VTT revises its commercial operations


The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is setting up a commercial operations unit as of 1 March 2018. The unit pools together VTT's sales, marketing and communications functions.

"Our aim is to genuinely understand the needs of businesses and society. VTT's impact is based on our excellent research and technological know-how. We need to make VTT's competences more easily available to customers and this is where the new unit plays an important role. The business sector and the entire society get the best benefit from VTT when we solve challenges that require world-class know-how together and translate them into business opportunities," says president & CEO Antti Vasara.

The new unit will consist of three main functions: Sales and customer partnerships, marketing and communications, and research service design. It will be headed by VTT's vice president, sales and business development, Mika Toikka.

"The change is motivated by our aim to make our expertise more easily available to customers. We want to be a service organisation that gets inspired by creating solutions to customers' challenges", Mika Toikka explains.

Moreover, Sonja Hilavuo has been appointed as vice president, sales and customer partnerships at VTT as of 1 March 2018. "VTT has an outstanding customer base from large Finnish corporates to high-growth international start-ups and numerous Fortune 500 companies. With this new centralised setup, we are able to deepen our collaboration with strategic customers as well as attract new growth companies by more systematically showcasing available cutting-edge technical innovations and thought-leading project work, resulting in true differentiating impact on our various customers' businesses", explains Sonja Hilavuo.

Hilavuo has been working as VTT's vice president, sales and business development for knowledge intensive products and services since 15 November 2017.  She previously served as chief marketing & sales officer and board advisor at the FinTech start-up Avalo, and prior to that acted as head of business sales for India, Middle East and Africa at Microsoft and held various global positions at Nokia.

A further new appointment at VTT is Jenni Santalo, who occupies the position of vice president, marketing and communications, at VTT since 1 February.   Jenni Santalo came to VTT from Tieto, where she has held various managerial positions in marketing and communications since 2011. She has accumulated experience in digital presence, culture and marketing and influencer and corporate social responsibility communications.

"It is an extremely exciting opportunity to join an organisation as unique and innovative as VTT. I am proud to be part of VTT's aim to build an increasingly dynamic and solution-oriented world together with businesses and society. As a marketing and communications professional, I cannot wait to be able to tell all the amazing stories that VTT's scientific innovations have made possible,” Jenni Santalo says.

Caption: Sonja Hilavuo, Mika Toikka and Jenni Santalo (photo: VTT)

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