Jaak Aaviksoo

Jaak Aaviksoo

TalTech Rector, Estonia

Since 1992 Jaak Aaviksoo has held the position of professor of optics and spectroscopy at the University of Tartu, from 1992 to 1995 he was Vice-Rector of the University of Tartu, from 1996 to 1998 Head of the Institute of Experimental Physics and Technology and from 1998 to 2007 Rector of the University of Tartu. Aaviksoo has held the office of Minister of Education and Research of the Republic of Estonia twice and Minister of Defence of the Republic of Estonia once and has been a member of three compositions of the Estonian Parliament.

Reijo Aholainen

Senior Ministerial Advisor, Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland

Reijo Aholainen had many experiences centred on education. He worked for the European Commission from 2007 to 2009 on the construction of the EIT. He was also a Senior officer in the Department of Higher Education and Science Policy for the Finnish ministry of Education. From 2015 to 2017 he was Resident Twinning Advisor for the Finnish Nationale Education Evaluation Centre before joining the Ministry of Education and culture as Senior Ministerial adviser. He has a master of social sciences, sociology from the University of Helsinki.

Antoaneta Angelova-Krasteva

Director for Innovation, International Cooperation and Sport, DG EAC, European Commission

Antoaneta Angelova-Krasteva is the Director for Innovation, International Cooperation and Sport at DG EAC since 1 October 2016. Joining the European Commission in 2008, firstly in DG Justice, Liberty and Security Antoaneta was dealing with external relations and enlargement. Then she worked at DG HOME on internal security and police cooperation before becoming Head of Unit at DG CONNECT where, from 2011 – 2016, she was responsible for cyber security, stakeholder relations and international affairs. Prior to working for the European Commission, she worked on Bulgaria’s accession to the EU in the field of justice and home affairs. A graduate in political science of Sofia University, Antoaneta has also acquired training and qualifications in democracy and governance matters, and European studies in Germany (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung) and the UK (Sussex University). She has also gained valuable professional experience from working for NGOs active on legal and political matters.

Karolina Drobotowicz

Local Leaders Manager, Women@EIT

Karolina is a Aalto and KTH Master Student in Human-Computer Interaction and Design, as a part of EIT Digital Master School. Currently, she is working on her master thesis at the startup called Saidot. Thesis focuses on the topic of designing trustworthy and transparent AI systems for Citizens.
Apart from studies, Karolina is actively participating in two organizations. Since January 2019 she is a board member of Women@EIT, where she helps expanding organization actions across Europe by mentoring local leaders. In Helsinki, she is a co-founder and CEO of Women for Women workshops, in which with a community of enthusiastic women they organize multiple workshops for mostly female attendees who want to start their career in tech.

Dr.Konstantinos Georgoulias

Interim Director of EU Affairs and RIS of EIT Manufacturing

Dr Konstantinos Georgoulias is the Interim Director of EU Affairs and RIS of EIT Manufacturing. He owns a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics and has been actively involved in research and innovation activities from 2002. Dr. Georgoulias has been leading research teams towards designing, implementing and deploying innovative methodologies and technologies for the manufacturing sector. He has been involved in more than twenty (20) European R&D&I projects, contributing to technological advancement and to the development of innovative solutions. Dr. Georgoulias has more than thirty (30) scientific publications, including several invited keynote speeches and articles.

Patrick Halford

Patrick Halford is on the Faculty of Singularity University (mobility & drones) and a Senior Advisor to Gaia Consulting. He is also an advisor and mentor to startup accelerators in Turku, Copenhagen, Reykjavik and the Basque Region. He is on the board of a number of Nordic startups and teaches business modeling and ecosystem development as a guest lecturer at Hanken & SSE. He is also CEO of Gaoithe which helps create consortiums between corporations, startups and academic/research institutions across exponential technologies. He is based in Espoo and Turku.

Elina Holmberg

Elina Holmberg

Programme Manager, Business Finland

Holmberg has a long experience in helping companies - especially SMEs - in innovation management, funding and communication. She has a master of Science in Engineering Technology from the Teknillinen korkeakoulu-Tekniska högskolan in Espoo. She worked for six years for the European Commission as Project Officer in EU funded projects in Intelligent Transport Systems and then worked for Tekes as Programme Manager for more than six years. 

Mervi Karikorpi

Director, Technology Industries of Finland

Mervi Karikorpi is Director at the Federation of Finnish Technology Industries in charge of science and education policy issues, industry-university and industry-school co-operation as well as youth communication. She has worked for almost 30 years in various expert and leadership positions related to talent management, research and development and education and training. In her career she has worked for 12 years abroad, among other things with the Delegation of the European Commission to India in New Delhi for several years. She is the chairperson of the CEEMET working group on education, training and employment and works closely with DIGITALEUROPE on issues of common interest. She has a postgraduate degree in theoretical physics from Helsinki University and has undertaken further studies in organization and management as well as logistics.

Martin Kern

Martin Kern

EIT Director

Martin Kern has been the Interim Director and Chief Operating Officer at the EIT since 1 August 2014. Prior to joining, he worked at the European Commission for 15 years in a variety of posts, mainly in the area of enlargement policy and with financial assistance to support economic and social development programmes. Working for the EU, he held a variety of positions, the latest being Head of Operations at the EU Delegation to Serbia where he coordinated the programming and implementation of EU funds to bring Serbia closer to EU accession and among many issues, he led the EU’s rapid response following the disastrous floods in Serbia in May 2014. He started his career in the EU in Lithuania and Estonia, working in the EU Delegations and helping the two countries join the EU and ending his six years in the Baltic States as Acting Head of the EU Representation in Tallinn. He has Master's degrees in Economics and English from the University of Heidelberg and in European Studies from the University of Reading.

Dr.Andreas Klossek

Interim CEO, COO, Managing Director, EIT RawMaterials

Dr Andreas Klossek is the Interim CEO, COO and Managing Director of EIT
RawMaterials, a Knowledge and Innovation Community supported by the European
Institute of Innovation and Technology, a body of the European Union.

Dr Andreas Klossek holds a PhD in International Management from TU
Bergakademie Freiberg and has worked extensively in the metals and minerals
sector by leading projects on Innovation managements, strategy development,
economics and evaluation and successful acquisition of large project funds. Prior to
joining EIT RawMaterials Andreas was head of the division of Helmholtz Institute
Freiberg, German think Tank for R&D in metals and minerals sector.

Solvita Kostjukova

Solvita Kostjukova is co-founder and CEO of venture ALINA. ALINA uses innovative zero waste technology to manufacture ALINA LIFE products, available for interior and exterior architectural paint and coating producers to reduce and substitute hazardous chemicals and heavy metals in readymade products.
ALINA is supported by EIT RawMaterials and is a finalist of INNOVEIT 2017, awarded as Start-up of the Year of the German-Latvian Business Award 2018 and ranked among the Top 25 Cleantech Companies in Europe.
Solvita's core competencies are deep-science commercialisation and product development. She has more than ten years of science management experience, Ph.D. cand. in mathematical modelling, and four years of social entrepreneurship under the LUDE brand.

Marja Makarow

Marja Makarow

EIT Governing Board Member

Marja Makarow is Director of Biocenter Finland since July 2016. She is former Vice-President of the Academy of Finland - the Finnish Research Council, Chief Executive of the European Science Foundation in France in 2008-2011, and Vice-Rector for Research and Innovation of the University of Helsinki in 2003-2007. She is Professor of Applied Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. From 2015 she chairs the board of Technology Academy Finland that awards one of the world’s most prestigious innovation prizes, the Millennium Technology Prize. 

Ms Makarow advised the EU Commissioner of Research and Innovation in the European Research Area Board on Horizon 2020, and the Finnish Government in the Prime Minister’s Research and Innovation Council on development of the Finnish R&I system and the university renovation in 2008-2011. She was Vice Chair of the founding board of the newly established Aalto University in 2008-2012 and Chair of the founding board of the new Tampere University in 2017-2018.

She is Appointed Member of the Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) since 2012 and Executive GB Member since 2019. In June 2019, she was appointed to the European European Innovation Council (EIC) Pilot Advisory Board.

Markku Markkula

President of the Helsinki Region

Markku Markkula is the former President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) with the term of office from February 2015 to August 2017. After his Presidency he has served as the First Vice-President of the CoR. On these he has had many influential role in the EU policy, including the CoR Rapporteur on important opinions such as innovation, digitalization, research policy, industrial renaissance, start-ups, single market, and better governance.

He is the President of the Helsinki Region (Chair of the Board of the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council), and the Chair of the Board of the second largest city in Finland Espoo.

He is a former member of the Finnish Parliament (1995-2003). As an MP his international role included the Presidency of EPTA Council, European Parliamentary Technology Assessment Network.

The professional experience of Mr Markkula includes the EU Policy Advisor to the Aalto University Presidents (2010-2018), the Aalto University Transformation Team Member (2008-2009), within the Helsinki University of Technology he served as the Director of the Lifelong Learning Institute Dipoli (1992-1995, 2003-2008) and the Director of the Centre for Continuing Education (1985-1991).

He has served the global engineering community as the part-time Secretary General of the International Association for Continuing Engineering Education IACEE 1989-2001.

Miia Mikkonen

Business Development Specialist , Timegate

Miia Mikkonen has a background in the mining industry with community relations. She has also studied the Indian exploration market, furthermore she has extensive experience in marketing and international business. Miia´s main interest is to bring Raman spectroscopy available for the mining industry to help in mineral characterization and process optimization and thus increase productivity. Miia is a founding member of the board in Mining Finland association and a member of the board in Women in Mining Finland association.

Ilkka Niemelä

President, Aalto University

Professor Ilkka Niemelä started as President of Aalto University on 1 July 2017. Ilkka Niemelä received his doctorate in computer science from Helsinki University of Technology in 1993. He was appointed as Professor of Computer Science at Helsinki University of Technology in 2000. Professor Niemelä’s previous positions include Head of Laboratory for Theoretical Computer Science 2000-2007, Chair of the Degree Program of Computer Science and Engineering 2008-2010, Dean of Aalto University School of Science 2011-2012, and Deputy President of Aalto University 2012-2014.

Petri Peltonen

Petri Peltonen

Petri Peltonen is Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. In this capacity, he oversees the policy development and implementation in the sectors of economic growth, enterprise and innovation as well as foreign direct investments. Prior to taking his current position in 2016, Petri Peltonen was Director General of the Enterprise and Innovation Department at MEAE and the Technology Department at the Ministry of Trade and Industry. He worked at the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation from 1996 to 2006. He is also acts as the European Commission’s SME Envoy for Finland. Petri Peltonen has M.Sc. and Lic.Tech. degrees from Tampere University of Technology.

Kyösti Pennanen

Senior Scientist, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Dr Kyösti Pennanen works in VTT’s Business, Innovation and Foresight Research Area. He has 15 years of experience in consumer research in various fields such as new food product development, healthy food consumption, and food packaging. He has worked in various national and international research projects dealing with consumer behaviour. Recently, he has been the responsible project manager in the development of crEATe innovation ecosystem and TestEat research and innovation restaurant located in Helsinki (www.createfood.fi).

Henna Piha

Scientific officer, European Chemicals Agency

Henna Piha is a scientific officer at the European Chemicals Agency. She works in the Prioritisation Unit, which co-ordinates the identification and prioritisation of substances requiring further regulatory actions at the EU level and supports the identification of appropriate regulatory measures. Before joining ECHA in 2011, Henna worked on chemicals’ risk management at DG Joint Research Centre in Italy and at the Finnish Environment Institute. Henna holds a PhD in biology, in the fields of applied ecology and ecotoxicology.

Ramojus Reimeris

Ramojus Reimeris

Head of Innovation Policy Analysis Unit, STRATA Lithuania, MOSTA Lithuania

Dr. Ramojus Reimeris has been researching science and innovation policy in Lithuania for more than 7 years. Currently he is the head of the Research and Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis Centre (MOSTA). Dr. Reimeris is a coordinator and co-author of many research projects, one of the authors of the scientific insight "Scientific Lithuania 2030" (2011), co-author of the Lithuania innovation strategy "Smart Specialization" (2015), a member of the Higher education reform working group (2017) and an expert of the European Commission.

Rauno Sairinen

Professor of environmental policy, University of Eastern Finland (UEF)

Sairinen is a policy scientist specialized to mining & society relations, sustainable natural resources governance and social sustainability. He is a scientific leader of the LYY Institute for Natural Resources, Environment and Society at the UEF. He is a member of the Board of Directors at the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) and has been appointed as Honorary Professor in the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM) at the University of Queensland in Australia. Currently he is responsible WP-leader in the EU’s IMP@CT-project on small-scale mining (www.uef.fi/web/serm/impact) and Finland’s Strategic Research Funding’s Core -project on collaborative environmental governance (http://www.collaboration.fi).

Olli Salmi

Olli Salmi

Dr Olli Salmi is the Director of EIT RawMaterials Baltic Sea Innovation Hub, focusing on the Finnish, Swedish Norwegian and Baltic Countries’ metal and mineral sector innovation and education. He has over 15 years of experience on recycling and environmental issues in the mineral sector as well as in planning and design. At EIT RawMaterials, Salmi’s main task is to ensure better integration of innovation, education and business among the metal and mineral sector stakeholders in their efforts to turn raw materials into a major strength for Europe. Prior to joining EIT RawMaterials, Dr Salmi worked as Research Professor at VTT Technological Research Centre of Finland and as CTO of Eero Paloheimo Ecocity Ltd

Annukka Santasalo-Aarnio

Prof. Energy Conversion & Storage, Aalto University

Prof. Santasalo-Aarnio completed her doctorate in physical at the Aalto University School of Chemistry 2012. She continued her work with a post doc project on the solar energy storage system. She obtained a university lecturer position on material science and engineering 2015 at Aalto University. She was developing new courses for master programs in material science and metallurgy. At the same time, she completed her pedagogical studies and started implementing student engaging teaching methods into the new course.  With EIT Raw Material educational projects and mentoring from Aalto Ventures Program, she started integrating entrepreneurial mindset into engineering courses to provide all students ENT mindset with their technical content courses. She was appointed as assistant professor of energy conversion and storage at the school of engineering in September 2018 where she will continue the development of teaching at Advanced Energy Solutions and InnoEnergy Energy Storage master programs.

Leena Sarvaranta

Leena Sarvaranta

Head of EU Affairs, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Dr Leena SARVARANTA, is Head of EU Affairs at VTT since 2007. Leena’s work is future-oriented and guided by strategic alignment of VTT actions for achieving sustainability and competitiveness at national as well as EU level, through collaboration in research and innovation activities. In 2014-2018, Leena served in Strategic Research Council within the Academy of Finland, a funding mechanism for long-term research to support decision-making across society. Leena has contributed to various EU-level initiatives, more recently the Strategic Forum for Important Projects of Common European Interest (2018-2019). Earlier activities include High Level Groups on Key Enabling Technologies (2010-2011, 2013-2015) as well as assessments of Contractual PPPs in FP7 and H2020.

Anu Seisto

Research Team Leader, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Dr. Anu Seisto is a Research Team Leader at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. During the past 17 years she has been working with R&D&I activities in different digitalisation projects. Her team focuses on digital transformation and how companies and the public sector can benefit from digitalisation and data-based decision making. The approach is strongly user/customer centric, bringing human technology interaction and user experience into the innovation and development processes. Anu has been actively participating in the EIT Food community since 2017. Her interest has been especially in creating digital services in close collaboration with companies and consumers.

Mikael Seppälä

CEO, Sansox


Martyna Szydlowska

CEO and Co-Founder, Fractuscan Oy

Martyna Szydlowska is the CEO and Co-Founder of Fractuscan Oy. Martyna holds a title of mining engineer from Wroclaw University of Technology, and she graduated from the Triple Degree MSc Program European Mining Course at Aalto University, TU Delft and RWTH Aachen in 2016 and since then she worked in mining and R&D. In 2018 Martyna co-founded Fractuscan Oy, a company that provides rockfall risk management solutions for mining and construction industries. In May 2019 Fractuscan Oy received EIT Booster Grant for project called “FennoScan” that makes possible for Fractuscan team to visit open pit mines and cooperate closely with mining professionals to deliver best products and services.

Milica Todorovic

Research Fellow, Aalto University