Digital Futures is brought to you by a large, and constantly growing, team from across the university:


Heli Salminen-Mankonen is the Digital Futures Coordinator – the linchpin around whom we are building the UTU Digital Futures profile! Heli is a founder and head of the Auria Biobank (the first hospital biobank in Finland based on current legislation). During the last few years she has delivered more than 100 invited lectures on Biobanks and innovative data driven medicine. Heli has significant scientific coordination and management experience from several domestic and international projects. In addition, she is also a co-organizer in a number of high-level scientific meetings and events, both international and domestic, and has more than 25 publications in the field of molecular biology. In 2014 Heli was selected to be one of the top ten most influential Finnish health care professionals by the Medi-Uutiset newspaper.Heli is seconded to DF from her role as the Director of the Auria Biobank

Anne Kovalainen, Professor at the Entreprenurship Unit contributes a business and society perspective to DF events and activity. She has held the Academy of Finland Minna Canth Professorship in 2010-2014, and has been a visiting faculty fellow at the Stanford University Michelle R. Clayman Gender Institute, at the LSE, Massachusetts University and at Roskilde University. She has worked as a visiting professor at the Gender Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science, as well as at University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, and at Kingston University, UK. In addition to her participation in Digital Futures, Anne heads the Academy of Finland Strategic Research Council consortium SWiPE – Smart Work in Platform Economy, as well as the University of Turku Strategic Project Knowledge Governance.

Tuomas Mylly functions as professor of European Economic Law. He is also Director of the Master’s Degree Programme in Law and Information Society (LIS). He has graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Turku in 1995 (LL.M.). After this, he studied in an EU Law Master’s Degree Program at Stockholm University (LL.M.Eur.). He completed his doctoral studies in law in January 2010 (LL.D.). He has previously served as a visiting scholar at the Kyushu University in Japan, worked as professor of international law and European law, as well as a lawyer in a law firm and legal counsel at Nokia Corporation. His research focuses on the information economy and more broadly the regulation of the information society. His research has involved intellectual property, competition and European law. His current research interest relates to constitutional protection of intellectual property in the EU and globally, as well as the regulation of the platform society and algorithmic decision-making.

Risto Kalliola is a professor and the head of department in the Department of Geography and Geology. He has a strong interest in developing education and research related to geospatial information and geographic information systems (GIS) in the University of Turku. His research interests range from research in Finnish coastal waters to the tropical forests in Amazonia.

Hanna Luhtala works as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Geography and Geology, at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Her research interests include coastal geography and marine spatial planning (MSP), with geospatial information playing an important role in her work. She is also involved in a project developing virtual geospatial information infrastructure for research in Finland, as well as in Digital Futures as a member of the young researchers group.Outside her daily work, Hanna is interested in data science and would like to improve her skills in programming and modelling.In her free time Hanna enjoys spending time outdoors or at the gym.

Antti Karlsson is a theoretical physics PhD working as a data scientist at the Auria Biobank in Turku. He does a lot of data mining, visualizations, descriptive statistics and lately focused on text mining and natural language processing for extracting information from clinical texts. For DF Antti is a member of the young researchers group charged with running the DF website and community.Antti is originally from Rauma, did his BSc in Turku and MSc at the Perimter Insitute for theoretical physics in Waterloo, Canada. In his free time, he loves lifting weights, fishing, cycling and the outdoors. Some say that he also likes to read stoic philosophy and do recreational mathematics based on his quantum physics research.

Samu Kurki, PhD, is a senior researcher / data scientist working at Auria Biobank, the first clinical biobank in Finland. Samu did his PhD on theoretical physics, where he developed mathematical models to analyze the data produced at high-energy particle colliders, such as the LHC at CERN. Currently, Samu is doing multidisciplinary data science at the biobank, working with the clinical and biological data that is associated with the samples. The real value of biobanks both for academic researchers and for pharmaceutical companies is in the available data. Samu has years of experience on working with and integrating biobank and hospital IT infrastructure, and using clinical data for medical research and biobank studies. Samu’s daily work involves working in multidisciplinary teams to solve real-world challenges using the methods of information technology, programming, mathematics, statistics, and medicine. In his free time, Samu enjoys fencing, travelling, and photography.

Matti Karinen is a Doctoral Candidate at the entrepreneurship unit conducting research on entrepreneurial universities as well as the platform economy and new forms of work alongside his doctoral project on ”Pathways to Primary Sector MNE Legitimacy”. For DF Matti is a member of the young researchers group charged with running the DF website and community.From London by birth, prior to his studies in Finland, Matti lived in South East Asia for almost ten years. He enjoys reading SciFi and has lately developed an interest in late roman and early medieval history. This he combines with troubleshooting recalcitrant computers (how those go together is anyone’s guess).

Samuli Melart is a Doctoral Candidate at the Faculty of Law and a member of the Digital Futures young researchers group. He graduated from the University of Turku (LLM) in 2017. His academic interests centres on the interplay between legal and technological developments in the information society, primarily in the spheres of intellectual property, private regulation and fundamental rights. Previously, he has studied in Estonia and Thailand. Outside academic world, Samuli concentrates most of his efforts on musical endeavours, building guitar amplifiers and raising his kids. Rest of the time is spent with “nerdy stuff” such computer games.

Jaakko Vainio has a background, and a PhD, in theoretical physics. Currently he is working as a data scientist at the Center for Collaborative Research at the University of Turku and as the CEO of a data science and game company Lokus Digital. The work at the university aims at a game recommendation engine and involves data mining and machine learning.
Through Lokus Digital he has worked on several topics, like risk management and fraud detection, for industry partners. He is also the organizer of Turku Data Science Meetups.
Jaakko revels in his background as a mad scientist. His passion is to bring science and ideas to life. New ideas are nice, but unless they become reality, they are not worth much. This has lead Jaakko to be involved in several ventures and volunteer projects, such as organizing TEDx. With what time is left, Jaakko likes to spend with computer games, cooking and the outdoors.