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Nokia Director Appointed Visiting Professor

5 April 2010

A top executive from mobile phone giant, Nokia, has been appointed as a Visiting Professor at the University of Ulster.

Veli-Pekka Niitamo, Research Director at Nokia, has joined Ulster’s Department of Management team at the Jordanstown campus.

He has held several key positions during his 15 year tenure at the mobile phone company and prior to that held senior roles in the United Nations in New York and at an international consultancy house headquartered in Finland.

Mr Niitamo was also recently appointed as Chair and Ambassador for the Dutch Innovation Strategy on ‘User Driven Innovation Towards Global Lead Markets’ under Prime Minister Balkenende and the Dutch Innovation Platform 2008-2009.

He has been a key figure in the formation and rapid growth of the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL) – an important user-driven innovation platform that comprises more than 120 quadruple-helix (Government-Industry-Academia-User) ecosystems primarily in Europe as well as Africa and South America.

He has chaired the European Network of Living Labs Portfolio Leadership Group - overseeing the development of ENoLL.

It was through his work at ENoLL that links were first established with University of Ulster academic, Brendan Galbraith.

Mr Niitamo said: “I believe that my involvement in bridging industry, public sector and research will benefit the University of Ulster and its faculties as well as Aalto University, which is a very recent merger between three big universities in the Helsinki region and where I hold a position of Executive in Residence.

“Now we have to look for the future and set objectives on how to strengthen our RDI activities in the area of User Driven Open Innovation in platforms such as the Living Labs.”

Professor Marie McHugh, Dean of Ulster Business School, said: “We are delighted that Veli-Pekka Niitamo has been appointed as a Visiting Professor. “He has been working closely with colleagues in the Ulster Business School on a number of research projects. It is excellent to have such a distinguished industrialist, who has such a wealth of knowledge and experience, join us as a Visiting Professor.”

Mr Niitamo is scheduled to return to Ulster later this year in October and a Knowledge Club event on ‘Living Lab and Open Innovation for SMEs’ is planned.

If you are interested in attending this event please

The University of Ulster has two living labs in the ENoLL, firstly, with TRAIL Living Lab that joined as a second wave member, followed by the CST Living Lab, which joined, on the third wave.

Details of both living labs can be found on the ENoLL website