“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”, said Antti Vasara, president and CEO.
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 Mika Toikka, VTT’s VP, sales and business development.
“The change is motivated by our aim to make our expertise more easily available to customers. We want to be a service organization that gets inspired by creating solutions to customers’ challenges,” Toikka said.
Toikka has been appointed as the EVP, commercial operations of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and as a member of VTT Executive Management Team. Toikka has been working as VTT’s VP, sales and business development (Smart Industry and Energy Systems) since February 2017. He came to VTT from Outokumpu, where he most recently acted as VP, global marketing and a member of the sales management team.
Sonja Hilavuo has been appointed as the VP, sales and customer partnerships of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
Hilavuo will be working as a member of the management team of VTT’s new Commercial Operations unit as of March 1, 2018.
“VTT has an outstanding customer base from large Finnish corporates to high-growth international start-ups and numerous Fortune 500 companies,” Hilavuo noted. “With this new centralized 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.”
Hilavuo has been working as VTT’s VP, sales and business development for Knowledge Intensive Products and Services since November 2017. She previously served as chief marketing and 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.
Jenni Santalo has been appointed as VP, marketing and communications of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland as of Feb. 1, 2018. Santalo will be working as a member of the management team of VTT’s new Commercial Operations unit as of March 1, 2018.
Santalo came to VTT from Tieto, where she has held various managerial positions in marketing and communications since 2011.