Innovation: making it work for you

National seminar series

View Brisbane's Q&A session

METS Ignited was proud to host international industrial innovation authority Dr Erkki Ormala in Australia in March 2017.

Dr Erkki Ormala, Professor of Practice, Innovation Management at Aalto University Business School in Finland delivered a national series of seminars on industrial innovation as part of METS Ignited's Thought Leadership program.

Dr Ormala is an academic, an advisor to the Finnish Government and has held global commercial roles. He has led technology and innovation development in Europe for more than 20 years.

Dr Ormala is the chair of the Horizon 2020 Industrial Innovation Transition review, and Australian audiences were among the first in the world to hear the result of this study. Over 600 leading European companies across five sectors have participated in the study investigating drivers for successful innovation and its contribution to their success.

The innovation leadership lectures also featured a panel of Australia's leading figures in the METS, mining and research sectors, discussing the impact of this emerging information on the Australian METS environment.

More than 500 people attended the lectures in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth from 13-17 March 2017.

Key topics

While topics ranged across Australia, common themes emerged around the importance of personnel and corporate culture in innovation, skills and education for the future workforce, commercialisation and capital investment, and intellectual property.

A further theme related to the challenges facing METS SMEs in the innovation space, in particular with resource deployment for innovation and new product development.

Dr Ormala said the culture of innovation has changed, citing the internet, the ecosystem game and open innovation as examples of new developments.

It was recognised during the seminar that there was evidence of emerging ecosystems within Australia where METS, mining and research institutions are driving innovation through open collaboration in the form of clusters.

“It is important to understand the role of corporate culture, management processes and practices when promoting innovation in sustainable way,” Dr Ormala said.

Dr Ormala said government played an important role in promoting industrial innovation, with “a good and open dialogue between public and private playing a critical role in the future”.

The lectures were particularly relevant as they followed the release of a report by Innovation and Science Australia that found Australia was good at creating knowledge but less successful in transferring and applying it. To help Australian companies address this, Dr Ormala discussed his study of hundreds of innovative companies and how they have become world leaders.

About our speaker

Dr Erkki Ormala is Professor of Practice, Innovation Management at Aalto University Business School, Finland. He graduated in 1974 and received his PhD in 1986 from the Helsinki University of Technology.

He was a Senior Research Engineer at the Technical Research Centre of Finald from 1974-1987. From 1987-1999, he was the Secretary of the Science and Technology Policy Council of Finland.

From 1999-2013, Dr Ormala worked at Nokia as a VP, Business Environment. He was in charge of developing a favourable business environment for Nokia globally. He has published more than 60 scientific papers.

In 1992, he led an international evaluation of the economic and social impacts of the Eureka Scheme. From 1996-1999 he chaired the OECD Working Group of Technology and Innovation Policy. In 2004, he chaired the Five-Year-Assessment of the EU Research Framework Programme covering 1999-2003.

From 2008-2012 he was the President of Digitaleurope, 2008-2010 he was a member of the Board of Helsinki University of Technology and from 2010-2014 he was a member of the Board of the University of Oulu. He joined Aalto University Business School as a Professor of Practice, Innovation Management in 2013.