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Vice President for Innovation

We are now seeking a Vice President for Innovation to empower our community towards innovation excellence for societal impact.
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At Aalto University, we are building a sustainable society driven by innovation and entrepreneurship. Our innovation capacity is based on convergence of first-class science, art, technology and business, and dedication to long-term research of high scientific value. We foster multidisciplinary collaboration, combining knowledge from different disciplines in order to identify and solve complex challenges, and to educate future visionaries and experts. We create and stimulate multidisciplinary, innovative research for the benefit of industry and society. Our goal is to be among the very top innovation ecosystem universities in the world: a globally renowned collaborative innovation, technology transfer and start up platform tackling the wicked challenges of our time.

We are now seeking a Vice President for Innovation to empower our community towards innovation excellence for societal impact. In the position, you are in charge of the development of the community of innovators within and around Aalto University, our partners and stakeholders, and startup and accelerator activities. You will play a key role in the further development of Aalto University’s strategy for innovation and entrepreneurship.

More specifically, you will be responsible for:

  • Leading and facilitating the Aalto innovation agenda, and building and nurturing our knowledge-driven ecosystem further 
  • Developing Aalto’s innovation activities, ensuring that the university becomes a focal point for our wide-range of private and public, Finnish and international partners for generation of new thinking and commercial potential
  • Improving the recognition of research findings with significant societal value, and facilitating their development towards broader applications, breakthrough discoveries and disruptive innovation
  • Enabling our scholars and students to take part in collaborative initiatives towards commercialization and start-up activities
  • Creating and managing supporting frameworks, practices, processes and tools developed for facilitating innovation, monitoring and reporting on innovation activities and performance 

You promote the common goals of the University and inspire and engage the whole Aalto community as part of the university leadership team. You lead and develop innovation and entrepreneurship activities, and work in tight collaboration with our research, education, advancement and corporate engagement, campus, and other internal stakeholders with close interfaces to the innovation ecosystem. The position is a fixed term for a period of 5 years with the possibility for a second term. The position is preferably filled as full time, but the time allocation can be agreed upon negotiation. You report to the Provost of the university.

Your experience and skills

We are looking for a candidate with strong knowledge of innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems, technology transfer and innovation management, who is intrigued by the development of the innovation ecosystem of Aalto University. To succeed in this role, you have a doctoral degree in a relevant field, an excellent academic track record and strong experience in leadership and facilitation of innovation ecosystems. You have shown capability in leading an expert organization as well as an ecosystem of diverse partners. You have excellent leadership skills, and you motivate and inspire people to ambitiously work towards a shared vision. You have shown strong capabilities in working with a range of corporate and other stakeholders, and building collaborations across fields and organizations. You have good existing networks in Finland and internationally. You are fluent in English, while a knowledge of Finnish is considered an asset.

Your passion and ambitions

You have a vision for Aalto University’s innovation agenda and passion for facilitating innovation excellence. You are a strategic thinker with ability to paint the big picture and build common awareness. Having understanding of our unique profile of art and design, business and technology, you are committed to promoting multidisciplinarity. You are able to integrate ideas from different communities and fruitfully orchestrate initiatives into results. With strong collaboration, interaction and networking skills, you foster excellent relations with Aalto’s scholars, students, corporations, startups and all other stakeholders in our ecosystem. You have a high level of ambition, and are eager to build our ecosystem further for societal impact.

Join us in shaping the future

Please send your CV (max 5 pages) and motivation letter (max 2 pages) as separate attachments, in English, by October 21 to [email protected]. In your CV, kindly describe your leadership experience and your innovation related accomplishments. In your motivation letter, please describe why you are passionate about this role.

Recruitment committee Chair Pentti Kujala ([email protected]) and Committee Secretary Anna Lehtinen ([email protected]) are happy to answer to any of your questions.


About Aalto University and our innovation ecosystem

Aalto University innovation ecosystem has been rated as one of the most promising in the world: we are rated among top five rising ecosystems in the world by MIT, and 70-100 companies are founded yearly in our community. Technology developed at Aalto University is used by a number of global companies, and we strongly support and promote the commercialization of researchers and students’ inventions into commercial solutions. Our diverse ecosystem consists of both student-led and university-run entrepreneurial activities. For example, Europe's leading startup event Slush, and Startup Sauna, the leading accelerator in Northern Europe and Russia, are born at Aalto's student community Aaltoes. Our main campus in Otaniemi fosters building an innovative society with openness, experimenting and sharing of ideas. The campus is rapidly developing into a unique collaboration centre, uniting researchers, teachers and students and attracting partners from all around the world. All Aalto University core activities will be located in Otaniemi campus by 2021.

Aalto University is a community of bold thinkers where science and art meet technology and business. We are committed to identifying and solving grand societal challenges and building an innovative future. We have been ranked the 7th best young university in the world (Top 50 under 50, QS 2018) and one of the world’s top technology challenger universities (THE 2017), thinking outside the box on research collaboration, funding and innovation. Aalto has six schools with nearly 11 000 students and 4000 employees of which close to 400 are professors. Our campuses are located in Espoo and Helsinki, Finland. With 37% of our academic faculty coming from outside Finland, we are a highly international community with strong academic standing.

At Aalto, high-quality research, art, education and entrepreneurship are promoted hand in hand. Disciplinary excellence is combined with multidisciplinary activities, engaging both students and the local innovation ecosystem. Our main campus is quickly transforming into an open collaboration hub that encourages encounters between students, researchers, industry, startups and other partners. Aalto University was founded in 2010 as three leading Finnish universities, Helsinki University of Technology, the Helsinki School of Economics and the University of Art and Design Helsinki, were merged to strengthen Finland’s innovative capability.

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