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Cluster Insight with USEA

Ellen Svestad, CCO in USEA
Ellen Svestad, CCO in USEA

– We have developed new technology that makes the ultimate AUV-USV integration possible in a fully automated way which enables us to run offshore survey operations with net zero emissions and dramatic cost savings, says Ellen Svestad.

Cluster Insight is a column where we ask six questions to catch a glimpse into the daily business-lives of the partners and members of GCE Ocean Technology.

DeepOcean and Adepth Minerals have both passed the baton over to USEA in previous columns, so this week we have spoken with Ellen Svestad to learn more about her, and her work in USEA - a company that offer unmanned vessels and fully automated systems, for operating autonomous underwater drones that collect data from the seabed.

1. What is your role in uSEA?

I joined the USEA Ocean Data team in August 2021 as Chief Commercial Officer. My responsibilities are to build the commercial organisation, including tender management, business development and communication, and to contribute to USEA’s growth as a company by increasing visibility in the market and secure projects amongst clients.

We are in a very exciting time where autonomous operations, the use of robots and high activity for preventing harm to our nature and oceans is changing the marine industry completely.

In the past couple of years politicians and top leaders of both larger and smaller maritime nations and organizations have been working together to develop a sustainable blue economy. We want to contribute and be part of this future.

2. Your primary focus at work right now is?

Currently we are on the brink of becoming commercial, and we have the great opportunity to make strategic decisions for our business direction aligned with a sustainable blue economy. This is the backbone for our business. My primary focus right now is to develop relationships with current and potential clients to initiate pilot projects and to gain increased visibility for USEA.

We have developed new technology that makes the ultimate AUV-USV integration possible in a fully automated way which enables us to run offshore survey operations with net zero emissions and dramatic cost savings. The word ‘sustainability’ might be overused these days; however, I can still say that, with the original definition of the word, our operations will be sustainable! We are literally on the blue wave towards a better future, and we have targeted relevant industry organisations that we would like to cooperate with in order to participate and contribute to a greener future for our oceans. Healthy collaborations make larger impact when aiming for the same goals.

3. Biggest challenges and opportunities for USEA in the future?

The future is looking good for us. We have now started working on a large pilot/testing programme with one of our clients, and here we will have the opportunity to test our full system with all components, from USV through uLARS and to AUV. This is very exciting! There is much market traction for our unique concept, and we work hard towards commercialization and to contribute in revolutionizing seabed mapping and inspection. One of the challenges in an industry in change, is the high speed of developments making continuous innovative solutions a necessity.

4. Best part of being member in a cluster?

Reasons for joining GCE Ocean Technology cluster is to increase awareness of USEA’s offerings, capabilities and competences amongst the other members, and to identify and develop relations with potential partners, suppliers and future clients. And not to forget, to contribute in and gain learnings from events and programmes that you offer. We have taken part in many of these, and we always come out with new insights, new relationships and increased visibility!

5. Your business/life motto

The quality of our services, innovation and technology is only made possible by our greatest resource: competent and experienced people and teams.

6. Which cluster member should we interview next?

PGS Geophysical.


Thank you for the insight Ellen.

Contact Information

Kjersti Boge Christensen

Communication Manager

Kjersti Boge Christensen


USEAs unique unmanned vessels and our fully automated system for operating autonomous underwater drones will revolutionize the collection of data from the seabed.

Without risk to crew, and without harming marine life, we provide access to critical oceanographic and environmental data- safer, cheaper, faster, and more sustainable.