Finalists of CTO of the Year and Innovation Professor of the Year 2023 in Finland announced

Since 2011, the CTO of the Year Award has been an annual recognition of the importance of Chief Technology officers to the future competitiveness of Finnish industries. The award has two categories: SMEs and Large enterprises. Moreover, for a third year in a row, there will be an award for the Innovation Professor of the Year. The award was set up to increase the recognition of collaboration between academia and companies.

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All CTO of the Year nominees were evaluated based on predetermined criteria that considers them as a person, their company, and their societal impact. For innovation professors, the criteria include the following factors: funding portfolio, funding volume, patents, and spinoffs and jobs created.

The finalists in the Large enterprises’ category are Juha Kytölä of Wärtsilä,  Janne Lautanala of Fintraffic and Kaija Pehu-Lehtonen of Metsä Fibre.

In the SME category, the finalists are Urho Konttori of Varjo, Nikhil Pachhandara of Optofidelity and Kuan Yen Tan of IQM Quantum Computers.

The finalists for the Innovation Professor of the Year award are Mircea Guina of Tampere University, Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Ali Harlin of VTT and Janna Saarela of Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland.

The 2023 jury consists of the CTO winners of 2022: Simo Säynevirta of ABB and Petteri Uusimaa from Modulight and Innovation Professor of the Year Jero Ahola of LUT University. The chairperson of 2023 jury is Jaakko Hirvola, CEO, Technology Industries of Finland and the other members of the jury are Nina Kopola, Director General of Business Finland and professional chairperson Malin Persson. Pekka Koponen, Founder and Vice-chair of Spinverse, served as the Secretary of the jury.

Chair of the jury Jaakko Hirvola says: “The finalists present a wide front of Finnish innovation capabilities and showcase that our country has a lot to offer for challenges varying from the renewal of industry and sustainability to health, well-being and deep tech future solutions.”

The winners of the CTO of the Year and Innovation Professor of the Year Awards will be announced on Tuesday 21 March 2023 at the Awards Ceremony, which is part of this spring’s CTO Forum. In addition to the awards ceremony, the event will focus on talents and skills, topics that were touched also on CTO Survey collected in autumn 2022. The event will entail a keynote session from the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Culture Anita Lehikoinen. Moreover, the Forum will include a panel discussion about Finland’s skills shortage with insights from Ismo Laukkanen, ABB, Tero Ojanperä, Silo.AI and Julia Macharey, Valmet.

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More information:

Secretary of the CTO of the Year jury: Pekka Koponen, Spinverse Founder and Vice-Chair tel. +358 40 545 0008

CTO Forum is a Finnish community of CTOs. It invites all innovation and technological officers of Finnish companies to network, discuss and share ideas between businesses. CTO Forum’s mission is to promote the work of CTOs and businesses. CTO Forum is organised and the award is handed out by Teknologiateollisuus ry and Spinverse.