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Steering Group

FinnCERES Steering Group is the main decision-making body in the Flagship.

Steering Group is responsible for specifying the strategic objectives and the operation strategy of the Flagship. In addition, it supervises the implementation of the Flagship by evaluating and ensuring the focus of research activities.

The Steering Group of FinnCERES consists of seven members:

Kristiina Kruus works as the Dean in the School of Cemical Engineering in Aalto University.  She obtained her doctoral degree from Helsinki University of Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering. Most of her scientific work is related in enzymatic modification and degradation of plant biomass. Kristiina Kruus has published more than 100 peer reviewed scientific papers and book chapters. During 1997-2018 she worked at VTT, Technical Research Centre of Finland in different positions, the last eight years as the Research Professor in the area of applied enzymology of renewable biomasses.  She is a member of the Academy of Finland Research Council of Biosciences Health and the Environment (2016-) and a docent at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Forestry and Agriculture.

Tiina Nakari-Setälä has made an extensive career at VTT in many different positions that have provided her excellent perspective and expertise on R&D&I. She is particularly interested in developing research strategies and commercializing research results into tangible solutions to market and customer needs through technology transfer, licensing and spin-offs. Research and business in bio-based value chains and circular economy are close to her heart.

Janne Laine has diverse leadership experience from holding various positions at Aalto University – he has served as Dean of the School of Chemical Engineering and as Head and Vice Head of Forest Products Technology and as Professor of Forest Products Chemistry.

Laine holds a number of national and international positions of trust. At Aalto, he has built programmes on industrial collaboration, entrepreneurship and multidisciplinary research, and has been responsible for commercialising IoncellTM and AaltoCellTM technologies. Tens of patents and several startup companies have emerged from projects under his leadership.


Jussi Manninen has diverse experience in management of strategic research and development programmes as well as whole research organizations. He focuses on building research collaboration networks and on technology transfer to industry. His main expertise covers bioeconomy and resource efficient processes as well as process simulation and optimisation.

Professor Ikkala heads the Molecular Materials laboratory at Department of Applied Physics of Aalto University and Centre of Excellence in Molecular Engineering of Biosynthetic Hybrid Materials Research (HYBER) of Academy of Finland. His research interests involve developing functional materials based on hierarchical self-assemblies, biomimetics, and materials originating from nature, such as nanocellulose.


Research Professor Tammelin’s research draws on the inherent features of cell wall systems: its components and functions. The prime target is the generation of new knowledge of lignocellulose-based materials and their behaviour in order to pave the way towards novel biomaterial solutions.


Professor Rojas focuses on finding competitive alternatives to fossil materials through research into bio-based materials at different size scales, mainly those displaying large interfacial areas such as micro- or nanofibres, fibre networks, particles and colloidal systems. His mission, given his international experience, is to gain a worldwide impact for FinnCERES by partnering with other research clusters with shared interests.


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