An international high-level jury makes the final decision about the CTO of the Year 2017 awardee, based on the nominations made on this website.

Tomas Hedenborg, CEO of FASTEMS Oy Ab; President of Orgalime
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Ernst Lutz, Executive Vice President for Business Development, Grundfos
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Gabriele Dobenecker, Head of Marketing, Knowledge & Technology Transfer Group, EMPA
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Jennifer Kite-Powell, Technology Contributor, Forbes
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Ian Roberts, CTO at Bühler, CTO of the Year 2016
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Michael Thiel, CSO and Co-founder of Nanoscribe, CTO of the Year 2016
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Michel Crispi, Co-Secretary of the Jury, Secretary General for EIRMA
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Pekka Koponen, Co-Secretary of the Jury, Founder and CEO of Spinverse
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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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Ernst Lutz
Executive Vice President for Business Development, Grundfos
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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Gabriele Dobenecker
Head of Marketing, Knowledge & Technology Transfer Group, EMPA
Gabriele Dobenecker holds a Master in Computer Science from the University of Hamburg. She spent over 20 years in IT and high tech industries. After some years in application development she held responsible positions in national and international marketing and business development in companies like Sybase, SAS Institute and General Electrics. Furthermore she was consultant and analyst in the areas of customer rela-tionship management and business intelligence, e.g. at Meta Group Inc.

Since the beginning of 2007 Gabriele Dobenecker heads the Marketing, Knowledge and Technology Transfer group at Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research. In this role she is responsible among others for Marketing, Business Development, Knowledge andTechnology Transfer, Events, Start-up support and Sponsoring.
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Jennifer Kite-Powell
Technology Contributor, Forbes
Having once been called the tech Hemingway of Paris, named one of the top 100 women in technology in Europe in 2012 and short listed for TechCrunch Europa's tech journalist of the year in 2013, Jennifer likes the quirky side of technology. She is a technology contributor at Forbes and currently covers science, robotics and European technology, as featured on Huffpost Live's Nerd Forum. She was previously assistant press secretary for U.S. Senator Sam Nunn and a media spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Jennifer served on the Editorial Board of Pioneers Festival in Vienna and is also the co-founder of FORGED a couture strategy and content firm. She was also the founder and CEO of boutique PR and content agency, SpilledINK for 14 years. SpilledINK focused on deep tech, IoT and IPTV companies. Eighty percent of its clients were acquired by major corporates like Google, Vodafone and Cisco. For example, long-term client PrimeSense was acquired by Apple in November 2013 for $350 million. 
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Ian Roberts
Chief Technology Officer at Bühler AG, CTO of the Year 2016 (Large Companies)
Ian Roberts graduated in chemical engineering and obtained a PhD in process engineering from the University of Wales, Great Britain. From 1997 through 2009, he held various management positions at Nestlé, acting among other things as an internal management consultant, as Director of Innovation for Nestlé Mexico, and as Director of the Chocolate Centre of Excellence in Switzerland. He has been Chief Technology Officer at Bühler since 2011. Since December 2015, Ian Roberts chairs the Evaluation Board of Wyss Institute Zurich and is on the board of the start-up accelerator MassChallenge Switzerland. He received the European CTO of the Year award in 2016.
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Michael Thiel
Chief Science Officer and Co-founder of Nanoscribe CTO of the Year 2016 (SMEs)
Dr. Michael Thiel is co-founder, authorized officer and Chief Science Officer (CSO) of the company. His focus lies on the development of technical innovations in research and development. After studying physics and attending the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the U.S., he earned his PhD at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in the subject field of 3D laser lithography. For his work he received the KIT PhD Award in 2011. Michael Thiel is INSEAD alumnus since 2015. In 2016, he was chosen to be one of Germany's best innovators under 35. The same year he has received the European CTO of the Year 2016 award.
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Michel Crispi, Co-Secretary of the Jury
Secretary General Eirma (European Industrial Research Management Association)
Michel Crispi is EIRMA Secretary General since January 2015. Michel started his professional career in 1984 at the Free University of Brussels as researcher in control engineering and system analysis and since 1987 Michel held various positions in different multinational organizations (Philips Telesoft International, UCB, Gillam/GBL, Tessenderlo Chemie) and fields like Process Control, Telecommunication and Chemical industries.
Michel assumed functions in R&D, Quality management, ICT, Business Development, Controlling, Internal Audit, Merge & Acquisition and General Management.
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Pekka Koponen, Co-Secretary of the Jury
Founder and CEO of Spinverse
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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