Dr Jari Romanainen joined Technopolis Group Estonia as a part-time Policy Adviser in 2014. Jari has over 30 years of experience in R&D and innovation, and more than 25 years of experience in research and innovation policy design, implementation, governance, evaluation and monitoring. He began working as a researcher at Kemira Ltd in 1984. After a period as a senior lecturer at Pori Institute of Technology in 1989-92, he moved to Tekes (The Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, currently Business Finland) in 1992. At Tekes he worked as a senior technology adviser, programme manager and research manager between 1992 and 1999, during which time, he designed and managed two national technology programmes and was responsible for establishing systematic impact evaluation activities. From 1999 to 2007 he was an executive director responsible for strategy at Tekes. After that he was responsible for designing and establishing customer relations management at Tekes in 2007-11. From 2011 to 2017 he acted as an executive policy adviser for Tekes and the Ministry of Employment and the Economy in Finland, covering strategic intelligence, design, implementation and evaluation of research, innovation and related policies. During the last 15 years, Jari has been instrumental in initiating and designing several new policies and policy instruments in the fields of service innovation; start-ups and young innovative enterprises; availability and quality of private and public innovation and business services; commercialisation of public research; networking and clustering; identifying and activating companies to launch R&D and innovation activities; public procurement of innovation and access to growth funding.
Since 2000, Jari has been consulting or participating in evaluations related to the design, implementation and analysis of R&D and innovation policies and policy instruments in Estonia, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium (Flanders), Austria, Sweden, Latvia and Hungary. He has participated in a number of EU level expert groups and evaluations, including “Improving the Effectiveness of direct public support measures to stimulate private investment in research” in 2002-3, “The future of Key Research Actors in the ERA” in 2005-6, and “Follow-up of the research aspects of the revised Lisbon strategy” in 2006-8. He chaired two TAFTIE taskforces on “EU State aid regulations concerning R&D and innovation” in 2004-2007 and 2009-2011, and in 2012-14 he co-chaired a third one. More recently he has participated in several EU Policy Support Facility projects as an expert or quality reviewer covering countries like Slovakia, Romania, Malta, Cyprus, Estonia, Denmark and Tunisia, analysed several start-up and entrepreneurial ecosystems and related policies in Slovakia, Romania and all five Nordic countries, as well as projects dealing with financial instruments, eHealth, platform economy, technology transfer, international partnerships, digitalisation, innovation procurement, etc.
Jari holds a Doctor of Technology in Chemical Engineering from Åbo Akademi University. He is fluent in English and Finnish and has a basic knowledge of Swedish.