LEARNING: Elena Calzado is at the Smart Innovation Norway office in Halden for the first time and getting to know her colleagues. (Photo: Mari K. Buckholm)

Elena Calzado has joined Smart Innovation Norway:

“I make people see their ideas in a different way”

In September, Smart Innovation Norway’s Research Department was strengthened with an International Project Manager. Elena Calzado from Spain is excited to join the company.

By Mari Kristine Buckholm, 21 September 2021

“This is a great and interesting challenge. I know the company from working as a consultant in EU projects. After 20 years of working as a consultant, I would love to see a project from the cradle to the grave, which I was not able to before,” says Elena Calzado, newly employed as International Project Manager at Smart Innovation Norway.

Calzado has a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and has spent the two last decades involved in research, development, and innovation activities in different sectors, including energy, agri-food, environment and health.

Valuable experience

In addition to working as a research and development consultant, she has worked as a coach for entrepreneurs, as a technician of knowledge transfer, as manager of several national technology platforms, and as external evaluator of research and development proposals for both the Spanish Ministry and the European Commission.

Now Calzado (photo) will help build excellent research proposals for Smart Innovation Norway in order to get funds from the European Commission, and also help to execute the projects in a proper and successful manner. She has high expectations for the task at hand:

“The international environment at Smart Innovation Norway is amazing. I love to work with people from different countries and cultures. I also love to work with research projects within the energy sector and will use my knowledge and expertise in EU projects.”

Social and creative colleague

With her background, Calzado believes she will bring both experience and creativity into the company.

“Usually, I am able to make people see their ideas in a different way; to consider aspects, to look for impacts in other environments. Also, I can help the researchers get close to the market because I have worked in different companies, industries, and projects. I am able to connect different ideas and make them work together,” she explains.

Calzado will mostly work from Spain, but she will be present at the Smart Innovation Norway office in Halden, Norway, for one week every two months. As a colleague, she describes herself as social and direct.

“I am very open and frank, and I like to chat. Because I am very direct, sometimes I might come across as impolite, but that is just my Spanish character,” says Elena Calzado – smiling.