Marko Hakovirta appointed as new CEO of University of Helsinki’s technology transfer and commercialisation company

Professor Marko Hakovirta has been appointed as the new CEO of Helsinki Innovation Services Ltd, the technology transfer company of the University of Helsinki. He will take up his new position at the latest on 1 April 2024.

Since 2016, Marko Hakovirta has served as Professor of Sustainable Business and Bioeconomy at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in the United States and, until 2021, as director of the Department of Forest Biomaterials at NCSU. Earlier in his career, Hakovirta has worked as Senior Vice President, Innovation and New Business Development at Stora Enso Corporation; Group Vice President, Technology, Environment and Quality at Metso Corporation; and Director and Professor of the Alabama Center for Paper and Bioresource Engineering at Auburn University.

He completed his doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki in 1996, in addition to which he has an MBA degree.

“We are overjoyed to have Marko lead the commercialisation of research at the University of Helsinki and support the growth of technologies generated by research at the University into successful businesses,” says Marjo Berglund, Chief Financial Officer at the University of Helsinki and chair of the board of Helsinki Innovation Services Ltd.

“The innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem of the University of Helsinki is growing at an accelerating pace, and it will have an increasingly significant role in University operations in the future. Marko Hakovirta brings with him extensive experience in the establishment of an entrepreneurial culture in academic environments, as well as an understanding of business development and research-based innovation.”

“I wish to express my warmest thanks to Operations Director Kajsa Kajander, who successfully served as the interim CEO of Helsinki Innovation Services Ltd,” Berglund adds.

"It’s great to get involved in developing innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialisation operations at my alma mater, the University of Helsinki, in collaboration with the entire innovation team. It’s inspiring to collaborate with both researchers and students, as well as with alumni and business partners, and to utilise my international experience and networks,” Marko Hakovirta concludes.

Helsinki Innovation Services Ltd commercialises and develops the University’s multidisciplinary and cutting-edge research innovations.