Wise words from minister of Climate and Environment

Photo: Anders Mildestveit


Last week at NTNU Gløshaugen, minister of Climate and Environment, Vidar Helgesen came for a visit. We had the honor to present the rapid growth of innovation and entrepreneurship at the university.

Karl Nevland from ChemFree with minister of Climate and Environment Vidar Helgesen

The journalists gathered around, while Helgesen and his party of politicians from the Parliament took place in the relaxing environment of the orange couches at the IT-building. As the event took place, center leader of Engage, Roger Sørheim, entered the stage.

Introducing Engage

The speech started with an introduction to our partners in the consortium. NTNU school of Entrepreneurship was quickly a hot theme, as was Spark NTNU. Both partners are great examples of how student involvement can create new change agents, which is the main goal of Engage.

Intrigued by the idea of young students mindset, Vidar Helgesen asked politely if he could get some of them into the public sector of the labour market after graduation. He then followed up with some wise words: “The golden era is over. We need change agents, and the change agents need us”.

Engage, as well as the other centres for Excellence in Education Initiative (“SFU-ordningen” in Norwegian), wish for the students to become change agents. Engaging the students in their education by adding a focus on the entrepreneurship thought, in a combination of political change and regulations, is a step in the right direction.

ChemFree for a green future

One of the pleasures was listening to business development manager Karl Nevland, from ChemFree. A startup that was founded by students from NTNU school of Entrepreneurship. They are developing green technology to disassemble oil spill into microscopic particles.

“We have all seen the negative effects of oil spill in the ocean. Today’s method isn’t effective. As the oil is released into the ocean, it immediately start a weathering process that resulting into huge amounts of oil reaching the coast and destroying the natural flora”.

ChemFree’s technology is based on water jetting to disassemble the particles of the oil spill. The natural flora will then be able to decomposition the microscopic particles. A process that could possibly work on all kinds of oil qualities, with all kinds of vessels; including futuristic autonomous ships.