Nominations for CTOs of the Year and Innovation Professor of the Year 2023 opened in this autumn’s CTO Forum

CTO Forum 2022 was arranged in hybrid format in Espoo on 10th November, bringing together CTOs from various industries. The key theme of this autumn’s event was to discuss national long-term R&D planning and its impacts and implications to business and society. Following the workgroup discussions, Maija Lönnqvist from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment gave a keynote about the current state of the development of the national long-term R&D plan and the next steps of its drafting. What is more, the nomination period for the CTO of the Year 2023 and Innovation Professor of the Year 2023 was opened!

Nominate your candidates here

The Forum was opened by welcoming words from Business Finland Director General Nina Kopola who welcomed participants onsite and online. She voiced her concerns that, according to the recent study made by Business Finland, only a small part of R&D&I investments goes in completely new openings. At the same time, Kopola was very delighted with the parliamentary work making progress on the new R&D funding law which is going to encourage R&D investments to reach the 4% GDP goal. Year-on-year increase is needed to make Finland the best technology country in the world.

Finland must become the leading country in innovation and investments

CEO of Technology Industries of Finland Jaakko Hirvola highlighted the two most relevant key targets for the industries. Firstly, we have to make Finland the leading country in innovation and investments. Secondly, we need to speed up the green transition and grow the carbon handprint of Finnish industries.

Spinverse Founder and Vice-Chair Pekka Koponen shared the preliminary results of the CTO Survey conducted this autumn. Despite the challenges the respondents raised that were related to, for instance, uncertainty, inflation, material costs and component shortage, the CTOs remain positive for 2023 investments amidst the turmoil of the current operational environment.

Workgroup conclusions

The Forum workgroup discussions highlighted many important topics for the CTOs. The importance of guaranteeing long-term R&D funding with clear focus and support also for commercialization. Moreover, the high level of education and positive, societal-level attitude towards RDI were emphasized to keep Finland attractive in global competition and to raise R&D investments.

Regarding Finland’s ability for talent attraction, one workgroup raised that the potential of foreign students remains untapped, and companies should be able to utilize their potential better. Moreover, discussion regarding productivity raised many interesting points. The key point surfaced around the importance of having new business as a driver to increase productivity of companies in Finland.

Latest developments of the Finnish R&D policy

Maija Lönnqvist, Director of Unit from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and a member of the secretariat of the Parliamentary Working Group on RDI, gave a keynote about the developments of the Finnish R&D policy. Key messages included that reaching the 4% GDP target of R&D investments is a joint effort by both the private and the public sector. There is a need to increase the predictability, stability and incentives in the national R&I system. Finland’s multiannual R&D plan is still work in progress and the Working Group has been collecting stakeholder input throughout the year. Moreover, the Working Group is following closely the implementation of legislative proposals for the R&D funding law and the Tax incentive for R&D activities.

Openness and collaboration and keeping up the good momentum are the key. According to Maija Lönnqvist, it is time for a fresh start and a strong change of pace in Finnish research and innovation policy. The working group wishes to have as much input from the Finnish R&D community as possible in the upcoming stakeholder events!

At the end of the event, Pekka Koponen announced that the nominations for the CTO of the Year 2023 and Innovation Professor of the Year 2023 are now open online.

Stay tuned for more information. In the meanwhile, you can already nominate your candidates as CTOs of the Year 2023 and as Innovation Professor of the Year 2023. The winners will be announced in spring 2023.

Nominate your candidates here


The CTO Forum is a community for Chief Technology Officers and other technology leaders to learn from their peers and benchmark against the best practices in the field. The Finnish CTO Forum is implemented as a joint undertaking with key partners Business FinlandTechnology Industries of Finland and Spinverse.