Trondheim – The city of geniuses

Borgar Ljosland and his fellow students from NTNU were sitting in a bar when they hit on a great idea, and the conversation went something like this: “Should we do it this way or that way? Which is best? This way? Yes! Write it down on the napkin, quick!” The friends had discovered that it was possible to significantly improve mobile phones. A formula on a piece of paper produces perfect display graphics with minimal use of power. Their recipe for a new processor was to be the best in the world. Shockingly ambitious, but it worked. Borgar conquered the world. Did you know that over 13,000 people in Trondheim work in the technology sector? The city is home to 750 technology companies and offers unprecedented opportunities for people who are looking for an exciting job or have their own ideas for a smart start-up.

Colourful Trondheim Borgar and his friends have left their mark on mobile phones across the globe. The entrepreneurs sold to the global company ARM and threw themselves into new adventures. Behind the ARM sign on a wall at the bottom of Munkegata, you will now find a melting pot of technology experts from all corners of the world. They have chosen Trondheim, far to the north, as the place to perfect the graphics on phones and other touch screens. Deepali Yemul is one such expert who chose to come to Trondheim.

Drink on the job Across the street from ARM is Work-Work, a co-working gaming lab where people can play and drink on the job. Or more seriously, it is a community where gaming technology generates useful ideas and inventions. There is a bar on the ground floor – because creativity flourishes in social gatherings. Among those who have moved into this space is the man behind the international hit Wordfeud. He studied at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), where Professor Alf Inge Wang teaches game technology. Wang is the mastermind behind the mega-success Kahoot.

Best in football Speaking of games, have you heard of Sportradar? It started as an offshoot from NTNU, 20 years ago. Today, the company has nearly 2,000 employees worldwide who provide sports statistics and data to the National Football League, the National Basketball League (both in the United States) and FIFA. Sportradar is in the Champions League of facts about football.

Trondheim’s Q-Free has branches all over the world. Q-Free is also thirsty for more sharp minds. Q-Free eliminates traffic congestion, cleans city air and prevents traffic accidents. Q-Free’s technology is in use on the Øresund bridge, in Stockholm, in the Faeroe Islands, in Bangkok, in Australia and many other places around the world.

The death of the cable Cables will soon be history. Nordic Semiconductor is leading the race towards a wireless society. This is where they develop the Internet of Things. Today’s science fiction is tomorrow’s reality. Nordic Semiconductor employs sharp minds from more than 40 nations. Billions of microchips that help things talk to each other come from the company at Tyholt, just outside the city centre. The company Microchips Technology, not far away, has produced more microchips than there are people in the world. You can find technology from Trøndelag in almost everything.

A greener future Climate change is a fact. Research environments and companies in the technology capital are world leaders in the search for solutions to prevent nature from running amok. For example: The multinational giant Siemens, with almost 400,000 employees, chose Trondheim as the arena to make the shipping industry electric and emission-free. In 2019, the group opened a battery factory here because we already have so much expertise in green technology.


In an international context, Trondheim is a small city, but it is a small city with great opportunities and great ambitions. We can make the world a little better, and 750 technology companies and a few thousand researchers are working hard to make that dream come true.

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Wind that can save the world

There is more than enough wind out at sea to save the world from catastrophic climate change. Trondheim is a pioneer city in the hunt for floating offshore wind. All eyes are on us. Wind is stronger across deeper water. Eighty per cent of all wind sweeps across water that is too deep for wind turbines on the sea floor. These turbines must float in the sea. The task of head researcher John Olav G. Tande and his colleagues at Sintef Energy is to find technological solutions that make it profitable to build floating wind farms at sea. Expertise at Sintef and NTNU are working to capture wind that can replace coal, oil and gas. The possibilities are nearly endless, but Tande and his colleagues are in a race against time and rising temperatures.

Q-Free | Mobility technology from Trondheim

Fewer fatalities, thanks to Q-Free. Q-Free provides better traffic flow, cleaner air and safer traffic, with fewer fatalities and accidents. You can find transponders from Trøndelag in cars all over the world. Our transponders eliminate traffic congestion, improve city air and save lives. Fewer people die in traffic, thanks to technology from Trondheim. Our adventure started on the brand new E6 motorway in 1988. The Norwegian Public Roads Administration dreamed of automatic toll stations where traffic could pass without slowing down or stopping. The sharp minds at ‘little’ Q-Free –originally called Micro Design – solved the task without the Norwegian Public Roads Administration having to look for suppliers abroad. At the Ranheim toll station, just outside of Trondheim, we made the leap from manual toll booths and coin-operated machines to lightning-fast radio signals. We had our international breakthrough in Portugal in 1991, and today, Q-free is a listed technology company headquartered in Trondheim, with 400 employees at branch offices in 16 countries. We have offices in the USA, Australia, Canada, Chile, Russia, Slovenia, the United Kingdom and a number of other countries. Our technology is used for much more than collecting road tolls from cars travelling at high speeds. Today, our focus can be summed up with the keywords Flow, Clean, Safe – in other words, better traffic flow, cleaner air and safer traffic, with fewer fatalities and accidents. Q-Free is a world-leader in mobility technology.

Carbon capture and storage | The hunt for the dangerous gas

The evil ‘climate genie’ is threatening the world as we know it. Mona Jacobsen Mølnvik has to catch him before it’s too late. Sintef’s Research Director is heading up work on carbon capture and storage (CCS) in Trondheim. The city is an international hub for efforts to develop a technology to “bottle” greenhouse gases. The EU has named Trondheim the CCS capital of Europe, which would appear logical since it was two researchers at none other than Sintef who came up with the idea of capturing CO2 and storing the gas deep under the seabed. More than 30 years later, in laboratories and research centres, a quiet but dramatic race against time is underway. Now it’s a question of making the method effective and cheap enough to roll out on a large scale, before climate change spirals dangerously out of control.