Torkel Ystgård

Interested in rural and regional development, combining natural and human resources creating economic growth and meaningful employment. Is concerned about today’s situation with high youth unemployment in Europe. Nevertheless a true believer in Democracy that likes to use his experience to take part in designing and creating cooperative arenas which can inspire and enable entrepreneurs and other energetic people to meet their challenges together. Builds businesses, create companies and solve problems in an economically and environmentally sound way.

His long work experience include developing new technology in Norwegian R&D institutions, management of food processing industry, executive positions in the mass media sector and in several private and public institutions supporting innovation.

Mr Ystgaard has devoted a large part of his career to regional development and has been instrumental in designing and implementing several successful programs for regional economic growth in Norway. He invented the Norwegian Technology Incubator Program, and the very successful network of rural innovation centers called “Næringshager” (literally “Business Gardens”).

In addition to his work in Norway Mr.Ystgaard has been active internationally as well. In cooperation with various Norwegian governmental entities, he has designed and implemented aid financed programs for support of innovation and economic growth in countries like Bosnia Herzegovina, Macedonia, Croatia, Ukraine, Latvia and Moldova.

Mr. Ystgaard is retired from his position as Executive Vice President of the Norwegian state owned corporation Siva. (The Industrial Development Corporation of Norway). He is now acting as a Special Advisor within Innovation support systems to IDN.


  • Latvia
  • Norway