Already familiar with most parts of the EIT Digital ecosystem in Sweden, Göran Olofsson, previously Director for R&D and Innovation at TeliaSonera, CEO of a research spinoff company and involved in many EU-funded and national programmes in ICT, fits very well the profile of a Node Director that needs to understand both industry and business as well as talent empowerment and acquisition.
Have you identified any specific opportunities or challenges that you will focus on in your role as Node Director Sweden?
- I am passionate about working together with people to drive business innovation and create value from research and innovation, says Göran Olofsson. With a long experience in telecom R&D and recently as a cofounder and CEO of an IoT startup I like to think beyond the business of today and look forward to opportunities we have in EIT Digital to bring together students, researchers and entrepreneurs to make an impact.
- During my time at TeliaSonera I built the company’s innovation strategies and organizations according to shifting needs. The operations were carried out in collaboration with academic researchers, SMEs and industry partners mainly in the Nordics and EU, but also in USA, Israel and Japan. I will work actively to use my contacts and influence to extend the partnership of the Node in Sweden and enhance the daily innovation and business activities at the CLC with more startup presence and facilitate the setup of the FNS High Impact Initiative team to start with.
You have a long career in the telecom industry but also managed a start-up in the new digital marketplace– how can you make use of these experiences in EIT Digital?
- I hope that I will be able to bring new inspiration in general to the Node and its partners. Although I have had been involved in projects with Ericsson, I have never worked directly for Ericsson which makes me different to many others in Kista. As I was part of the early plans for the EIT community in ICT I can follow the formation and track record and think it is an excellent time to be part of the next phases.
- Besides a thorough understanding of the main challenges for industry and society with the rapid digital transformation I have also experienced the struggle and support of startups and the value of business coaching and support via e.g EIT Digital Idea Challenge. Now I can support the processes to provide value to large enterprises and small companies from another perspective.
In Kista you are located at KTH – what are your thoughts on the future of education and the EIT Digital educational programmes?
- In the 1980´s I was a student at KTH Royal Institute of Technology (MSc in Physics Engineering and PhD Computer Science) and I look forward to interact with our young talents and provide them with opportunities to integrate with research and business at the Co-location Centre in Stockholm and the entire European network. I was asked to be a jury member of the FNS summer school and enjoyed the various well prepared project pitches and hope to see the realization of some of these ideas.
- I did not pursue an academic career myself and so I am very pleased that my predecessor as Node Director, Professor Gunnar Landgren is still close at hand in his work as advisor the President at KTH. After the first meetings with the Node staff and members of the local EIT Digital community, I feel very confident in the teams working with education, research innovation and business development.
What do you do in your spare time?
- I live with my wife and two children north of Stockholm and in summertime in the archipelago. I get inspired by reading, contemporary dance and jazz and from volunteer work, teaching mathematics and science to students and immigrants via a non- profit organization. I enjoy and stay fit by bicycling – whenever I can.