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European CTOs of the Year 2018 awards highlight sustainability and open innovation


06 Feb 2019


Innovation & Enterprise
The CTO of the Year Europe 2018 awards were announced today during EU Industry Days in Brussels. The winners in both categories excel in driving sustainability through innovative use of technology in their companies and surrounding ecosystem.
The CTO of the Year Europe award is given annually to the most prominent technology leaders of highly successful European companies: inspiring leaders and foresighted technology managers. The award is given by European industrial research management association EIRMA together with innovation consulting company Spinverse.
The CTO of the Year Europe 2018 winners, announced during the EU Industry Days, are Dr. Nicolas Cudré-Mauroux and Mr. Juha Salmela. Both CTOs and their companies focus on using technology in an innovative way to promote sustainability.
Boosting Breakthrough and Open Innovation in the chemical industry
The winner in the category of Large Companies is Dr. Nicolas Cudré-Mauroux, Research & Innovation Group General Manager (CTO) of Solvay, a Brussels-based specialty chemicals and advanced materials company, operating in 53 countries.
In roughly three years, Dr. Cudré-Mauroux has turned Solvay’s R&D into an agile and dynamic customer-oriented organization that has significantly contributed to sales growth in Solvay’s main markets. Thanks to stronger interfaces between Solvay’s research, marketing and strategy, teams are better positioned to assess the value of potential projects. Close partnerships with start-ups and leading universities furthermore allow teams to develop synergies between short and long-term projects. In addition, Dr Cudré-Mauroux and his team implemented innovative managing processes allowing for the combination of speed and radical innovation. This strong model of breakthrough and open innovation addresses Solvay’s global customer demand for clean mobility and resource efficiency in its key markets including automotive, electronics, agriculture, energy storage and oil & gas.
Bio-based textile fibres – without harmful chemicals
The award winner in the Small and Medium Enterprises category is CTO and co-founder of Spinnova, Mr. Juha Salmela. Spinnova develops new, pure bio-based materials for the textile industry with a unique method. Salmela and Spinnova’s expert team have scaled the innovation from a laboratory scale into a large industrial pilot in just four years, with a technology concept invented by Salmela.
There are no waste streams in Spinnova’s production process. Its only side product is evaporated water which is also recycled back into the process. What differentiates Spinnova from other bio-based textile materials is that its process includes no dissolving or any other harmful and complex chemical processes.
“We are very glad and proud to select these two prominent CTOs among very tough competition.” comments Ernst Lutz, the President of EIRMA. “They both perfectly meet the award criteria by having brought their company’s performance to a new level through technology and innovation, being masters of open innovation and ability to communicate efficiently with top management, their peers and best experts. This is exactly the kind of leadership we need to drive European competitiveness and employment for successful future.”
CTO of the Year Europe Award has since 2014 elevated great European innovators of great companies, ranging from global giants like Intel and Rolls-Royce to agile growth companies like Avantium and Nanolive.
“This award was established to promote excellence in technological innovation and give recognition to people who work hard to support European competitiveness. We will continue to develop the CTO of the Year Europe concept and will release new major partnerships later this year” promises Pekka Koponen, the Founder and Chairman of Spinverse Ltd.
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European CTO of the Year is the leading European award honouring excellence in technology and innovation leadership, awarded by EIRMA (European Industrial Research Management Association) and Spinverse (Nordic leader in innovation consulting). The concept is Pan-European and was established to strengthen innovation in Europe and celebrate those who advance technology and innovate. The European CTO of the Year Award was launched in 2014. Since then it has been given to CTOs who are both inspiring leaders and competent technology developers. The winners are awarded in two categories – SMEs and large corporations - to highlight that both are needed to support technology-based growth in Europe. #CTOoftheyear
Solvay is an advanced materials and specialty chemicals company, committed to developing chemistry that addresses key societal challenges. Solvay innovates and partners with customers worldwide in many diverse end markets. Its products are used in planes, cars, batteries, smart and medical devices, as well as in mineral and oil and gas extraction, enhancing efficiency and sustainability. Its lightweighting materials promote cleaner mobility, its formulations optimize the use of resources and its performance chemicals improve air and water quality. Solvay is headquartered in Brussels with around 26,800 employees in 61 countries. Net sales were €10.1 billion in 2017, with 90% from activities where Solvay ranks among the world’s top 3 leaders, resulting in an EBITDA margin of 22%. Solvay SA (SOLB.BE) is listed on Euronext Brussels and Paris (Bloomberg: SOLB.BB - Reuters: SOLB.BR) and in the United States its shares (SOLVY) are traded through a level 1 ADR program. Financial figures take into account the announced divestment of Polyamides.
Spinnova is a Finnish, sustainable fibre company that develops ecological breakthrough technology for manufacturing cellulose-based textile fibre. Spinnova’s patented technology includes 0% harmful chemicals and 0% waste or side streams, making the fibre and the production method the most sustainable in the world. Spinnova’s raw material commitment is to only use FSC certified wood or waste streams. Spinnova’s objective is to globally commercialize the fibre products in collaboration with major textile brands.


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