In 2019, an international high-level jury will make the final decision about the CTO of the Year 2019 awardees, based on the nominations made on this website.


Malte Lohan, Director General of Orgalim, Europe’s Technology Industries
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Ernst Lutz, EIRMA President
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Rada Rodriguez, CEO Schneider Electric GmbH Germany, SVP Strategy & Alliances
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Tomas Hedenborg, CEO of FASTEMS Oy Ab; President of Orgalim, Europe’s Technology industries
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Anne-Christine Ayed, AOC Innovation President, Former EVP of Research & Innovation, Tarkett
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Nicolas Cudre-Mauroux, Research & Innovation Group General Manager (CTO) of Solvay, CTO Europe 2018 winner
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Juha Salmela, CTO and co-founder of Spinnova, CTO Europe 2018 winner
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Pekka Koponen, Secretary of the Jury, Founder and Chairman of Spinverse
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Malte Lohan
Director General of Orgalim, Europe’s Technology Industries
Malte Lohan is the Director General of Orgalim, Europe’s Technology Industries, speaking for innovative companies spanning the mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and electronics, and metal technology branches. Together they represent the EU’s largest manufacturing sector, generating annual turnover of around €2,000 billion, manufacturing one-third of all European exports and providing 11 million direct jobs.

Appointed Orgalim Director General in January 2018, Malte is responsible for setting Orgalim’s strategy, acting as the senior representative of the European technology industries in Brussels and managing the operations of the association. He joined Orgalim from Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s leading brewer, where most recently he was Head of Corporate Affairs for AB InBev’s European region. Prior to joining AB InBev in 2014, Malte was Public Affairs Director at the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA). He has also worked at Interel, one of Brussels’ leading public affairs agencies, and in the European Parliament.

Malte has held numerous voluntary leadership positions, including President of the Society of European Affairs Professionals (SEAP), which represents the interests of the public affairs community in Brussels. Malte obtained his BA in philosophy and economics at the LSE and went on to complete an MSc in political science at LSE. In 2016, he took part in a corporate MBA programme at AB InBev.

Ernst Lutz
EIRMA President
Ernst Lutz studied Mechanical Engineering at ETH Zurich, Switzerland and Virginia Tech in Blacksburg VA, USA, where he received his PhD. In addition he holds a master´s degree in business management. He has been working in the metals and mining industry for 16 years (alusuisse, Alcan, RioTinto), during which he has held various technology management positions globally. In 2011 he relocated from Shanghai to Winterthur to become corporate Chief Technology Officer of Sulzer. Dr. Lutz has been the CEO of EIT Raw Materials, while currently he is serving as an Executive Vice President for Business Development at Grundfos.
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Rada Rodriguez
CEO Schneider Electric GmbH Germany, SVP Strategy & Alliances
Rada Rodriguez joined Schneider Electric in 2000 and has been at Schneider Electric Germany since October 2009. Six years ago, she was named CEO of Schneider Electric GmbH and Country President Germany, and in 2017 she assumed the additional role of Senior Vice President Global Alliances. In over 30 years working primarily in international corporations she has combined leadership roles and technical expertise across sales and marketing, product and offer management, project management, business development, steering international R&D teams, and overseeing integration of acquisitions and internal change processes. Ms Rodriguez is also a member of the Board of Directors of ZVEI, the German electrical engineering and electronics association.

Tomas Hedenborg
CEO of FASTEMS Oy Ab; President of Orgalime
Tomas Hedenborg graduated as M.Sc from the Helsinki University of Technology (nowadays Aalto University) in 1985, specializing in Automotive Technology and Combustion Engines. He started his professional career in the automotive industry in R&D management, based in Germany, working for automotive system suppliers Valeo and later Faurecia. Gradually moving in to general management positions, led to the opportunity to become CEO of German-based HBPO, a growth-company specialized in front end modules for cars. The company grew rapidly from a 70 MEUR company in 2000 to a close to 500 MEUR company in 2005 when Tomas left the company.

Moving back to Finland in 2005 to become CEO of Finn-Power, gave Tomas the opportunity to enter the machine tool industry and develop the company to a leading player in its field and facilitating the merger with Italian Prima Industrie to create the #3 player worldwide. After assisting with the integration of the new group, Tomas then moved to Fastems, the factory automation specialist, in 2011. Driving the renewal of the company strategy as Executive Chairman, then led to Tomas stepping into an operational role as Group CEO beginning of 2013. Implementation of an ambitious growth strategy is his main agenda.
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Anne-Christine Ayed
AOC Innovation President
Former EVP of Research & Innovation, Tarkett

Anne-Christine Ayed spent 30 years in strategic leadership positions, relentlessly proving that innovation and sustainability can both drive business growth and human progress. She is currently the President of AOC Innovation, a consulting firm working among others with +Impakt and the Ministry of Economy in Luxembourg in the field of Circular Economy. She was Group Executive Vice President Research, Innovation & Environment of Tarkett, a global leader in Flooring and Sports solutions. She has lead Tarkett to launch many innovative products and services and to develop its environmental strategy “Doing Good. Together”, which positions Tarkett as the circular economy industry leader. 

Before joining Tarkett, she spent 15 years with Dow Chemical where she held several R&D and business development leadership positions in Switzerland, Germany and USA. She has earned several awards that recognize her achievements and impact in the field of transformative & sustainable business innovation.  In addition to her professional activities, she was a trusted advisor of Research & Industry Associations and is a current board member of EIRMA (European Industrial Research Management Association).
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Nicolas Cudre-Mauroux
Research & Innovation Group General Manager (CTO) of Solvay
Nicolas Cudre-Mauroux obtained a PhD in Materials Science from Swiss Institute of Technology (EPFL), in Lausanne. He joined DuPont de Nemours in July 1988, where he had several positions, like managing the new DuPont European Technical Center in the 1990s. He got an Engineering Corporate excellence award for the development of new Kevlar fiber. After being European Business Director for the Advanced Fibers Systems and Nonwovens strategic business units, he became Technology Director for DuPont Protection Technologies. He then made a change in his carrier to lead the integration process for all research and technology aspects in the area of biotechnology after the acquisition of Danisco by DuPont. He was named Global Technology Director - DuPont Nutrition & Health, a major jump outside his materials science comfort zone. He has a very broad range of expertise, like but not limited to materials science, polymers, composites, food technology and bio-technology. He is keen on Technology management, open innovation, technology-market interface, Business and strategy development, growth in emerging markets. Nicolas CUDRE-MAUROUX joined SOLVAY in July 2015 as Group General Manager for Research & Innovation.
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Juha Salmela
CTO and co-founder of Spinnova
Prior to inventing the method for spinning fibre out of cellulose, Juha was a team leader of VTT’s rheology and process flows team. At VTT he was developing non-invasive research methods for opaque fluids and our group was among the first to utilize Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to study rheological properties of complex fluids (including cellulose nano-fibrils, CNF). He also spent one great year as a visiting scientist at UBC (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada) working for Professor Mark Martinez at pulp and paper centre. He acts as a leader of experimental techniques working group in COST action FP1005 “fibre suspension flow modelling” and management committee member of Cost Action MP1305 “Flowing Matter” and associate editor of Frontiers in chemistry open access journal and TAPPI fluid mechanics committee member.  Juha has also led several large industrial process development projects.

Pekka Koponen, Secretary of the Jury
Founder, Chairman of Spinverse Ltd.
At Spinverse, Pekka has created a platform for his passion for bringing new technologies to market, driving the growth of new business and building partnerships. Founded in 2004, Spinverse is the Nordic leader in innovation consulting, specialised in driving open innovation ecosystems, arranging funding and commercialising emerging technologies. Pekka has strong international experience in bringing new technologies to markets. He is especially known for his work in commercialising emerging technologies as a behind-the-scenes deal-maker for the most respected organisations in the world. Before founding Spinverse, Pekka had exciting 14 years at Nokia during its most exciting growth. He joined Nokia as a smart card expert for the company’s first GSM phone and wrote software that shipped in 500 million pockets. His later achievements included cellular network market entries in a number of emerging countries, facilitating company’s ecosystem strategy and developing corporate venturing operations.  His extensive international career includes expatriate assignments in China, Singapore, UK and Czech Republic.

Under Pekka’s leadership, Spinverse has delivered successfully over 400 assignments, coordinated over €1 billion of public funds and developed world’s largest R&D investors’ innovation excellence. Spinverse has had a vital part in forming innovation networks of over 12,000 people from over 60 countries by organising high-tech events. Pekka holds an MBA from IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland and a Master of Science degree in Computer Science and Engineering from University of Oulu .
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