About us

Business-research collaboration team at your service!

We offer support for building new collaborative research projects between the university and businesses. We give services to researchers, academic leaders and companies.

Business Collaboration Team – University of Helsinki

University of Helsinki Impact and Business Collaboration team at your service. Persons from left to right: Tero Oinonen (Business Developer), Krister Talvinen (Senior Advisor), Tanja Suni (Business Developer), Joel Takala (Senior Advisor), Maarit Haataja (Head of Services), Pasi Rautiainen (Business Developer) and Heidi Kinnunen (Senior Advisor).

Our services:

-Finding the right companies for collaboration.
-Creating networks with a wider range of businesses.
-Matching university research groups with suitable company research themes.

-For example training on research impact, ABC of business collaboration.
-Help in negotiating with companies (pricing, IPR issues, contracts).
-Help in finding the right cooperation model (contract research, collaborative research).
-Support for co-creation between researchers and companies.

businessteam (at) helsinki.fi
City Centre, Fabianinkatu 32, Helsinki
Flamma intranet:
Services for business collaboration (pricing, contracts, IPR, etc.)

Maarit Haataja
Head of Business Collaboration

Maarit has been leading the business collaboration team since May 2016. Her aim is to build capacity for researchers to collaborate with companies and to create supporting services for both researchers and businesses.

Maarit has extensive experience in service design, co-creation, as well as in research funding and impact. Over the past six years, she has been involved in helping researchers to apply for funding that emphasis research impact, commercialization and co-creation (for example Tekes and the Strategic Research Council). In addition, she has extensive experience in research administration, from department to faculty and central administration level.

Maarit’s scientific background is in ecology and evolutionary biology. She received her PhD at the University of Uppsala in 2001, and after that she worked as a post-doc in the Universities of Oulu and Helsinki.

Joel Takala

For the past few years, Joel has worked on innovations and creating new business. He has hands-on R&D experience from his own start-up company, and he has also been part of the Aalto University Start-Up Center. “Aalto was a deep learning experience in the start-up ecosystem and in how to start a company”, he says. Joel’s start-up drive continued at the University of Jyväskylä. There, he led an EU-funded project creating a joint commercialization process for the University of Jyväskylä and for the JAMK University of Applied Sciences. The project was a great success: in just two years, it helped create 45 new student- and research-based companies.

Joel’s previous experience includes working in non-governmental organizations where he designed new concepts for development cooperation fundraising/communications and for the digitalization of fundraising.

At the University of Helsinki Joel is helping researchers boost their research impact and business collaboration. For this, he developed an excellent tool, the Impact Accelerator Program.

Joel has studied social sciences (M.Soc.Sc) and he also has a specialist degree as Product Developer.

Heidi Kinnunen

A single university course on Popularization of Science changed PhD student Heidi Kinnunen’s life in 1997. Heidi realized that scientific endeavors are important only if the information is transferred to the society. She completed her PhD thesis about animal ecology in 1999, but was still intrigued by knowledge transfer processes. Heidi sought her way to the post of spokeswoman at the Finnish Museum of Natural History and built a large network within journalists and media professionals. The exhibition trilogy “Metamorphoses” celebrating European Cultural Capital Helsinki in 2000 was Heidi’s first connection to the corporate world supporting science and art. In 2007 Heidi was promoted to Head of Administration, and cooperation with companies took off at once. The marketing and sponsoring specialist company Image Match trained the museum staff to approach businesses and seek for partners.

Apart from media and sponsorship experience, Heidi is well versed in the university’s financial management systems. As Head of Administration, she was also responsible for HR practices. Because of her previous reporting experience, she was chosen to be one of the core data masters at the university. At present, she is responsible of TUHAT database information concerning “activities”. This material consists of information on public talks, popular articles etc. and may be used for measuring the societal impact of scientific work. At present, Heidi is developing indicators for quantifying university’s impact on the society.

In the business team, Heidi has been developing the process of academic consultancy. The new business university funding? model will most likely include remuneration for consulting researchers. Heidi believes that in order to increase impact, the university should consider career-related incentives and streamline mobility possibilities between industry and academia.

Krister Talvinen

PhD Krister Talvinen has a long history with the different players in the field of higher education. He has worked at the Academy of Finland, in the Ministry of Education and Culture, and in the National Defense University. His academic background is in social sciences and humanities, and his doctoral thesis in philosophy in 2009 dealt with the impossibility of knowledge.

However, at the time of his the thesis, he was already working for a marketing research company, Taloustutkimus Ltd. Providing surveys or brand image analyses for all kinds of businesses proved to be an invaluable lesson in the ethos and operating logics of the business world.

Krister considers himself a passionate worker, for whatever the task, he is always ‘all-in’, and he strives for the best possible result.

Tero Oinonen

Tero has long experience in leading commercial organizations within the pharmaceutical industry in Europe. He has led large sales and marketing units in Novartis and AstraZeneca including business development and health economics functions. Tero also has comprehensive skills in corporate finance and M&A. In addition, he has entrepreneurial experience from his own Life Science company focusing on helping small and midsize companies to create & implement growth strategies in Europe.

Tero joined UH’s Business Collaboration team from Helsinki Innovation Services (HIS) where he was responsible for research commercialization measures and development of the HealthCapitalHelsinki ecosystem.

Tero holds an MBA in marketing and a B.Sc. in Engineering.

Tanja Suni

Tanja is a physicist with a background in land-atmosphere interactions. She received her PhD in environmental physics at the University of Helsinki in 2004 and worked as a post-doc at CSIRO in Canberra, Australia, in 2005-2007.

The next 8 years she spent working in different roles in Future Earth, a large international research programme that aims at providing solutions for sustainable development through science. As Secretary General of Future Earth Finland, Tanja brought together scientists and decision-makers, businesses, and science-policy stakeholders to improve the societal impact of research. In Future Earth Europe, Tanja led co-production and stakeholder engagement training for European students, scientists, and stakeholders.

Tanja is a research impact professional with a passion for helping science make the world a better place. “Business collaboration is a great channel for researchers to get their results visibility and added value. We are here to help you get started!”

Pasi Rautiainen

Pasi’s role is to help research teams find new sources to the supplementary funding of their research activities. He helps researchers improve their research-industry cooperation models and crystallise the impact of their research. Pasi supports the researchers in identifying and contacting industry partners with a message that is customized to fit their needs. “I have strong passion for bringing research results in use, so please let me help you in that”, he says.

Pasi has an engineering background with an M.Sc. (tech) in data communications. Since his graduation, he has worked as a patent agent (Page White & Farrer), software developer (Syscon Automation), and an innovation officer (Tampere University of Technology, TUT). At TUT, Pasi had role in creating many new models for university – industry cooperation: (i) DSII (new industrial doctorate school), (II) strategic partnerships with companies (Nokia, Rautaruukki, Intel, Microsoft), (iii) research partnerships with research organizations (VTT, Aachen University, Politechnico Milano, (iv) establishment and negotiations of first European site for Center for Visual & Design Informatics (CDVI), (v) interinstitutional commercialization activities with VTT, Aalto, universities of Helsinki, Turku, Oulu, eastern Finland and Vermont (US), (vi) administrative coordination support for more than 20 FP7 and H2020 projects, (vii) negotiation team in connection with ITER (European fusion reactor) commercial remote control supply awarded 20 M€ (TUT share).