My research interest lies within in a societal understanding of the concept of innovation and its impact with spatial, institutional and organisational change. This is an useful perspective in studying contemporary as well as historical processes of social and economic change. My research is based on an interdisciplinary and problem oriented Social Science, empirically focussed on the Nordic and Nordic Atlantic and drawing theoretically from the disciplines of interpretative sociology, economic sociology, historical sociology, political economy, and economic and cultural geography.
With key-words in brackets, my research fields can be summarised as:
Local and regional development (planning, globalisation, small states and coping-strategies).
Business administration (aquaculture, biotechnology and the creative industries).
History of knowledge and theory of science (learning, interdisciplinarity and problem-orientation).
Forthcoming: (2015) Being Away, Being at Home, Being Both: the Case of Faroese Maritime Workers. Chapter 11 in Stine Faber and Helene Pristed Nielsen. Remapping Gender, Place and Mobility. Global Confluences and Local Particularities in Nordic Peripheries. Ashgate.
Recent publication: (2015) Aquaculture in the Faroes. Chapter 6 in Godfrey Baldacchino (Ed.). Entrepreneurship in Small Island States and Territories. New York: Routledge.
G. Hovgaard et. al (Ed)., (2014), Vestnorden i det 21. århundrede. Anthology Tórshavn: Fróðskapur.
G. Hovgaard, (2014),Tertiær uddannelse i færøsk/vestnordisk perspektiv. Tórshavn: Fróðskapur.
After a few years outside academica, I was appointed a full time associate professorship at the Department of History and Social Science i 2010. Much of my time is therefore spent on setting in motion new initiatives on the research front. My current academic activities are focussed on the following works in progress:
Current status and potentials of West –Nordic cooperation, i.e. Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland with professor Gretar Thór Eythórsson, University of Akureyri.
An 18th century economic and social history of the Faroe Islands. A 3 year research programme fundet by the Faroese Research Council.
Centering the Periphery. An international (mainly Nordic) research initiative to enhance our understanding of how people and places are affected by globalization at the level of everyday interactions’. Book in preparation which sheds light on how regional specificity illuminates both local particularities as well as global confluences. Focus is specifically on how global processes shape and influence the Nordic countries at the social level
Born 07.10.1965, danish citizen living in the Faroe Islands. Married við Onnu Katrin Matras.
Children: Teitur Matras Gestsson, born 19.08.1992; Durita Matras Gestsdóttir, born 06.04.1997.
Associate professor in social science, Department of History and Social Sciences, University of the Faroe Islands (2010-).
Director of the marine ingredient company Atlantic Biotechnology PF (2007 2010).
Assistant Professor in Business Administration, Roskilde University (2005 2007). Study coordinator (2006).
Appointed Director at Center for Local and Regional Development from january 2003. Before this, vice-director and one of the main initiators of the Centre.
Post Doctoral Fellow at Dalhousie University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Halifax, Nova Scotia (2001-2002)
Researcher at the Center for Local and Regional Development, Faroe Islands (2000-2005).
Programme advisor and course lecturer in social science at the University of the Faroe Islands (2000-2005, part time).
External lecturer and research assistant in the Department of Social Sciences, Roskilde University (1999-2000).
Ph.D.-student in the Department of Social Sciences, Roskilde University (1995-1999).
Part time teacher in the Social Science Basic Education programme and assistant at Department of Social Sciences, Roskilde University (1994-1995).