Bent Aslak Brandtzæg
Bent Aslak Brandtzæg is an educated geographer from the University of Bergen, and also has a three-year study in natural and environmental subjects from the Telemark regional college in the curriculum. Brandtzæg has been employed as a researcher at Telemark Educational Research since 1995. He has conducted a number of regional and national evaluations and investigations of public policy instruments, development programmes, initiatives and change processes for various agencies, including ministries, directorates, The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS) and the Research Council of Norway.
The main academic focus is on municipal research and sustainable place and business development. Projects within municipal research have been directed toward the production of services, coordination and management, democracy, governance, user involvement, citizen dialogue, community development, inter-municipal cooperation and municipal structure. Brandtzæg is primarily responsible for research related to inter-municipal cooperation and municipal structure, and he has conducted many studies of various forms of inter-municipal cooperation, both service cooperation and regional council cooperation. He has also been responsible for several municipal structure studies, and has conducted research related to the last six voluntary municipal mergers, which has been completed in Norway. These studies include pre-studies, subsequent evaluations and impact assessments.
Within sustainable place and business development Brandtzæg has worked on projects with a focus on nature and culture-based business, “broad value” creation (environmental-, culture-, social- and economic value creation), innovation, local and regional development/development strategies, landscape, tourism, agriculture, funding policy and management. Brandtzæg has conducted several evaluations of environmental policies in agriculture and has participated in major research projects (Landscape in Change and Areal). Brandtzæg was central in the evaluation of the Value Creation Programme on Cultural Heritage (coordinated by The Directorate for Cultural Heritage). He has also been engaged in the evaluation of the Programme on Cultural Heritage, coordinated by the Norwegian Environment Agency. The development of broad value creation as a sustainable development strategy and competitive advantage are central to this effort.