Juha Salmela
 The European CTO of the Year 2018 Image: Spinnova

Juha Salmela named European CTO of the Year

The innovator and co-founder of Finnish sustainable fibre startup Spinnova, Juha Salmela, has been chosen as Europe’s chief technology officer of 2018.

The annual European CTO of the Year award is presented to the most prominent technology leaders of European companies by the European Industrial Research Management Association, together with innovation consulting company Spinverse.

A former, long-time researcher and team leader at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Salmela invented a way to spin textile fibre purely from microfibrillated cellulose without any harmful chemicals in 2009. In only four years, the idea spun off from the laboratory into an industrial pilot, and then into startup Spinnova.

“This recognition for Salmela is well deserved, thank you to the organisers,” said Spinnova’s CEO and co-founder Janne Poranen. “In addition to being our innovator and the mastermind behind our technology, Juha is also an inspiring colleague and a caring team leader who wants to see other people succeed.”

Salmela was chosen as Europe’s most prominent CTO in the category for small and medium-size companies, while Dr. Nicolas Cudré-Mauroux from chemical company Solvay earned the same title in the category for large companies, also for sustainable innovations.


Spinnova’s chief innovator Juha Salmela is also a father, ultra light aviator and ski instructor. Image: Spinnova

Learn how Salmela’s idea spun off into Spinnova and inspired a greener textile industry in our feature article.

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