Former Minister of Transport Ketil Solvik-Olsen will be joined by Halvor Vislie in Bård Eker’s new transport initiative.
– Great socio-economic potential, says the former The Future Group leader.

Last week, the Eker group and the subsidiary Hydrolift reported that Ketil Solvik-Olsen is stepping in as head of their new investment in autonomous zero-emission ferries, Hydrolift Smart City Ferries. Today, the company says that the former Minister of Transport and Communications will be joined by Halvor Vislie, who will take on the role of the company’s Chief Operating Officer.

– The project has a great socio-economic potential both in terms of environmental and economic savings. In other words, this is an incredibly exciting opportunity. Here I get to use everything I have learned both in the energy industry, the financial sector and from the technology development side, says Vislie enthusiastically.

Impressive background

Vislie comes from the role as head of the Norwegian technology company The Future Group, which delivers software-based graphics solutions to media companies around the world.

The technology company has developed solutions that are used in some of the world’s largest live TV productions, including the Superbowl, Eurovision Song Contest and the final show of the League of Legends tournament.

Previously, Vislie has held several management positions in both the financial and energy sectors, as well as being the founder of the energy company Fjellkraft.

Halvor Vislie Profile Picture COO Hydrolift Smart City Ferries
KKetil Solvik Olsen CEO of Hydrolift Smart City Ferries

– Hand in glove

Ketil Solvik-Olsen, who will be CEO of Hydrolift Smart City Ferries, is very pleased to have Vislie on the team.

– The coming journey is exciting on many levels. We will help cities with better transport solutions, and have exciting tasks around technology development, energy optimization, production, and operation. Halvor’s broad experience and track record from other start-ups is hand in glove with my own expertise in urban development and transport, says Solvik-Olsen.

At the same time, Vislie says the following about Solvik-Olsen, which he has followed closely for many years.

– I have always had a very good impression of Solvik-Olsen. He was a very active minister with a large network, and I have the impression that he has a high degree of respect regardless of party affiliation. In recent months we have become better acquainted, and he has confirmed the good impression I have of him.

Glad to be on the “Eker team”

Bård Eker is also a man Vislie knows well and looks forward to working with.

– Eker is an inspiring person to keep track of. Like Ketil, I have always been impressed by what he has achieved, not least in terms of his mindset and his unorthodox approach to innovation and design. By the way, I share his interests in things that go fast, says Vislie, who got aware of the position when Bård Eker shared the job advertisement on LinkedIn.

– I immediately thought that “that’s my job” and took a phone call to Bård, he explains.

Eker is happy about that.

– Halvor is with his background and enthusiasm the perfect anchorman for our company and this project. There will be many different activities within many different disciplines that Halvor is keeping track of, and I look forward to seeing him master that.

 

Exciting future

Like Solvik-Olsen, Vislie will start her new job on August 1, and they are not wasting time. The company has launched a race which means that during 2029 they will have 200 ferries in operation.

– I long to get started. Cities around the world face significant transport challenges where new solutions are needed. There are exciting developments in energy storage, sensors and control technology, all of which are relevant to autonomous transport on water. At the same time, we lack a scalable platform that can provide sufficiently good finances. That is what we are going to create, says Vislie.