smart Innovation Norway, Mikael directs strategic development and commercialization of innovative tech companies.

His previous roles include Head of Incubation and Program Manager of Corporate Innovation where he was instrumental in nurturing startups and integrating new solutions into established companies.

Previous positions includes leading technology and innovation projects, and as CEO of a Swedish Business Incubator, he focused on strategic growth and support for entrepreneurs.

Mikael holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Marketing, underpinning his expert leadership in technology incubation and strategic growth.

Eli Haugerud

Head of Communities
Communities

Eli Haugerud

Head of Communities

Eli Haugerud hold a M.Sc. degree in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Oslo (UiO) and has taken several additional master courses within Design Thinking and strategic innovation, computers science and pedagogy.

Eli has previously worked at Tekna for 12 years and held positions as Head of Innovation, Director of Politics and Head of Professional Societies. She has been developing networks, policies and arenas to share competence and building a better society. Prior to her time at Tekna, she came from a background as a leader in international IT companies and the education sector. Eli also currently holds some positions within tech and engineering organization boards.

In her job at Smart Innovation Norway, she holds the position as Head of Clusters and is responsible for the company’s overall operation of the two clusters, NCE Smart Energy Markets and Cluster for Applied AI. She is a part of the management team and reports to the CEO.

Thomas Mikkelsen

Section Head Social Innovation
Research

Thomas Mikkelsen

Section Head Social Innovation

Thomas is a leading expert in the fields of customer engagement, communication and behaviour in the utility sector. He was a former energy utility marketing director with experience of effective customer apps and other online services that brought mass customer engagement and behaviour changes; for instance, pioneering the field of digital marketing with prize winning campaigns like European Utility Award winner; The Meter Hunt for Danish utility SEAS-NVE.

He worked as a Senior Manager with international companies like Panasonic and Green Energy Options in developing the future business of smart home technology and home energy management systems through visualisation of energy use in private homes and creating customer relations through the use of big data.

Thomas is engaged in several inter-European networks focusing on user involvement, customer interaction and actual implementation of smart energy technology. He was, for instance, the 1st rapporteur of Bridge’s Working Group on Customer Engagement and is currently Task Leader Joint Communication Efforts ensuring knowledge exchange between EU-funded projects.


Research

Kenth Engø-Monsen

Head of Research
Research

Kenth Engø-Monsen

Head of Research

Kenth received his Master’s Degree in 1995 in Industrial Mathematics from NTNU, PhD in 2000 in Computer Science from University of Bergen, and Master of Technology Management in Telecom Strategy in 2001 from NTNU, Norway.

Before coming to Smart Innovation Norway in 2023, Kenth has more than 20 years of experience working as a data scientist and applied mathematician in the corporate research and startup world. Kenth has extensive knowledge in the field of telecom data, social network analysis, and applied analytics and AI/ML research. He is co-inventor of numerous patents, co-founder of the company T-rank AS, and he has published peer-reviewed papers in mathematics, computer science, data science, and social sciences.

Joseph Negreira, Telekom. ing.

Section Head EU Office
Research

Joseph Negreira, Telekom. ing.

Section Head EU Office

Joseph Negreira is a Telecommunication Engineer by the Ramon Llull University of Barcelona.

He has long experience in Information and Communication technologies, both in operational implementation and deployment, and from an R&D perspective, complemented with competences in entrepreneurship development, business and innovation management.

He has combined experience from his responsibilities and activities in the field of telecom’s applied business and research consultancy for private (services, telecom, industry) and the public sector (National, Regional and Local Public Administrations and Universities).

At Smart Innovation Norway, Joseph holds the position as Section Head International Research for the acquisition and management of EU Horizon 2020 projects and other international research and innovation projects.

Thomas Mikkelsen

Section Head Social Innovation
Research

Thomas Mikkelsen

Section Head Social Innovation

Thomas is a leading expert in the fields of customer engagement, communication and behaviour in the utility sector. He was a former energy utility marketing director with experience of effective customer apps and other online services that brought mass customer engagement and behaviour changes; for instance, pioneering the field of digital marketing with prize winning campaigns like European Utility Award winner; The Meter Hunt for Danish utility SEAS-NVE.

He worked as a Senior Manager with international companies like Panasonic and Green Energy Options in developing the future business of smart home technology and home energy management systems through visualisation of energy use in private homes and creating customer relations through the use of big data.

Thomas is engaged in several inter-European networks focusing on user involvement, customer interaction and actual implementation of smart energy technology. He was, for instance, the 1st rapporteur of Bridge’s Working Group on Customer Engagement and is currently Task Leader Joint Communication Efforts ensuring knowledge exchange between EU-funded projects.

Dr. Iliana Ilieva

Section Head Energy Markets and Scientific Coordinator
Research

Dr. Iliana Ilieva

Section Head Energy Markets and Scientific Coordinator

Researcher and project manager with a main focus on the fields of energy markets, Smart Grid, demand flexibility and renewable energy.

Iliana Ilieva holds a PhD degree in Energy System Analysis from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. She has a M.Sc. degree in Economics with focus on Energy Economics, from the same university.

Her research focus during the PhD work has been market integration and demand flexibility within a smart grid dominated power sector.

Iliana has extensive experience in scientific writing and publishing and has been a contributor to Smart Innovation Norway’s research projects since 2010.

Dr. Stig Ødegaard Ottesen

Principal Researcher Energy Transition
Research

Dr. Stig Ødegaard Ottesen

Principal Researcher Energy Transition

Stig Ødegaard Ottesen holds a PhD in Industrial Economics and Technology Management from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). The topic of his thesis was Techno-economic models in SmartGrids. He also has a MSc in Electrical Power Engineering.

Stig has more than 30 years’ experience in the fields of power systems, power markets and power trading, SmartGrids, distributed energy resources and digitization and machine learning, decision support modelling and optimization methods. He is in particular focused on bridging the gap between academia and the businesses and on inter-disciplinary research.

Before rejoining Smart Innovation Norway, Stig was Head of R&D in eSmart Systems for more than 5 years. He also worked as R&D Director at Smart Innovation Norway from 2008 – 2014. Earlier, he worked for several ICT-companies in Halden (Tieto, Nasdaq-OMX, HandEl Skandinavia), at IFE and in Statkraft.

Bernt Bremdal

Dr. Bernt Bremdal

Principal Researcher Artificial Intelligence
Research
Bernt Bremdal

Dr. Bernt Bremdal

Principal Researcher Artificial Intelligence

Prof. Bernt A. Bremdal holds a PhD from NTNU in applied artificial intelligence and a M.Sc. in mechanical engineering.

He has more than 25 years of experience in decision support and information and knowledge management and more than 10 years of academic research and innovation.

Prof. Bremdal has extensive experience within management and project leadership, as well as product development. He is a specialist within knowledge and information management, process reengineering and performance optimization.

His technical expertise comprises search, information extraction, AI, computational linguistics, web applications and operation research.

Qazi Sohail Ahmad

Qazi Sohail Ahmad

International Project Manager
Research
Qazi Sohail Ahmad

Qazi Sohail Ahmad

International Project Manager

Qazi Sohail Ahmad holds the position as International Project Manager, with main focus at project acquisition and EU Advisor for the partners of the NCE Smart Energy Markets cluster.

Before joining Smart Innovation Norway, he was Advisor in research and project coordination at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, where he participated in several EU and RCN research & innovation projects under the FP7, Horizon 2020, Nano2021 and Petromaks research programs.

Qazi Ahmad holds an MSc in Computer Science from Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden, and an MBA from the University of Bradford School of Management, UK.

His education also comprises project management training from the University of Massachusetts Boston, USA, and from the College of Europe, Belgium.

Elena Calzado

International Project Manager
Research

Elena Calzado

International Project Manager

Elena Calzado is International Project Manager at Smart Innovation Norway. She has a BS in Chemistry from Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

During the last 20 years, she has been involved in Research & Development & Innovation activities in different sectors, including energy, agri-food, environment and health. She has been involved in numerous R&D projects at national and international level, as Innovation and Exploitation Manager, supporting international organisations, research centres and industrial partners in the identification of their innovation potential, the identification of opportunities of financing and proposal preparation.

Elena has worked at CDTI in the international department, she has also worked as R&D consultant, as a coach for entrepreneurs, as a technician of knowledge transfer, as manager of several national technology platforms, as R&D and quality manager and also as external evaluator of R&D proposal for both Spanish Ministry and the European Commission.

Dr. Christian Kunze

Senior Researcher Energy Markets
Research

Dr. Christian Kunze

Senior Researcher Energy Markets

Christian Kunze holds a PhD in economic sciences from the University of Wuppertal, Germany.

He started his professional career in the electricity industry as a Competitive Intelligence Analyst at E.ON Sales & Trading. Afterwards he worked as Electricity Trader and Director of Trading inter alia for Edison Trading, Milan, Shell Energy Trading, London, and a subsidiary of the Renova Group, Zurich.

Christian was the consortium leader for the successful Horizon 2020 EMPOWER application of Smart Innovation Norway. At his current position as Senior Researcher Energy Management he mainly supports the activities in the D‐A‐CH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland).

In addition, Christian is a start‐up entrepreneur, a frequent speaker at industry events and a visiting lecturer in the field of smart energy markets.

Dr. Alemu Moges Belay

Section Head Energy Systems
Research

Dr. Alemu Moges Belay

Section Head Energy Systems

Alemu Moges Belay holds a Doctoral degree in technology from the University of Vaasa, Finland. He has a M.Sc. degree in industrial engineering/mechanical, from Addis Ababa University.

Alemu worked as a postdoctoral fellow and researcher at department of Civil and environmental Engineering, NTNU. Previously, he worked in manufacturing and aviation industries, which consume high energy.

His research focus during the PhD work has been concurrent engineering (CE) which helps industries to shorten time to market. It combines cost, quality and delivery time attributes to improve the product development performance using system dynamic modelling.

Alemu has extensive experience in scientific writing and publishing in international journals and conferences.

Some of his skills are product development, cost-benefit analysis, project/knowledge management, socio-economic, quality control/quality assurance, concurrent engineering/time-to-market, process improvement (LEAN, SIX-SIGMA), and system thinking.

Emil Wingstedt

Senior Researcher Energy Markets
Research

Emil Wingstedt

Senior Researcher Energy Markets

Emil Wingstedt holds a M.Sc in Theoretical Physics from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Emil has 20 years' experience with mathematical modelling of large processes and energy systems, mainly within the nuclear industry. Before joining Smart Innovation Norway he worked at the Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) in Halden.

In his current position, Emil is working as a Senior Researcher for Energy Markets with a main focus on Norwegian projects.

Sven Erik Tønnesen

Senior Researcher Energy Markets
Research

Sven Erik Tønnesen

Senior Researcher Energy Markets

Sven Erik Tønnesen holds a MSc in Geosciences from University of Oslo. Sven Erik has more than 30 years’ experience from software development projects, mainly within the fields of power systems and power markets. He has had all possible roles in software projects and been responsible for project management, requirements management/functional specifications, design/programming, testing/QA, documentation, customer training and support. Among other things, he has been technical responsible for day-ahead power exchange system projects in the Nordics, California, Germany, France, UK, India and southern Africa.

Before joining Smart Innovation Norway, Sven Erik was CEO for the start-up company Smart Innovation for nearly 5 years. From 2013-2017, he worked as QA manager in eSmart Systems, and before that he worked 15 years for Nasdaq OMX. Earlier he worked for IFE and for Scandpower in Halden.

Olav Henrik Skonnord

Researcher Energy Markets
Research

Olav Henrik Skonnord

Researcher Energy Markets

Olav Henrik Skonnord holds a M.Sc. in Energy and Environmental Engineering from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. He specialized in Electric Power Engineering and Smart Grids.

His master thesis focused on tariff structures influence on local energy trading within a community with flexibility, renewables and full P2P trading.

Research interests of Olav include energy system optimization, new business models for energy, renewable energy and smart grid with focus on national projects.

Tomas Klevmo

Researcher Artificial Intelligence
Research

Tomas Klevmo

Researcher Artificial Intelligence

Tomas Klevmo holds a MSc in Mechatronics from the University of Agder and a BSc in Electrical Power Engineering from Østfold University College.

For his master thesis he designed an active heave compensation system for floating offshore drilling rigs and demonstrated it on a working scale model. He wrote his bachelor thesis on Smart Grids for NCE Smart Energy Markets. His work experience includes robotics, control systems and process control in the oil & gas and manufacturing industries.

At his current position as Researcher Applied AI, he contributes to projects focusing on applying artificial intelligence to solve a broad range of challenges.

Aaditya Dandwate

Junior Researcher Energy Systems
Research

Aaditya Dandwate

Junior Researcher Energy Systems

Aaditya Dandwate holds a Masters' (M.Sc.) in Sustainable Energy Technology from University of Twente, The Netherlands. He has a Bachelors' in Mechanical Engineering from India.

His master thesis focussed on the case study for conversion of bio-resources to green hydrogen. He has worked on projects related to energy conversion technologies, energy storage systems and business models for sustainable energy.

Research interests include renewable energy technologies & systems, business model innovation and energy markets.

Ahmed Samir Hedar

Junior Researcher Energy Systems
Research

Ahmed Samir Hedar

Junior Researcher Energy Systems

Ahmed Samir Hedar holds a Master's degree in Energy Engineering with a focus on Renewables and Environmental Sustainability from the Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy. And a Bachelor's in Energy Engineering from Ain Shams University, Egypt.

Always driven by the environmental cause, Ahmed applies his experience and knowledge in researching climate-related energy challenges. His master's thesis focuses on demand response from aggregations of buildings' heating load for providing flexibility services to the electric grid.

His research interests include Multi-energy systems modelling, Energy markets, Grid flexibility, Demand response, and Life cycle assessment.

Bonnie Murphy

Team Lead, Social Innovation
Research

Bonnie Murphy

Team Lead, Social Innovation

Bonnie is responsible for integrating psychological principles and models into strategic consumer engagement and design strategies. She has extensive experience with segmentation strategy, persona design, customer journey development, data analysis, and UX research across a range of industries. She is currently leading the community and stakeholder engagement work in the H2020 projects ACCEPT, IELECTRIX and E-LAND. In her previous role as a consumer insights strategist, Bonnie worked with large international brands such as AT&T, Nissan, and CITI Bank to develop customer-centric digital experiences. Bonnie holds a master’s degree in Organizational and Social Psychology from the London School of Economics with a specialization in behavioural economics.

Paul Tobin

Dr. Paul Tobin

Behavioural Scientist, Social Innovation
Research
Paul Tobin

Dr. Paul Tobin

Behavioural Scientist, Social Innovation

Paul is a behavioural scientist at Smart Innovation Norway. He utilises knowledge from the social sciences and a variety of research methodologies to design and implement stakeholder engagement strategies. Paul has an academic background in which he developed expertise in leading research projects and performing statistical analysis. He is a former university demonstrator where he taught research methods and applied psychology. Paul holds a PhD in psychology in the field of social interaction and communication from the University of Aberdeen. At Smart Innovation Norway, Paul is currently involved in several horizon Europe projects. In these he is primarily responsible for leading social innovation activities, including the application of theoretical models and processes, strategic planning, and implementing engagement activities aimed at cocreation and behavioural change.

Agnieszka Haider

Senior Project Control Manager, Social Innovation
Research

Agnieszka Haider

Senior Project Control Manager, Social Innovation

Agnieszka is a Senior Project Control Manager at Smart Innovation Norway. She has experience with working as a project manager in a large European organisation in Brussels, where she was managing several important EU projects. In SIN, she is currently managing seven ongoing EU founded projects and oversees the behavioural scientists’ team in stakeholder engagement and user testing. In addition to providing strategic guidance, Agnieszka leads the technical and financial reporting across H2020 projects. Agnieszka is a co-author of a publication “Benchmarks for best contracts: towards excellence in the European Research Area”. She’s a multilingual professional graduated with master in European politics and BA in European law from Paris and Strasburg Universities.

Minna Kuivalainen

Behavioural Scientist, Social Innovation
Research

Minna Kuivalainen

Behavioural Scientist, Social Innovation

Minna is a behavioural scientist at Smart Innovation Norway. She utilises her experience in community engagement and social change gained in international projects in developing effective customer and community engagement strategies. Background in social sciences combined with recent academic studies on sustainable business and sustainable energy technologies allows her to bring stakeholder views and consumer insight into the core of sustainable technology development. Minna has extensive experience in international project management, and she is currently involved with H2020 projects ACCEPT and E-LAND in which she is developing and implementing different stakeholder engagement models and tools. Minna holds a master’s degree in development studies from London School of Economics and Political Science and is about to graduate from Aalto University School of Business in Finland with a master’s degree in Creative Sustainability.

Mette Aastradsen

Strategy and Accounting Consultant
Research

Mette Aastradsen

Strategy and Accounting Consultant

Mette has extensive experience in analysis, evaluation, scientific reporting and strategic development – especially within the educational field. In terms of Communication and Marketing, she has been doing project leaflets, website development and social media content.

Mette is working in project administration, budget planning and financial reporting. Mette holds a Master in Arts.

Sidsel Bruun

Sidsel Bruun

Senior Researcher, Social Innovation
Research
Sidsel Bruun

Sidsel Bruun

Senior Researcher, Social Innovation

Sidsel is a Senior Social Innovation Researcher. She is structuring and organising primary research in partnerships in international and interdisciplinary environments. For instance, she is leading the development, design and implementation of social and behavioural innovations in the H2020 PROBONO project, which aims at developing Green Building Neighbourhoods in six European countries.

In addition to designing concrete activities and strategies to engage a diverse set of stakeholders, she is using her education in Applied Behavioural Science to implement an evidence-based and experimental approach to changing behaviours towards energy efficient and sustainable behavioural patterns. This role also includes representing SIN in research and innovation fora and participating in scientific publication activities. Sidsel is also involved in project development and applications as well as building strategic partnerships in an international environment.

She holds a master’s degree in Cross-Cultural Studies with a BA from the Department of Political Science and Turkish Studies with a supplementary education in Nudging Theory and Applied Behavioural Science.

Tamara Hajdu

Tamara Hajdu

Behavioural Scientist, Social Innovation
Research
Tamara Hajdu

Tamara Hajdu

Behavioural Scientist, Social Innovation

Tamara works as a Behavioural Scientist at Smart Innovation Norway. Using applied behavioural sciences and her previous experience in various research methodologies, project coordination and communication, she aims to understand the human factor of energy use and the acceptance of, or resistance to sustainable technological solutions.

Tamara holds a master’s degree in Social and Organizational Psychology from Eötvös Loránd Science University of Budapest. She is currently working on her doctoral research at the University of Helsinki within the fields of social and political psychology, populism, political communication, and intergroup relations.

Salima Ismayilzada

Communication Expert, Social Innovation
Research

Salima Ismayilzada

Communication Expert, Social Innovation

Salima Ismayilzada holds an MSc in Political Science from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden and a BA in Public Affairs from ADA University, Azerbaijan.

Salima describes herself as a self-development-oriented Communication Expert with strong communication, public relations and policy background. Before joining Smart Innovation Norway, she worked at the University of Gothenburg, ELSA Azerbaijan, and for MUN project which acting under the auspices of UN Azerbaijan, UNDP and ADA University.

In her current position as a Communication Expert at Smart Innovation Norway, she is responsible for communication, dissemination and social engagement activities of EU Horizon projects.

Tuuli Veikkanen

Strategic Designer, Social Innovation
Research

Tuuli Veikkanen

Strategic Designer, Social Innovation

Tuuli Veikkanen holds an MSc in Social Sciences from Aarhus University, where she specialised in conflict and environmental studies. She also holds a BA in History from the University of Helsinki.

Tuuli has experience in communications, marketing, SEO, research dissemination and citizen engagement. Before joining Smart Innovation Norway, she worked in the private sector, NGOs, and an Interreg programme. She has been country manager for two companies and communications advisor for the Interreg North Sea Region Programme.

At Smart Innovation Norway, Tuuli works with communications, dissemination and social engagement of EU Horizon projects.

Rose Matthews

Behavioural Scientist, Social Innovation
Research

Rose Matthews

Behavioural Scientist, Social Innovation

Rose is interested in the ways that people experience and interact with the world around them, and the roles that they play within societal groups and as part of any system. She specialises in social innovation using human-centred design frameworks and has applied this in a diverse range of global settings as part of complex programmatic work including developments in global health and financial inclusion. At Smart Innovation Norway she leads approaches for better understanding human factors through community engagement.

Veronika Sabikova

Veronika Sabikova

Student Assistant, Social Innovation
Research
Veronika Sabikova

Veronika Sabikova

Student Assistant, Social Innovation

Veronika is pursuing an MSc in Social Entrepreneurship and Management at Roskilde University, building on a Bachelor's degree in Social and Work Psychology from Comenius University. With experience in school psychology and volunteer work in the non-profit sector, Veronika is passionate about exploring both individual and group behaviors and experiences within societal contexts. In her role at Smart Innovation Norway, she supports the Social Innovation team in research and communication activities across EU-funded projects.

Danka Ördög

Danka Ördög

Student Assistant, Social Innovation
Research
Danka Ördög

Danka Ördög

Student Assistant, Social Innovation

Danka works as a Social Innovation Student Assistant at Smart Innovation Norway. This means that she provides support in various innovation related tasks that occur in the SI team on a daily basis. As of now, she is involved in the EU-funded projects FORTESIE, DEDALUS, PROBONO, and eFORT, but she often has tasks within other projects as well. Her responsibilities center upon primary and secondary research activities, such as survey design, data analysis, or desk research, to mention some.

She is currently pursuing a master's degree in Social Entrepreneurship and Management at Roskilde University, where she studies about social transformation, sustainable change, and social innovation, making this role a very relevant and exciting opportunity in her professional journey.

Brita Staal

Brita Staal

Climate Lead, Smart Cities and Communities
Communities
Brita Staal

Brita Staal

Climate Lead, Smart Cities and Communities

Brita is an experienced climate- and sustainability leader with a demonstrated history of change- and sustainability management successes. She has 10 years experience with climate- and sustainability management, both from leading roles in Nordic and global companies, and as advisor within strategy development. She also has valueable experience from international aid- and development work, Norwegian Foreign Affairs, and international NGO development and management.

Brita holds a Master of Science in Development Management, with specialization in sustainability and impact analysis. Her Masters thesis evaluated Norad’s Matchmaking Programme in regards to sustainable development in north-south business relations, and she thereby have special insight to impact measures and development opportunities in public-private partnerships.

Brita has strong founder and business development skills, and brings in experiences from building organisations within climaterisk tech, climate advocacy and impact investment. As Climate Lead, Brita get to use all her experiences and skills in order to strengthen Smart Innovations overall climate - and sustainability impact through our smart city and research projects, our cluster involvement and through incubation and venture.


Communities

Eli Haugerud

Head of Communities
Communities

Eli Haugerud

Head of Communities

Eli Haugerud hold a M.Sc. degree in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Oslo (UiO) and has taken several additional master courses within Design Thinking and strategic innovation, computers science and pedagogy.

Eli has previously worked at Tekna for 12 years and held positions as Head of Innovation, Director of Politics and Head of Professional Societies. She has been developing networks, policies and arenas to share competence and building a better society. Prior to her time at Tekna, she came from a background as a leader in international IT companies and the education sector. Eli also currently holds some positions within tech and engineering organization boards.

In her job at Smart Innovation Norway, she holds the position as Head of Clusters and is responsible for the company’s overall operation of the two clusters, NCE Smart Energy Markets and Cluster for Applied AI. She is a part of the management team and reports to the CEO.

Inge Michael Bilet

Inge Michael Bilet

Cluster Leader, NCE Smart Energy Markets
Communities
Inge Michael Bilet

Inge Michael Bilet

Cluster Leader, NCE Smart Energy Markets

Inge Michael Bilet has broad experience from both Norwegian and international business, covering market research, FMC, energy and automobile industry. He has been an entrepreneur and part of large international companies.

In the year 2000, he took a Bachelor’s degree in Export Marketing (Norway/Germany), followed 20 years of experience from sales, marketing, market research, consultancy and innovation. His recent positions were Head of Marketing and Product Development at Fredrikstad EnergiSalg (Fortum) and Sustainability Advisor/Project Manager at Brox Consulting.

As Business Developer at Smart Innovation Norway, Inge Michael is determined to use his experience and expertise to speed up the transition to a circle economy, by helping companies innovate in a slightly faster pace, thus helping to create sustainable businesses.

Inge Michael is a business oriented, creative team player with a passion for sustainability, digitalization, new business models and circular economy.

Tore Lie

Cluster Leader, Cluster for Applied AI
Communities

Tore Lie

Cluster Leader, Cluster for Applied AI

Tore Lie is a seasoned professional with extensive experience in consulting, project management, architecture, and development. After spending seven successful years at eSmart Systems as a member of the team that established Grid Vision as one of the leading virtual inspection tools for powerline inspections, Tore has joined Smart Innovation Norway as Cluster Leader of Cluster for Applied AI to help others succeed in using AI as a tool for change.

Tore's diverse background includes previous roles as a Consultant/Project Manager at Metier & CA and an Architect/Developer at IBM & Concrea. Additionally, he has a passion for performance, having previously been a table hockey hero and a producer/actor. Tore enjoys being on stage and discussing topics related to AI and other subjects.

Overall, Tore Lie brings a wealth of expertise and unique perspectives to his work, making him a valuable asset to any team or organization he joins.

Stian Melhus

Cluster Leader, DECOM Cluster
Communities

Stian Melhus

Cluster Leader, DECOM Cluster

Stian Melhus is cluster leader for the Cluster for Decommissioning and Repurposing at Smart Innovation Norway, facilitating collaborations and developing a knowledge base for the new industry growing out of Norway’s plans to decommission its nuclear reactors.

He holds a bachelor's degree in Innovation and Project Management from Østfold University College with a focus on developing leaders. He has worked actively with marine restoration with local environmental groups, both with practical restoration and with facilitating creative think tanks for problem solving.

Stian is an energetic people person who loves to create arenas where people can flourish and be creative and share knowledge in large groups. He is passionate about green technology and innovation and dreams about a world where businesses have a circular approach to business and development.  

Anja Wingstedt

Manager, Smart Cities and Communities
Communities

Anja Wingstedt

Manager, Smart Cities and Communities

Anja Wingstedt holds a MSc in Urban and Industrial Water Managment from Dresdens University of Technology in Germany. It includes one year of studies and a master thesis at SINTEF in Trondheim.

Anja has over 15 years of varied experience from sustainable water and industrial water management while working in various municipalities in Østfold. Since 2012, until joining Smart Innovation Norway in 2019, she has worked as a consultant at COWI. As a consultant, she has gained insight into the challenges that municipalities are facing today regarding water, industrial water and flooding management.

Anja is involved with the Smart City programs in Skiptvet, Halden and Borg Havn, where the main tasks are to initiate and deliver innovation projects in collaboration with business partners, funding organizations and public sector. Her focus will be on energy efficiency, digitization, sustainability and Smart City development in close cooperation with Norwegian municipalities, businesses, academia and end-users.

Victoria Næss Jensen

Project Manager (leave of absence)
Communities

Victoria Næss Jensen

Project Manager (leave of absence)

Victoria Næss Jensen holds a MSc in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Norwegian University of Life Science, Ås, with Technology Entrepreneurship from Rice University – Jess H. Jones Graduate School of Business, Houston, Texas.

Formerly, Victoria worked as a PMO for Sykehuspartner’s IT projects to the new hospital, Sykehuset Østfold Kalnes. Her role was to support the management in the program and to support interaction between various projects in Prosjekt Nytt Østfoldsykehus (PNØ).

At her current position as project coordinator in Smart Innovation Norway, she is involved in realizing innovative project ideas, both towards the cluster and towards our incubator.

Victoria works systematically and carry out plans with commitment and persistence, ensuring progress in project activities. She is motivated by innovation, progress, change and improvement.

Tor Ø. Frydenberg

Senior Consultant
Communities

Tor Ø. Frydenberg

Senior Consultant

Tor Ø. Frydenberg holds a M.Sc. degree in Radio Technology and Information Systems from the Norwegian University for Science and Technology (NTNU).

Tor held the position of CEO at Ericsson, Norway from 1999 to 2010, and as Vice President of Ericsson Professional Services in the Nordic and Baltic regions for 5 years in the same period.

Prior to 1999, he served as General Manager of Ericsson Radar, Kongsberg Ericsson Communications and Telettra Norge. Tor began his career as a scientist at Telenor Research & Development.

He is currently serving as an investor, chairman and member of the board for a number of start-up companies. At Smart Innovation Norway, he is engaged as a Special Advisor and Senior Consultant, specifically within the ICT industry.

Mikael af Ekenstam

Project Manager / Consultant
Communities

Mikael af Ekenstam

Project Manager / Consultant

Mikael af Ekenstam has extensive knowledge and long experience in working with topics central in the Smart Cities and Communities concept. This includes working with energy- and environmental related issues in highly profiled building and infrastructure projects, as well as designing low-carbon city development and planning for sustainable development in municipalities.

Specific topics where Mikael has in-depth knowledge include energy efficiency, renewable energy, green public procurement and carbon and environmental management in projects and organizations.

Mikael has a MSc in Environmental Science from Gothenburg University. He has previously worked as an energy and environmental advisor at Sweco, with project management as well as engineering. He also held the positions as Chief Sustainability Officer and Environmental Coordinator at Sweco Norway for a couple of years.

In Smart Innovation Norway, Mikael works with Smart Narvik, which is a smart city project with partners Nordkraft, the Port of Narvik and Narvik municipality. He will also work with the Smart Arctic Network, where the goal is to achieve a more sustainable development of society and business in the Arctic region.

Tore Odden

Project Manager / Advisor
Communities

Tore Odden

Project Manager / Advisor

Manuela Freté

Project Manager / Consultant
Communities

Manuela Freté

Project Manager / Consultant

Manuela has more than 10 years of experience within project management of sustainability and innovation projects focused on topics such as circular economy (food, plastic and construction waste), and energy. She has worked both for the public and private sector and managed several international consortiums and different types of stakeholders.

Manuela holds a BA in International Relations with French and Spanish from University of Sussex and a master’s degree in European Studies from Sciences Po Paris which concluded with a traineeship at the European Commission in the sustainable consumption and production directorate. In France, Manuela has been working with ESG reporting and with designing sustainability strategies for public and private companies nationally and internationally. She has also been leading EU research and innovation projects (FP7, H2020) since 2013 and is author and co-author of several EU publications.

In Smart Innovation Norway, Manuela is managing the H2020 GIFT project, which aims to test innovative technological solutions in the energy sector. She is also supporting the ongoing work of the Smart Cities and Communities team in northern Norway (such as Smart Narvik) and is developing innovation projects in the region.

Linda Sund

Head of Education, DECOM Cluster
Communities

Linda Sund

Head of Education, DECOM Cluster

Linda Sund has been building solid networks and relations for collaboration and development throughout her work. She has experience in leading projects that create new public services.

Since 2017, she has led her start-up, offering services within organisational culture and private businesses. Through this work, she has established a broad network of customers and partners in both public and private sectors.

Sund is a specially trained nurse, has a certification in Neuro Linguistic Programming and is a leadership & executive coach. Her momentum for increasing her knowledge has been to understand the psychology and behaviour of human beings and how we can collaborate to solve common challenges.

Since 2021, she has been a part of Norwegian Nuclear Decommissioning (NND) and has, since the fall of 2022, been NND's resource in Smart Innovation Norway's Cluster for Decommissioning and Repurposing.

Hermund Arntzen Dale

Project Manager
Communities

Hermund Arntzen Dale

Project Manager

Hermund Arntzen Dale has the position as Project Manager in the research section in Smart Innovation Norway, coordinating the research projects on renewable energy and energy markets.

Hermund holds a bachelor’s degree in Innovation and Project Management from The Collage University of Østfold. He also has education in leadership from one of the Non-commissioned officer schools in the Norwegian Army.

He has worked several years in the Norwegian Army. Gaining experience in planning and execution of tactical operations at platoon level. After finishing his military career, Hermund got experience in entrepreneurship after founding a SaaS-startup. He also worked for the el-tech startup Becour, as Project Manager and Commercial Manager.

Hermund is passionate about environment and climate. He describes himself as a team player, and a detail-oriented and creative problem solver.

Gurill Mediaa

Senior Project Leader
Arena

Gurill Mediaa

Senior Project Leader

Sunniva Hansen

Digital Marketer / Project Manager
Communities, Communication

Sunniva Hansen

Digital Marketer / Project Manager

Sunniva Hansen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Media from University West in Sweden.

She has worked in several advertising agencies and has been in the business since 2006. Her work area is print, web/programming, and social media, as well as project management. She works with webpage design, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), newsletter development and advertising in social media.

Sunniva loves challenges and learning new things. As a developer she likes results and works hard to achieve them.

In April 2021, she became part of Smart Innovation Norway’s Communication team. As digital marketer, Sunniva is responsible for content planning, marketing, development and optimization of Smart Innovation Norway’s digital channels.


Venture

Mikael Melitshenko

Head of Venture
Venture

Mikael Melitshenko

Head of Venture

Mikael Melitshenko is an experienced leader in innovation, business development, and incubation, with over two decades of driving growth for technology companies. As the current Head of Venture at Smart Innovation Norway, Mikael directs strategic development and commercialization of innovative tech companies.

His previous roles include Head of Incubation and Program Manager of Corporate Innovation where he was instrumental in nurturing startups and integrating new solutions into established companies.

Previous positions includes leading technology and innovation projects, and as CEO of a Swedish Business Incubator, he focused on strategic growth and support for entrepreneurs.

Mikael holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Marketing, underpinning his expert leadership in technology incubation and strategic growth.

Matias Heggdal

Program Manager
Venture

Matias Heggdal

Program Manager

Matias Heggdal holds a Bsc in Innovation and Project Management from Østfold University College. It includes one semester abroad at California State University Monterey Bay, USA. During his stay abroad he explored the startup ecosystem in Silicon Valley and consulted a Norwegian startup on how to best become a part of this ecosystem.

Matias has for the past years been active in the startup environment and is the co-founder of two startups. Matias’ passion is to facilitate good learning arenas for startups to accelerate growth and increased likelihood of international success. For his thesis, he researched best incubator practices amongst Norwegian and European incubators, and after completion he was hired at Smart Innovation Norway.

In his current job at Smart Innovation Norway, he holds the position as Program Manager in Venture. His responsibilities are to plan and execute all the Launchpad programs.

Celine Zapffe

Customer Success Manager
Venture

Celine Zapffe

Customer Success Manager

Celine Zapffe is an experienced Customer Success Manager at Smart Innovation Norway, known for her proficiency in project management, customer experience, and business development.

With a Bachelor's degree in Entrepreneurship from Kristiania University College, she specializes in creativity, innovation, and business development.

Since October 2020, Celine has been responsible for managing customer relationships and enhancing customer engagement and success at Smart Innovation Norway.

She previously led business development projects as a Project Manager and provided business strategy consulting. Her skills include business strategy and development, project management, customer success, and coaching, alongside a unique expertise in equestrian coaching as a certified Level 3 Riding Instructor.

Lorenzo Ruscelli

Lorenzo Ruscelli

Senior Business Developer
Venture
Lorenzo Ruscelli

Lorenzo Ruscelli

Senior Business Developer

Lorenzo Ruscelli holds a Master of Science in Information Systems Management and Digital Innovation, specializing in Venture Capital and tech investments, and a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship.

He describes himself as a leader with a passion for people and technology. He partners with companies to develop disruptive business models and growth strategies based on Silicon Valley’s best practices, where he has lived and worked in the world’s most prominent innovation environment.

After spending several years working in management, Lorenzo has developed relevant leadership and organizational skills, which have proven helpful in his current role as a senior manager at Smart Innovation Norway.

Roy Einar Angell

Senior Business Developer
Venture

Roy Einar Angell

Senior Business Developer

Focus on Compliance from a wider business perspective, and in particular Information Security and Cyber Security. In addition, broad financial experience and longtime experience in building strong and robust organizations. Managing with commercial focus both long term and short term. Strong on people management with focus both on teams and individuals. Many years’ experience in working with global companies. Headed up several restructuring projects delivered successfully and proven ability to deliver on growth targets.

Specialties: Compliance, information security, cyber security, funding, taxation, mergers and acquisitions, building efficient organizations, restructuring and profitable growth, people management.

Ståle Bjørnstad

Ståle Bjørnstad

Business Developer
Venture
Ståle Bjørnstad

Ståle Bjørnstad

Business Developer

Sandra Widlund

Community Manager, Sarpsborg Innovasjon (SPIN)
Venture

Sandra Widlund

Community Manager, Sarpsborg Innovasjon (SPIN)

Thomas Hansen

Project Coordinator
Venture

Thomas Hansen

Project Coordinator

Thomas holds a master’s degree in innovation and knowledge development from the University of Agder, where he specialized in the development and restructuring of entrepreneurial ecosystems. During this time he developed an interest for business development, innovation, and ecosystems.
Furthermore, Thomas has experience in consultancy from the manufacturing industry. More specifically on business development and efficiency, methods of Lean six sigma. Thomas enjoys working with people and supporting them in becoming better versions of themselves. He is an experienced instructor of organizational change processes and rock climbing. He believes the two have a lot in common in terms of uncertainty, need of guidance and use of proven methods. his position at Smart Innovation Norway, he will use his skills and knowledge to improve and support the Launchpad programs.


Communication

Ketil Thomsen

Interim Head of Communication
Communication

Ketil Thomsen

Interim Head of Communication

Ketil Thomsen has studied Theatre history and Drama at the University of Trondheim and started out by producing and working as an actor in several theatre plays in Oslo.

Ketil was also one of the founders of Plan B Management. In Plan B, he worked as a project manager and head of the event area of the company and has been an event producer for several large-scale events. He also worked as manager for several artists in the management. After returning to his hometown, Ketil has mainly worked as project manager in different communication agencies.

He is currently a part of the Communication team in Smart Innovation Norway, where he works with different events, graphical design and is head of the Arena.

Mette M. Magnussen

Mette M. Magnussen

Head of Communication (leave of absence)
Communication
Mette M. Magnussen

Mette M. Magnussen

Head of Communication (leave of absence)

Mette Marie Magnussen is a Market Economist from BI Norwegian Business School and holds a BSc in English and International Market Communication from Østfold University College and the University of Surrey, UK.

She has more than 11 years of experience within communication and marketing from the energy industry, through the electricity company, Fortum. Her areas of expertise are within digital marketing, marketing strategy and analyses, website development, social media marketing and content management in a multimedia marketing context. During her career, Mette has worked as project manager and strategic marketing expert for several digital projects.

In her current job at Smart Innovation Norway, she holds the position as Head of Communication and is responsible for the company’s overall branding and communication strategy, as well as activities. She is a part of the management team and reports to the CEO.

From 2020 to 2022, Mette was Project Manager for AI+, an international conference on applied artificial intelligence.

Mari Kristine Buckholm

Journalist / Communications Specialist
Communication

Mari Kristine Buckholm

Journalist / Communications Specialist

Mari Kristine Buckholm holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Journalism and a Master of Science (MSc) in Planning and Leadership, both from Volda University College. After graduating in 2014, she has worked as a journalist in the newspapers Halden Arbeiderblad and Sarpsborg Arbeiderblad, and has contributed to the Marketing & Communication department at Østfold University College.

Since 2017, Mari has been a part of the Communication team in Smart Innovation Norway. She is responsible for updating the company’s website and social media accounts with relevant news and information, which includes writing articles, making videos and marketing events.

Mari works closely with all of Smart Inovation Norway’s departments/business areas and her main task is to raise awareness around the company’s innovation platform, projects and activities, as well as engaging colleagues, cluster members, partner companies – and the rest of society.

In addition, she has been in charge of all digital media content (website and social media channels) for two large EU Horizon 2020 projects, INVADE (2017-2020) and E-LAND (2018-2021). As of January 2023, she is Project Manager for the international conference on applied artificial intelligence, AI+.

Anja Lillerud

Journalist
Communication

Anja Lillerud

Journalist

Anja holds a BSc in German and International Market Communication (including six months of work in Germany) from Østfold University College and a one-year leadership education in the Norwegian Army (Communication Systems).

2011 to 2021, she worked as a journalist in Halden Arbeiderblad and alternated between the positions of online journalist, desk manager and news journalist. She was the employee’s representative on the newspaper board, a member of the internal negotiation committee (the union), and represented the editorial staff on the County Union board.

Her working career started with one year as a Communication Officer in the Norwegian Army, then followed one year as a News Journalist in Halden Dagblad, nine months as an Online Journalist in NRK and 2,5 years as an Editor in Sarpsborg Tidende before she started working in Halden Arbeiderblad October 2011.

Kjetil Lier Svendsen

Content Producer
Communication

Kjetil Lier Svendsen

Content Producer

Kjetil Lier Svendsen holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Multimedia Journalism from Bournemouth University, England.

In 2012, he started working as an advisor in the Norwegian Government Security and Service Organization (DSS), and has since created and collaborated on numerous video productions and live streams for the Norwegian ministries on regjeringen.no. He was also part of a web development team and has been acting as a scrum master and senior advisor in this regard.

Kjetil describes himself as a (technical) problem solver. He is both creative and structured, with a keen eye on animation, standardization and new technology in general.

In April 2020, he became part of Smart Innovation Norway’s Communication team. As digital content producer, Kjetil is responsible for content planning, marketing, development and optimization of our digital channels and works closely with his teammates to deliver video and webinar productions for Smart Innovation Norway.

Sunniva Hansen

Digital Marketer / Project Manager
Communities, Communication

Sunniva Hansen

Digital Marketer / Project Manager

Sunniva Hansen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Media from University West in Sweden.

She has worked in several advertising agencies and has been in the business since 2006. Her work area is print, web/programming, and social media, as well as project management. She works with webpage design, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), newsletter development and advertising in social media.

Sunniva loves challenges and learning new things. As a developer she likes results and works hard to achieve them.

In April 2021, she became part of Smart Innovation Norway’s Communication team. As digital marketer, Sunniva is responsible for content planning, marketing, development and optimization of Smart Innovation Norway’s digital channels.


Finance and Administration

Stian Johansen

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Stian Johansen

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Stian Johansen holds a Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Stavanger (UiS) and a Master of Science in Accounting and Auditing from the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH).

He has worked as an auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Stavanger and Sarpsborg and as the Chief Accountant at Fresenius Kabi Norge AS in Halden.

Stian describes himself as structured, detail-oriented and service-minded. Supporting the organization and management group with high quality and timely information is key in order to make good decisions. He is a part of the management team and reports to the CEO.

Helene Hauge

Project Controller

Helene Hauge

Project Controller

Helene Hauge has 19 years of experience as Business Controller and Finance Manager. She holds a Bachelor degree in economics from BI Norwegian Business School.

During the years, she has developed broad experience within finance, project controlling, management and administration.

As controller, Helene is structured and reliable and works to serve customers, partners and other stakeholders the best possible way.

Luisa T. S. Nordlander

Legal & HR Manager

Luisa T. S. Nordlander

Legal & HR Manager

Mattia Lerario

IT Consultant

Mattia Lerario

IT Consultant

Dieter Hirdes

Co-founder & Special Advisor
Research

Dieter Hirdes

Co-founder & Special Advisor

Dieter Hirdes is an ICT specialist with 25 years of experience in project management and system development of ICT systems for the energy sector.

He is a co‐founder of Smart Innovation Norway and of the NCE Smart Energy Markets cluster and served as NCE Project Manager in its first years.

From 2003 to 2011, he was CEO of Smart Innovation Norway, now serving as the Head of Research & Innovation of the company, with a track record of 25+ SmartGrid related R&I projects totaling 120M€ in project revenues.

Currently, Hirdes is the coordinator of the Horizon 2020 projects EMPOWER (6M€) and INVADE (16M€) and a member of the Advisory Group on Energy for the European Commission.


Smart Innovation Norway's board

Ole Andreas Schärer

Chairman of the Board

Ole Andreas Schärer

Chairman of the Board
Tomas Nordlander

Tomas Nordlander

Vice President IFE
Tomas Nordlander

Tomas Nordlander

Vice President IFE
Lene Mostue

Lene Mostue

Director, Energi21
Lene Mostue

Lene Mostue

Director, Energi21
Knut H. H. Johansen

Knut H. H. Johansen

Board Member
Knut H. H. Johansen

Knut H. H. Johansen

Board Member
Kristi Cecilie Grønvold Bache

Kristi Cecilie Grønvold Bache

Pro-Rector Research and Dissemination, HiØ
Kristi Cecilie Grønvold Bache

Kristi Cecilie Grønvold Bache

Pro-Rector Research and Dissemination, HiØ
Tina Lihaug Selbæk

Tina Lihaug Selbæk

Senior Advisor, Siva
Tina Lihaug Selbæk

Tina Lihaug Selbæk

Senior Advisor, Siva
Inge Michael Bilet

Inge Michael Bilet

Employee Representative
Inge Michael Bilet

Inge Michael Bilet

Employee Representative
Eirik Andrassen

Eirik Andreassen

Leder teknologi og nettverk, Digital Norway
Eirik Andrassen

Eirik Andreassen

Leder teknologi og nettverk, Digital Norway