The Board of Technology Academy Finland (TAF) has appointed Dr. Ari Ahonen the Foundation’s new President and CEO as of September 1, 2017. Current holder of the position Juha Ylä-Jääski will retire on September 1.
TAF Chair of the Board Marja Makarow thanks Ylä-Jääski for his work leading TAF and especially for widening the scope of the Academy’s operations. “During Juha Ylä-Jääski’s term as President and CEO, Technology Academy Finland has increased its societal impact through several programs. One particular area of focus has been inspiring young people to engage with technology, especially through the Technology Leap apprentice program and the Millennium program for young people,” says Makarow.
Ari Ahonen has extensive experience in strategic leadership and innovation as well as in the construction and real estate sectors. He has previously served as Director at Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, and CEO at RYM Ltd., Satopalvelut Oy, and Omat Vuokra-asunnot Oy OVA. Ahonen is Adjunct Professor in Construction Economics at Tampere University of Technology (TUT). He also works as part-time Industry Professor of Real Estate Development at TUT.
To TAF Ahonen brings start-up agility as well as experience in the integration of innovation and business. “I have a solid background in financial turnarounds and change management and have participated in the launch of several businesses, either as part of a larger group or as independent start-ups. I am eagerly looking forward to starting my work at TAF, which has done a tremendous job, especially related to the Millennium Technology Prize. The prize is one of the most important international brands of Finland. It is a great opportunity for me to continue such excellent work,” says Ahonen.
Closer Cooperation between Science Academies
May 12 was an important day in the Finnish science community. On that date, four Finnish science academies – Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters, Finnish Academy of Technical Sciences (TTA), and Swedish Academy of Engineering Science in Finland (STV) – signed a statement of intent for strengthening collaboration and international reach. The purpose of the collaboration is to strengthen the role and visibility of scientific information in society and to offer the expertise of the academies for the betterment of society.
The statement of intent integrates technical sciences even more closely with the scientific community. It also means that in the future, TAF will be partner to all four scientific academies. The Secretary General of the Council of Finnish Academies (TANK) is Adjunct Professor Panu Nykänen, also serving as Secretary General of TTA.
TAF Offices Relocate to Dipoli
The TAF offices and its member academies STV and TTA will relocate on 18 August 2017 from North Esplanade in Helsinki to Dipoli, the new main building of Aalto University. Being situated on the campus of its strategic partner Aalto University will ensure even smoother cooperation in TAF-Aalto joint projects.
Technology Academy Finland (TAF)
Ari Ahonen, President and CEO as of September 1, 2017, +358 400 618 300
Marja Makarow, Chair of the Board, +358 40 653 1133