Two top product developers were chosen as the recipients of the CTO (Chief Technology Officer) of the Year 2015 award on 4 February: Juha Inberg from Ponsse plc and Jussi Pyörre from Eniram Oy. They have both contributed to their companies’ success by taking a hands-on approach to product development. In addition to offering ways to save costs, Ponsse and Eniram also help their customers reduce their emissions and carbon footprints.
Both Ponsse and Eniram are trailblazers that have attained their positions on the global market through high technology and intelligent systems. Ponsse is a pioneering Finnish developer of circular economy business models. It also services and sells second-hand forest machines. In 2014, Eniram was nominated as one of five European cleantech companies of the decade.
“I am happy that the CTOs of Finnish companies view carbon neutrality as a key source of competitiveness. Carbon neutrality and resource wisdom foster Finland’s competitiveness and growth,” says Director Mari Pantsar-Kallio from Sitra, a member of the award jury.
Forest machine pioneer
Led by Inberg, Director of Technology and R & D, Ponsse’s R & D team has produced innovations that have transformed the forest machine market. Ponsse’s new eight-wheeled harvesters exploit the latest technology while being user-friendly. They have helped the company secure a foothold in markets where timber is harvested on steep slopes and soft ground – these machines have a ground pressure equivalent to a man weighing 80 kg.
“Using information technology, Juha Inberg has succeeded in introducing a new kind of added value and competitive edge to forestry machines. He has also managed to lead the entire company to perform fast, efficient and valuable product development work,” says Professor Yrjö Neuvo from Technology Academy Finland (TAF), Chairman of the award jury.
Inberg considers the CTO of the Year award recognition of Ponsse’s product development as a whole, not merely of his personal achievement. He says:
“Product development is long-term work in which long-term investments and collaboration with customers are what produce results. Since 2009, Ponsse has introduced advanced technologies to the market. And despite a challenging market environment, we have been able to meet our customers’ new needs efficiently.”
Trailblazer in marine industry energy management
Eniram’s Jussi Pyörre is one of the company’s four founders and its first software developer. He has left his mark on the company’s most successful solutions. Eniram is a pioneer in the transformation of the marine industry, and the technology developed by Pyörre and his team has made the company’s rapid growth and internationalisation possible.
“Information technology is currently changing the marine industry more than anything else in the past fifty years. The previous revolution was the invention of the container in the 1950s. Many products and solutions that we have developed have become universally accepted methods of reducing fuel consumption,” Pyörre says.
Eniram has built the marine industry’s top team of industrial internet specialists from scratch and shown that new, innovative and profitable companies can also be founded in traditional sectors.
“The core of our expertise is its easy interdisciplinary approach: we have sea captains, marine engineers, data scientists and software developers on our staff, working together to improve our technology for the benefit of our customers. We are delighted to see how ship crews are now competing with each other not only to see who can reduce direct costs most but also to see who can navigate to produce the lowest emissions.”
The industry’s operating conditions must be secured in Finland
Both Inberg and Pyörre want decision-makers to know that they must look after the industry’s operating conditions and Finland’s competitiveness. Inberg emphasises that manufacturing must remain close by in order to keep production development in Finland. He is also worried about how to secure funding for the Finnish innovation system in a sustainable way. In Inberg’s opinion, an effective educational system is a critical success factor. According to Inberg, placing strict timetables on reducing emissions will weaken Europe’s competitiveness.
According to Pyörre, Europe has been a trendsetter because strict regulations are necessary for the rapid reduction of emissions. Since Eniram’s products help their customers save energy and reduce emissions, from the business perspective, strict emission reduction requirements have worked in the company’s favour. The energy efficiency of ship operations is currently evolving rapidly, and maintaining market leadership demands constant reinvention and innovation.
Eniram is also taking Finnish industrial internet expertise to a new level. In Pyörre’s opinion, ambitious start-ups and growth companies seeking international expansion need all the support they can get to reach ever greater success.
Ponsse’s Juha Inberg and Jussi Pyörre from Eniram.
What is the CTO of the Year award?
The CTO of the Year award recognises chief technology officers who, through their work, have added value to their companies’ technological expertise and growth potential, are inspiring leaders and have an active role in societal networks. This is the fifth time that the Technology Academy Finland (TAF), Sitra and Spinverse Oy have presented the CTO of the Year award.
Press release of the Technology Academy Finland
Interviews and pictures of Inberg and Pyörre: www.taf.fi