- News article -

CTO of the Year Europe 2014 awarded

10 Oct 2014

Professor Richard Parker of Rolls-Royce plc and Dr. Gert-Jan Gruter of Avantium were awarded as CTO of the Year Europe 2014 representing large companies and SMEs, respectively. The European CTO of the year 2014 award ceremony by Spinverse and EIRMA took place in the evening of October 9th in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

CTO of the Year is an award to promote the importance of technology and innovations for Europe’s future, and especially the crucial role of technology leadership in this. It highlights outstanding technology leaders in innovative European companies: persons who are inspiring leaders, foresighted technology managers and who contribute to the development and sustainability of their industries, as well as to society at large.

The nominations included excellent candidates representing successful companies and industries: from IT start-ups to innovative food producers and world leaders in chemistry and materials. Professor Yrjö Neuvo, the chairman of the international high-level jury and former CTO of Nokia, says that “the great number of excellent nominations received reflects the request to highlight the role of leadership in technology. The jury’s task was definitely not trivial”. In their decisions, the jury considered the features of both the persons and their companies, together with the societal impact they had achieved.

Prof. Richard Parker (CBE FREng), Director of Research & Technology of Rolls-Royce plc was awarded as the winner of the large company category. The jury valued Prof. Parker’s personal leadership and long career in technology innovation, and the strong effort towards partnering to the outside world. Their view was that both Prof. Parker and Rolls Royce, a UK-based company providing power for aircraft, ships and land applications, are highly respected by all their stakeholders and have achieved great deeds. “I am amazed, very happy, privileged and deeply honoured to be the first winner of the CTO of the Year competition. Effective investment in industrial R&D is essential for European competitiveness. I am pleased that the strength of Rolls-Royce in this area is recognised by this award”, says Prof. Parker.

In the SME category, Dr. Gert-Jan Gruter, Chief Technology Officer of Avantium from the Netherlands was awarded based on his and the company’s impressive work, focus on innovation and strong partnerships combined with the future potential. Avantium is specialized in the area of advanced catalytic research, and the jury saw their green chemistry as a great European advantage. Dr. Gruter says that “I am honoured to receive this special award and I see this as a recognition for the pioneering work of the entire Avantium team, who developed a number of truly disruptive technologies in the renewable chemicals space. This required focus, commitment and support from the people around me, but also from our partners and investors. This award is a fantastic stimulus as it marks the next era for our new polyester PEF, a material that is set to start a revolution in the plastics market.”

Media picks and further information about the CTO of the Year award

The European CTO (Chief Technology Officer) of the Year award is a platform to recognise the importance of technology and innovation in Europe, given to the most innovative technology leader of a highly successful European company.

The award is organised by Spinverse Ltd (Innovation Consultancy) and EIRMA (the European Industry Research and Management Association), and endorsed by Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission.

- Contact us -

Want to learn more how Spinverse could help you? Contact us now!



Markku Heino

Principal Consultant, Ecosystem Leader, D.Sc. (Tech.) +358 40 7191221

- News -

Relevant posts

Our People

Congratulations to Vilja Vara on her 10-year anniversary at Spinverse!

18 Nov 2020

Spinverse team recently got together to shortly meet up with most of the colleagues face-to-face (keeping a ...

CTO Forum Spinverse News

The nominations for the CTO of the Year 2021 are open!

13 Nov 2020

The bi-annual CTO Forum, co-organised by Technology Industries of Finland, Business Finland and Spinverse, w...

EU funding Horizon Europe

EU budget negotiations took a big step forward: European Recovery Plan can finally be activated

11 Nov 2020

What does it mean for me that the European Union budget decisions are finally taking a remarkable step forwa...

Our People EAIC Innovation consultants

Spinverse Founder and Chairman Pekka Koponen elected as President of new European Association of Innovation Consultants

6 Nov 2020

The European Association of Innovation Consultants (EAIC) was launched on 5 November 2020. What originally s...

Open Innovation

Scaling Open Innovation

28 Oct 2020

Partnering up to solve grand challenges is the only way to go. You spread the risk, access new perspectives,...

Our People Spinverse News

New colleagues at Spinverse bring new expertise

26 Oct 2020

We are glad to introduce our newest experts to the growing family of Spinverse. Our new colleagues complemen...