Marte Cecilie Wilhelmsen Solheim

Solheim is an engaged academic and communicator. She is Professor of Innovation and Vice Rector for Innovation and Society at the University of Stavanger. Solheim is a public speaker on diversity and innovation.

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Marte C. W. Solheim

Solheim carries out research on diversity and innovation, combining insights from organizational theory, innovation studies and economic geography. She is particularly interested in understanding how innovation is inspired when a variety of diverse knowledge intersect, and the contextual factors affecting this association. Solheim has studied the nexus between various forms of diversity and different types of innovation and has particularly focused on the role of foreign-born workers and innovation & export, experience-based and educational diversity and innovation, and diversity management.

Solheim is actively engaged in the public debate on migration, diversity and innovation-related issues in Norway and is invited to speak at national diversity conferences as well as to national policy makers, political spheres and other institutions. She has been involved in several national and international research and consultancy projects as lead, member and as expert advisor. Solheim is Regional Studies Association (RSA) Ambassador to Norway, member of the prestigious Academy of Young Researchers in Norway. See her profile at the Academy here. She is on the steering committee of Smart Cities at the University of Stavanger, and currently supervising PhD Candidate Xiangyu Quan on Smart Cities, Innovation and Policy and Alina Meloyan on Universities and Regional Development.



Solheim is actively engaged in the public debate on migration, diversity and innovation-related issues in Norway and is invited to speak at national diversity conferences as well as to national policymakers, political spheres and other institutions. Solheim was based on her engagement awarded the Competence sharing price 2021 from the Stavanger-region Chamber of Commerce.

Solheim has written pieces for national newspapers in Norway, such as Aftenposten, VG, Dagbladet, Aftenposten Viten as well as for regional newspapers: Stavanger Aftenblad, Bergens Tidende, and Magazines: Innomag, Ukeavisen Ledelse to mention some. Solheim has appeared on national television (NRK), national radio and on local television (TV VEST) on several occasions discussing her research as well as written pieces for international magazines, such as for regions.

She has contributed to national debates on migration, such as for the NHO (the largest organization for employers in Norway), and at national economics festival on migration, see YouTube video (in Norwegian), as well as for Chamber of Commerce in various cities. Solheim presented her work in a pecha kucha (in Norwegian): now seen more than 16.000 times.

Solheim awarded the Competence sharing price 2021 from the Stavanger-region Chamber of Commerce. The background for the award is that the Stavanger-region chamber of commerce want to reward a company or an individual that is best at competence sharing. The purpose is to stimulate the sharing of competence, learning both externally and internally, make the Stavanger-region visible as a competence region and to reward people and companies that have contributed to sharing in particular. 

The prize has been awarded since 2008, and previous winners are Norwegian Shell, Skretting, Rogaland Course and Competence Center, BP, Norwegian Oil Museum, Inger Tone Ødegård, IRIS Society, Petrad, Christian Rangen, Renaa Restaurants, Stiftelsen PsykOpp and Innovation Dock. 



Publications by Marte C. W. Solheim.

Peer-reviewed publications

Deegan, J., Solheim, M.C.W., Jakobsen, S-E, and A. Isaksen (2021).: One coast, two systems: Regional innovation systems and entrepreneurial discovery in Western Norway - Deegan - - Growth and Change - Wiley Online Library

Eide, A-E., Solheim, M.C.W. and Alsos, G. (2021): Sjokkdigitalisering i krisetider (, MAGMA

Aarstad, J., Kvitastein, O.A., and M.C.W. Solheim (2021): External shocks and enterprises' dynamic capabilities in a time of regional distress - Aarstad - - Growth and Change - Wiley Online Library

Herstad, S.J., Solheim, M.C.W., and M. Engen (2021): Collected worker experiences, knowledge management practices and service innovation in urban Norway - Herstad - - Papers in Regional Science - Wiley Online Library

Solheim, M.C.W. and S.M. Moss (2021): Inter-organizational learning within an organization? Mainstreaming gender policies in the Swedish ministry of foreign affairs | Emerald Insight The Learning Organization.

Moss, S.M. and M.C.W. Solheim (2021):  Shifting Diversity Discourses and New Feeling Rules? The Case of Brexit | SpringerLink, Human Arenas.

Solheim, M.C.W., Boschma, R., and S.J. Herstad (2020): Collected worker experience and the novelty content of innovation, Research Policy.

Herstad, S.J., Solheim, M.C.W. and M. Engen (2019): Learning through urban labour pools: collected worker experiences and innovation in services, Environment and Planning A.

Solheim, M.C.W., and Herstad, S.J. (2018): "The Differentiated Effects of Human Resource Diversity on Corporate Innovation", International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management.

Solheim, M.C.W., and Fitjar, R.D. (2018): "Samanhengar mellom utanlandskfødd arbeidskraft og innovasjon: er det kjønnsmessige og geografiske skilnader? (The relationship between foreign-born workers and innovation: Are there gender and geographical differences?)". Søkelys på arbeidslivet.

Solheim, M.C.W, and Tveterås, R (2017).: "Benefitting from co-location? Evidence from the upstream oil and gas industry". Extractive Industry and Society.

Solheim, M. C.W. and Fitjar, R.D. (2016): "Foreign Workers Are Associated with Innovation, But Why? International Networks as a Mechanism". International Regional Science Review.

Solheim, M.C.W. (2016): "Foreign workers and international partners as channels to international markets in core, intermediate and peripheral regions". Regional Studies, Regional Science.


Brenna, L.R., and Solheim, M.C.W. (2018): "Hvordan lede mangfold?" (How to manage diversity?). Praktisk Økonomi og Finans.

RSA Regions Fostering Innovation Through Workplace Diversity, Marte C.W. Solheim (

Research gate profile

For more information on her publications, please see her ResearchGate profile.


Selected Op-Eds

Op-Eds in English and Norwegian by Marte C. W. Solheim.

Selected Op-Eds in English

Fostering Innovation through work place diversity

Disseminating your research does carry risks and can leave you vulnerable, but it is vital to developing the courage to use your voice

Immigrants help Norwegian companies to think differently

Selected Op-Eds in Norwegian

Migrant eller flyktning i Dagbladet

Med mot til å meine i Forskarforum

Erfaringsmangfald fører til nyskaping i Aftenbladet

Den viktige arbeidskrafta i VG

Ulik erfaring gir nye patent i Dagens Perspektiv/Ukeavisen Ledelse

Ulike barn innoverer best i INNOMAG

Mangfold fremmer innovasjon i Dagens Perspektiv/Ukeavisen Ledelse

Innvandring og Innovasjon på

Innvandring og eksport på Aftenposten Viten

Innvandrere gjør norske bedrifter mer innovative i INNOMAG

Innvandring aukar innovasjonsevna i Aftenposten

Farmor-effekten i Rosenkilden, Næringsforeningen i Stavanger

Innvandring bra for distrikta og i Aftenbladet

Flyktning, eg? i Aftenbladet

På Nebo Bjerg i Sunnmørsposten

Hevnen frå stadane vi forlot på

Marte C. W. Solheim
Contact information

Mobile: (+47) 97 00 22 35 E-mail: Twitter: @MarteCWSolheim


Solheim defended her PhD thesis: "Innovation, Space, and Diversity" on January 20th 2017. Opponents were Professor Ron Boschma and Associate Professor Abigail Cooke. Her main supervisor for the PhD was Professor Rune Dahl Fitjar and co-supervisor was Professor Ragnar Tveterås, both at the Centre for Innovation Research, UiS Business School, University of Stavanger, Norway.