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Timo Kekkonen appointed Executive Director of Sitra’s Innovation Programme, as Antti Hautamäki moves to a research role in California


13 January 2006

Timo Kekkonen, Director General of the Technology Department of the Finnish Ministry of Trade and Industry has been appointed Executive Director of Sitra’s Innovation Programme, with effect from 15 February 2006 until the end of 2007.

The previous Executive Director of the programme, Antti Hautamäki, has moved to California for two years on 16 January 2006 to work on a Sitra research project at the University of Berkeley, looking into the management of global knowledge. At the same time, he will be involved in establishing and developing the Finnish innovation centre in California, which will also serve Sitra’s programmes. Mr Hautamäki’s activity in California will partly serve the aim of Sitra’s Innovation Programme to internationalise the Finnish innovation environment.

– The appointment of Mr Kekkonen provides good support for Sitra’s aim of increasing the exchange of skills between Sitra and public administration. Fixed term assignments in Sitra’s programmes are an excellent way for Sitra to obtain skills of the highest quality, and then, once the assignment has reached a conclusion, to take it forward enhanced by new experience, said Sitra’s President, Esko Aho.

Timo Kekkonen has worked at the Ministry of Trade and Industry since 1996. At first, he was responsible for the field of international technology policy, and in early 1999, he became Director General of the Ministry’s Technology Department. He graduated from the Helsinki University of Technology in 1984 with an M.Sc. (Tech.) degree. He began his career as a researcher at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. He then became a project manager at the Federation of Finnish Metal, Engineering and Electrotechnical Industries, and from there went to Rauma-Repola to develop new business activities in the field of materials technology. In 1991, Mr Kekkonen moved to the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, Tekes, and between 1994 and 1996, he worked at Finland’s EU mission in Brussels, with a responsibility for European research policy. While he is working at Sitra, Mr Kekkonen will also perform his current duties as Chairman of the Board at Tekes.

For further information:
Mr Esko Aho, President of Sitra,
Mr Kari Tolvanen, Vice President of Sitra, tel. +358 9 618 991