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Finland’s CTOs of the Year 2016 awarded: Antti Nivala, M-Files, and Ilari Kallio, Wärtsilä

16 Feb 2016

Ilari Kallio, Vice President R&D from Wärtsilä and Antti Nivala, Founder and CTO from M-Files have been elected as the Finland’s CTO of the Year 2016 awardees. The CTO of the Year title is awarded annually to a CTO who has had a positive impact on the growth and technology of the CTO’s company, acts as an inspiring leader, and has an active role in the society.

The award is a joint undertaking by Tekes and Spinverse. A high-profile jury, consisting of members of the Finnish technology industries, selects the awardees. This is the sixth time that CTO of the Year award is given out. The jury decided to elect awardees from two categories: SMEs and large corporations. The role of a CTO is drastically different in SMEs in comparison to large corporations. This was the second time winners were chosen from two categories.

In the awardee election, the emphasis was put on radical innovations. “The winners are two people who have done a great contribution to their companies with radical product innovations. The companies are also demonstrating international growth,” the chairman of the jury, professor Yrjö Neuvo comments on the election. M-Files is an innovative software company designing document and information management solutions to corporations. M-Files products are based on efficient use of metadata. Wärtsilä is a corporation that delivers power solutions for the marine and energy markets. Wärtsilä has developed the world’s most energy-efficient engine: Wärtsilä 31 can be found in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Both M-Files and Wärtsilä try to solve problems of the modern age. “M-Files brings solutions for knowledge workers in their day-to-day struggle of keeping information organized, and Wärtsilä empowers the players in energy and marine industries with flexible and energy-efficient ship and power plant solutions. CTOs in all industries have an important role enabling their companies to renew themselves”, summarises professor Neuvo.

The renewer of information management

Antti Nivala has worked as the CTO of M-Files from 2013. Previously from 2005 to 2013, Nivala acted as the CEO of the company founded by him. Since then he has concentrated on the product development of the company as the CTO. His work has made great progress as the M-Files information management software is currently used in thousands of companies all across the globe. M-Files is quickly growing to be the market leader in metadata-based information management. M-Files has received many acknowledgements for its superiority, one of the most prestigious distinctions being the Millennium Distinction awarded by the Technology Academy of Finland. World-leading market research organizations have praised M-Files’ software as a forerunner with unparalleled usability.

Antti Nivala has played a great role in the development of M-Files. Previously known as Motive Systems, M-Files ended up developing information management software when Nivala felt sufficient software for keeping the ceaseless flow of information did not exist. Nivala and his team decided to create a completely new system. Soon they found out that other companies are struggling with the same issues. As the result of a successful commercialization the M-Files software was created. Currently M-Files Corporation employs over 300 people. ”Programming and utilising technology to solve practical problems has always been very natural for me. It has been fantastic to see how our brilliant team has been building our company and our products to world fame,” comments Antti Nivala.

World’s most energy efficient engine

Ilari Kallio joined Wärtsilä in 2006, and from 2014 he has acted as the Vice President in R&D. As the chairman of CLIC Innovation Ltd. he has an important role in the Finnish R&D community. At Wärtsilä, or anywhere else, innovations aren’t born by sitting alone in a conference room, but in collaboration; Ilari Kallio has been described as an excellent networker and an active member of the R&D community.

With the support of Kallio, Wärtsilä has been able to stay on the top of the tide of megatrends, utilising digitalisation and cleantech. Wärtsilä engine control the markets. Wärtsilä’s competitiveness is also built on a strong portfolio of maintenance services. “Leading an R&D organization in a large corporation is a challenging task where you need to have a sound understanding in leading people and in the technology you are dealing with. The R&D activities are essential in a large corporation to sustain the competitiveness, and our R&D team deserves to be acknowledged,” says Ilari Kallio.

Ilari Kallio was absent, so we heard his thanks from a prerecorded video.

The Finland’s CTO of the Year prize is awarded for the sixth time this year as a distinction to technology leaders who have had a positive influence on their company’s technological aptitude and possibilities for growth. The CTO of the Year acts as an inspiring leader and has an active role in the society. The awardees are chosen by a jury consisting of leading technology experts in Finland. The chairman of the jury is Professor Yrjö Neuvo. The CTO Forum is a community for Chief Technology Officers and technology leaders to learn from their peers and benchmark against the best practices in the field. The Forum provides a platform for networking across different industries and for companies of all sizes, raises the awareness of Finnish technology leadership and promotes visibility of CTOs and their companies. CTO Forum and the CTO of the Year Award is organized in collaboration with Tekes and Spinverse.

Read more: www.ctoforum.fi

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