Elisabeth Maråk Støle appointed managing director of Forskningsselskapet SørVest AS

Elisabeth Maråk Støle has extensive management experience and holds a number of directorships in private and state-owned companies.


Elisabeth Maråk Støle is appointed managing director of the new research company. 

Støle (born 1968) ​is a graduate economist and has broad experience from industry, business and research, and is very familiar with the university and university college sector.

She comes from the position as managing director of Møreforsking AS

"With her international business experience, including from work with merger and integration processes, her knowledge of the university sector and the range of instruments, and not least her personal qualities, the board is of the opinion that she is well qualified for the task.  Social commitment, knowledge of research, networks, organization and management experience, are important now that we are developing an effective, major institute in southern and western Norway, and we are very pleased that she has accepted the position," says chairman Hans Olav Lindal.

Lindal states that there has been a thorough hiring process and that there were several very well-qualified candidates for the position. The position has been newly-established, and in partnership with the board, Støle will be responsible to head the work on realizing the owners’ ambitions of making the new research company a leading player in research, innovation and value creation. This will happen by coordinating and developing the businesses that are currently operating at the various locations in Hordaland, Rogaland and Agder. 

The company will become a domestic and international player that will be significantly better equipped than the individual regional institutes to compete with research institutions at home and abroad.

"Norway, and not least our regions, need to become stronger with regard to innovation, value creation and research, and the new research company will play an important role in this," said Dag Rune Olsen, rector at the University of Bergen (UiB) and representative of the new research company’s largest owner, when the merger agreement was announced at Arendalsuka in August.

Elisabeth Maråk Støle will take up her position on 1 April 2018 at the latest.

Broad experience from management and governance in business and the research sector

Elisabeth Maråk Støle has a broad management background both from Norway and internationally after 25 years of management positions in international corporations such as SafeRoad, Jotun, Telenor and SCA. She has particular experience in management, corporate governance, communication, marketing and CSR.

In recent years she has headed Møreforsking with contract research in marine, biomarine and maritime industries, among other things, as well as social research within transport, logistics and health.

Støle also holds a number of directorships in private and state-owned companies, including SIVA SF, NTNU TTO, Sparebanken Møre, Tafjord Marked AS and Vest Norsk Brusselkontor.

She has a degree in economics from the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, with an executive master of management from the Norwegian Business School BI and postgraduate courses from the Harvard Business School.

"Looking forward to developing the new research company"

"Research contributes to new ideas and technological solutions that result in greater innovation in business and the public sector. Global trends expose us to challenges that require restructuring, and which research can contribute to resolve. Trade and industry are experiencing greater competition that demands a greater rate of innovation, and environmental challenges require the development of new technology. I’m excited by the opportunity to help the strong research communities that are a part of this new company to develop together to realize what these opportunities represent.

There are many talented researchers and managers who will now exploit the professional potential across geography, industry clusters and university campuses. It will be important to highlight the expertise and disciplines in this new, merged company, both domestically and internationally.

We will build on the expertise that exists in our regions, both to strengthen proximity to local business, and also to develop research communities that can make their mark as leaders in domestic and international arenas,” says Elisabeth Maråk Støle.

"Comprehensive work has already started in the five institutes to prepare for the integration process and organization of future disciplines, infrastructure and support functions. The immediate future will involve continuing this work in close dialogue with owners and management at the institutes, in tandem with the development of more long-term strategies, a common culture and profile,” says Elisabeth Maråk Støle. 



  • In August it became clear that Uni Research AS and Christian Michelsen Research AS, IRIS AS, Agderforskning AS og Teknova AS would merge into one major research company with headquarters in Bergen.
  • Owned by the University of Bergen, the Unifob foundation, The university of Stavanger, the Rogalandsforskning foundation, the University of Agder, the Agderforskning foundation and the owners of Teknova AS
  • The company has been established and registered, and the integration process is now being prepared in full, both with regard to professional organization, organization of administrative functions and common infrastructure.
  • Will have headquarters in Bergen and business locations in each region.
  • Will have a total of approx. 900 employees and annual revenues of more than NOK 1 billion.
  • Chairman Hans Olav Lindal. Other board members; Robert Bjerknes, Eva Dugstad, Tor A. Aagedal and Iselin Nybø.

Jan. 4, 2018, 2:31 p.m.