Tiina Nakari-Setälä appointed as Vice President of Industrial biotechnology and food at VTT

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Tiina Nakari-Setälä, Doctor of Philosophy (Biochemistry), has been appointed as Vice President of the Industrial biotechnology and food research area at VTT. Having previously worked in multiple roles in research, business development, sales and strategy across VTT over a span of 30 years, Tiina brings a wealth of experience and a visionary approach to her new role.

Tiina Nakari-Setälä originally started out as a Research Scientist at VTT in 1993, and most recently worked as the Head of Business Development of VTT’s Sustainable products and materials business area. “I'm sort of returning to my roots, as I’m working with research and biotechnology again,” she says.

Nakari-Setälä’s rich commercial and strategic background plays a pivotal role in her new position. “Tiina’s 30-year journey with VTT has been marked by an exceptional blend of scientific expertise and commercial insight. With Tiina in this role, we confidently look forward to a sustainable future of innovation,” says Tua Huomo, EVP of VTT’s Sustainable products and materials business area.

Pioneering the next wave of biotechnological innovations

With a clear vision in mind, Nakari-Setälä is keen on harnessing the potential of industrial biotechnology and synthetic biology in driving the green transition. “Industrial biotechnology and synthetic biology are key enablers in addressing global challenges like carbon neutrality and greenhouse gas emissions.”

For Nakari-Setälä, alternative protein sources and cellular agriculture stand out as major trends in the food production landscape. VTT's expertise in cultivating plant protein sources and producing food-appropriate proteins through fermenters is well positioned to address the urgent demand for a sustainable and resilient food system. Nakari-Setälä envisions a world where bio-based products and processes dominate and where we can utilise raw materials that are currently discarded as waste. “Biotechnology can lead to applications where food production could become increasingly independent of land use. This would involve producing food proteins and other food components in fermenters, for example,” she explains.

In concluding her thoughts, Nakari-Setälä asserts her ambition to steer the research area towards creating a significant impact. “Collaborating closely with commercial entities, emphasizing customer-centricity and leveraging VTT's multi-technological strengths, I am keen to ensure our research truly transforms the industry,” she shares.

Tiina NakariSetälä
Tiina Nakari-Setälä
Our vision beyond 2030

Demand for food is growing at the same rate as the world population. Food production needs to be both sufficiently efficient and less harmful for the environment than before. The challenge is massive, but big steps have already been taken in the right direction.