Background and activities

After several years as associate professor in Electronic Design at IES, Tormod Njølstad left his academic position in 2003 and founded the start-up company New Index AS in Trondheim. The start-up company had disruptive new technology and IPR based on optical sensors, FPGA and pattern recognition, suitable for providing a novel interactive pen for the educational and business data projector markets. 

Dr. Njølstad got international experience within advanced product development in this born-global company where world-wide partnership had to be searched for from day one to get market access, and where IPR had to be secured to get funding and recognition. After several intensive years of development and through several international partnering processes, the company was successfully sold and merged with Seiko Epson Corporation in Japan, the largest projector manufacturer in the world, and thereafter constituted their Trondheim-based R&D subsidiary from 2011-2018, in which Njølstad continued as CTO. Several interactive data projector models which are introduced worldwide by EPSON, comprise these pen and finger touch technologies developed and tested in Trondheim in a very close international cooperation with product engineers in HQ in Japan.

In his role as Innovation Manager at IES, Tormod Njølstad may benefit from his entrepreneural background:

  • Product development, strategic planning, prototyping and testing, small scale production and volume production.

  • Experience from budgeting, competitive analysis and financial forecasting including market evaluations.

  • Hands-on knowledge of business start-up, industrial and financial partnering processes, due diligence, technology transfer, intellectual property management, technology development, project management and quality control.

  • Many years’ day-to-day experience from product development with and within one of the leading technology companies in Japan.

  • Board member experience from private companies.

Research and innovation

Dr.Njølstad has experience from innovation processes in R&D organizations as being one of NTNU’s 15 Innovation Managers from 2018-2022. Njølstad worked in this role with the innovative medical ultrasound research group at Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging, and in the SFI called “Centre for Innovative Ultrasound Solutions (CIUS). In this excellent group of engineers and cardiologist, advanced interdisciplinary research within echocardiography has been performed during more than 40 years and have led to important discoveries and inventions rapidly industrialized by key industrial partners, thus enabling better diagnostics and patient care globally.

Dr. Njølstad other recent fields of interests have been digital image processing, machine vision and AI, FPGA based design, low-power design, sensors, optical positioning systems for medical applications, and methods and technologies to accelerate medical ultrasound examinations.

Starting from February 2022, Njølstad is back at IES and will devote his time to the further development of the innovation culture in all groups, and contribute to the strengthening of innovation as a key strategic focus of the department.

Scientific and academic work, and patents


Njølstad has been single inventor of 13, and co-inventor of 11,  of totally 24 patent families.

More about innovation work and products 

In a blog article by CIUS from 2018 

Selected publications

R. Watn, T. Njølstad, F. Berntsen, J.F. Lønnum, "Independent Clocks for Peripheral Modules in System-on-Chip Design", Proc. SoC'2003, Portland, Oregon, USA, Sept. 17-20, 2003.

Ø. Damhaug and T. Njølstad, “Arbitration And Meta-Stability Management In Globally Asynchronous Locally Synchronous Circuits”, Proc. Nordic Signal Processing Symposium (NORSIG-2000), Hurtigruten Tromsø-Trondheim, Oct. 4-7, 2002.

L. Lundheim, T. Njølstad, O. Tjore, “On the Efficiency of Dynamic Voltage Scaling in a Digital Front End for a Burst-Based Radio Receiver”, Proc. of 1st Mobile Communications Summit, Barcelona, Spain, Sept. 2001.

T. Njølstad, O. Tjore, K. Svarstad, L. Lundheim, T.Ø. Vedal, J. Typpö, T. Ramstad, L. Wanhammar, E.J. Aas, H. Danielsen, “A Socket Interface for GALS using Locally Dynamic Voltage Scaling for Rate-Adaptive Energy Saving”, in Proc. IEEE 14th ASIC/SoC Conference, Washington DC, USA, Sept 2001.

T. Njølstad, Lasse Natvig: "Experience from a 450 Students/Year Course on Digital Logic and Computer Fundamentals using FPGAs and Microcontrollers". In Proc. 2001 IEEE International Conference on Microelectronics Systems Education. Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, June 2001.

T. Njølstad and T. Ramstad, ”Low-Power Narrow-Transition Band FIR Filters ”. Proc. Nordic Signal Processing Symposium (NORSIG-2000), Norrköping, Sweden, June 13-15, 2000.

T. Njølstad and E. J. Aas, "Validation of an Accurate and Simple Delay Model, and its Application to Voltage Scaling". Proc. of IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS'98), Vol. II, pages 101-104, Monterey , May 31- June 3, 1998.

See also other publications in the database