Santtu von Bruun appointed as director of innovation ecosystems in the University of Helsinki’s Inno team

The University of Helsinki is making additional million-euro investments in innovation and entrepreneurship as well as business collaboration. The Inno team, which was established last year, is responsible for innovation collaboration and services as well as their development.

Santtu von Bruun will start working in the Inno team as the director responsible for ecosystems as well as innovation and entrepreneurship services, and as a member of the Inno steering group as of 1 February 2022. He is transferring to the University after serving as the head of the Innovations and New Experiments unit of the City of Helsinki.

In the future, the University of Helsinki aims to be the number one partner for businesses in the University’s research fields, produce more research-based innovations on all four campuses and equip students with the career skills of the future. The Inno team is responsible for collaboration between partners and the University, the provision of innovation platforms and services as well as for support for entrepreneurship originating in the University community.

“Researchers and students are at the core of developing innovation activities on each campus. Together with our commercialisation business HIS and our entrepreneurship community Think Company, we are currently pooling the services provided by the University into a seamless entity to accelerate the progress of research-based ideas onto the commercialisation path or into elements of a broader ecosystem,” says Director of Communications and Community Relations Taina Kyllönen, who leads the Inno team.

“To my great delight, the team is now gaining a long-term partner, an experienced specialist in innovation and a leader of networks. Santtu has solid expertise in the development of startup and innovation platforms, especially in the campus and urban environments. We warmly welcome you to the community, Santtu!”

At the City of Helsinki, Santtu von Bruun was responsible for the city's innovation policy and the development of its innovation ecosystem, in addition to which he contributed to the establishment of the Maria 01 startup campus. At the University, Santtu’s purview encompasses the strategic development of innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems, the creation of services as well as the development of campuses as innovation environments in cooperation with campus leadership and the rest of the Inno team. He is also in charge of collaboration with the wider regional innovation ecosystem and international networks.

“With its partners, the University of Helsinki wishes to participate in building in Finland the best innovation ecosystem in the world, which will bring together top-level research, new ideas from students, growth-oriented businesses and the region's brilliant startup ecosystem,” says Santtu von Bruun.

Taina Kyllönen sums up: “Developing innovation activities and business collaboration constitute an integral part of the University of Helsinki’s strategic plan for 2021–2030, and it supports our goal of making science and research widely available to society. We wish to actively contribute to solving today’s multidisciplinary and global challenges in accordance with our vision ‘With the power of knowledge – for the world’. We also wish to increase the impact of research in society and support the achievement of the goal of raising public investment in research, development and innovation to 4% of the GDP.”

Further information:

Taina Kyllönen, head of the Inno team, director of Communications and Community Relations,, phone +358 40 582 2175

Santtu von Bruun, director of innovation ecosystems (as of 1 February 2022),
phone +358 40 357 7452