Department of Industrial Engineering and Management

IN2MISSION: How can innovation policy accelerate the creation of solutions to our greatest societal challenges?

The Informational Infrastructure to Accelerate Mission-Oriented System-Level Transformations (IN2MISSION) project seeks to understand what are the most impactful innovation policy tools that will accelerate the development of solutions to grand challenges.
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 IN2MISSION research project seeks to improve the understanding of innovation policy tools and instruments that enable advancements and innovations in data and platform economy that would accelerate mission-oriented activities and system-level transformations. In the project we will focus on a select set of EU Missions addressing the grand and societal challenges, specifically the tackling of climate change and the strive for climate-neutral smart cities.

Data and platform economy allows innovation of totally new ways to accelerate system level change of industries and society while at the same time creating ample opportunities for high growth business. Data and platforms can together establish a facilitative and enabling infrastructure that supports coordination, collaboration, and transparency, of company and public sector mission-oriented activities. A well-working and transparent informational infrastructure where data is pooled and used in intelligent ways can radically impact the effectiveness and scale of mission-oriented activities and accelerate system-level transformations.

However, there is currently a lack of incentives, policies, and guidance for well working informational infrastructure to develop around mission-oriented activities. Therefore, we aim to understand:

  • What are the underlying impediments in the development of informational infrastructures for mission-oriented activities?
  • What are the key properties of the impactful informational infrastructure of mission-oriented activities?
  • What are the means for innovation policy to support and advance the development of informational infrastructures for mission-oriented activities?

From a pragmatic perspective, the project seeks to produce tangible advice to support the development of the Finnish business, innovation and entrepreneurship policy as well as management practices on acting efficiently and seizing business opportunities in mission-oriented activities.

The duration of the project is from August 2022 to August 2024. It is funded by Business Finland.

Policy Briefs

Trees and bushes with green leaves.

Fostering sustainable finance and corporate sustainability by means of well operating informational infrastructures (external link)

This policy brief explores the intricacies and prospects in sustainable finance, corporate sustainability and compliance requirements.

The picture shows gloved hands inserting test tubes into laboratory equipment.

Artificial intelligence solutions to accelerate impactful data-driven cancer innovation and research: a deep dive into data challenges (external link)

The Brief examines data challenges and recommends how to resolve them to maximise the potential of AI solutions for data-driven cancer innovation and research.

Lithium ion battery electrodes and cells

Accelerating circular economy through informational infrastructures (external link)

We present three innovation policy recommendations on accelerating circular economy through informational infrastructures.

Research team

The research partners include Aalto University, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and international collaborators.

The project leader is Dr. Robin Gustafsson, Associate Professor at the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management at Aalto University. Robin’s research focuses on strategy and organization in technology disruptions, how and why digital is disrupting industries and markets, strategic digital transformation, new sources of competitive advantage arising from digitalization, platform economy, platform business and strategy, and innovation policy and strategy in the age of digital and platforms.

Dr. Robert van den Have from Aalto Universityhas a long-standing experience with both empirical innovation policy and management research and has contributed to many policy-oriented projects and reports for national and international innovation policy and decision-making bodies. His research interests lie at the intersection of Strategic Management and Public Policy in the context of the determinants and outcomes of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Dr. Niko Lipiäinen is a researcher at Aalto University. His research focuses on strategic management, especially in the context of data and platform economy, and demand-side business strategies.

Dr. Kirsi Hyytinen has 20 years of experience in innovation policy research. She leads the ‘Future-proof Societies’ team at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland which focuses on supporting decision-makers to have concrete means to understand the future needs, design proactive policies and to analyze their impacts in the field of innovation and sustainable society. Her key areas of expertise are e.g. systemic innovation, impact assessment and evaluation of RDI and methodology development in future-oriented systemic impact evaluation.

Dr. Kaisa Lähteenmäki-Smith is a Principal Scientist at VTT. Kaisa is an experienced political scientist, who is passionate about evidence-informed policy making, and constructive dialogue between policy-makers, politicians, researchers and citizens. She has worked as researcher and consultant on regional development and innovation policies, governance issues and evaluation.

Dr. Jorge Martins is Senior Scientist at the Foresight and Data Economy – Future-proof societies research team at VTT. His research areas are technology management, foresight, strategy and innovation. His work focuses on the management of knowledge and inter-organisational networks, diffusion and adoption of key enabling technologies, and regional innovation systems.

Ville Valovirta is a Senior Scientist at VTT. His work focuses on innovation policy, public procurement of innovation and public-private collaboration for a sustainable society. He has been engaged with research on diffusion of urban innovation in cities across various domains – e.g. transport, health, and circular economy – as well as facilitating emergence of open digitally-enabled ecosystems. He has a longstanding interest also on technology foresight and has experience in carrying out projects in various countries

Henri Wiman from VTT specialises in simulation modelling and qualitative systems modelling methods particularly regarding nonlinear social-behavioural dynamics. Henri has applied nonlinear analysis particularly for understanding sustainability transitions and the institutional/policy conditions for desired change.

International Collaboration

Our international collaboration contains an expert groups’ active engagement throughout the project. The expert group is composed of

Mission-oriented innovation policy experts:

  • Director Wolfgang Polt, Joanneum Research
  • Head of Research Michael Ploder, Head of Research Group Technology Innovation and Policy Consulting, Joanneum Research and

Digital infrastructure and data economy experts:

  • Professor Kalle Lyytinen, Case Western Reserve University
  • Professor Ola Henfridsson, University of Miami


 Robin Gustafsson

Robin Gustafsson

Associate Professor, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management at Aalto University
 Kirsi Hyytinen

Kirsi Hyytinen

Senior scientist at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Get in touch in social media! 

Robin Gustafsson Kirsi Hyytinen
Twitter @robingustafs Twitter @HyytinenKirsi
LinkedIn LinkedIn



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