City, country: Bodø, Norway
Education: Master in Science of Business from the University of Nordland with specialization in ecological economics. His master thesis compared Buddhist economics and marked based economics to find the most suitable for sustainable development.
Work experience: In 1999 Øistein started working for Bjørge as an industrial painter and scaffolder. In 2001 he started studying economics and after graduating from the University in 2006 Øistein started working as a trainee in traineeprogram Salten, where he was 7 month in iTicket, Meløynot and Iris Salten and it was through this program that the business idea of Nofir was made.
What do you do at work: Øistein is the CEO of Nofir in both Norway and Lithuania. Earlier he had to do everything that was needed for a business. Now that Nofir are more employees, there are others that take care of the daily work so Øistein can concentrate on innovation, penetrating new markets (for example Turkey) and looking for new technologies to dismantle or recycle discarded equipment from fishing and fish farming industry. He also follow up suppliers and customers and have the overall responsibility for the production in Lithuania.
Goals for Nofir: The first goal Nofir had was to establish a nationwide recycling scheme for discarded fishing and fish farming equipment. Another goal was to find recycling solutions on all the material Nofir collects. These two goals are now achieved. For the future we want to expand our scheme to the rest of Europe. Another goal is to generate jobs in Lithuania where it is much needed. Today Nofir’s activity in Lithuania generates more than 20 jobs.
Best Nofir story: after Nofir was founded we had no idea what to do, so we started to collect material localy, and to find recyclers. We got in touch with a recycler in India that was interested in our material. We transported much material from Bodø and Lofoten to the premises of Svenns Transport in the downtown of Bodø. A crane was rented and four 20 feet containers was places vertically around the pile of material. The containers were stuffed and sent to India. Each container costs about 25 000 NOK and the income from India was about 5000 NOK. We lost approximately 100 000 NOK on this experiment. Much because of this the owners had to put more money in the company. The owners understand that the commitment to Nofir was going to be expensive. Nofir started applying for governmental support through different schemes. We got support from Skattefunn, Innovation Norway and Fiskeri og Havbruksnæringens forskningsfond. In 2012 we also got funding from EU – Nofir was the first Norwegian company to get support through the Eco Innovation scheme.
Leisure activities: When Øistein is not working he like to go to his mountain cabin to fish and relax. He often uses the cabin during winter and summer season. Over the years he has developed an interest for wine, and become a member of a wine club called Vitis Polaris. Øistein also like to work out, but with all the travelling through work it is not easy to find time.
Øistein feels privileged that he has the opportunity to travel through work and see big parts of Europe and the rest of the world.