21.3. 2012 Kuukauden kasvo

Export agent for expertise in Turku

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Teppo Laaksonen graduated from the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the University of Turku in the 1980s. He has long experience in various positions related to internationalisation and marketing, especially in the field of Life Sciences. Majoring in biochemistry, Mr Laaksonen found his first job at Wallac. During around ten years at Wallac he worked at first as production chemist and later as quality manager and production manager.

"At the time, Wallac was going through an intensive period of internationalisation and was building a foundation for success. The company launched a new diagnostics method based on time-resolved fluorescence. Named DELFIA, the method is unique and accurate and continues to succeed on the global diagnostics markets", Teppo Laaksonen says.

In the mid-1990s, Mr Laaksonen changed from Wallac to a considerably smaller company, Piiloset by Finnsusp Oy which manufactures spectacle lenses and care products for contact lenses in Lieto.

"I worked as the product manager of care products for contact lenses. I also participated actively in marketing, especially export efforts. Finnsusp gave me important experience in a Finnish, successful, entrepreneur-driven organisation that has opportunities for success in international markets, too."

To the heart of the science park

In late 1990s, Teppo Laaksonen found a new job in Turku Science Park, in Aboa Tech Oy that operated in ElectroCity and specialised in technology transfer. As the director responsible for biotechnology projects he searched for routes to the commercial markets for the innovations of local universities. In 2001, he switched to Labmaster Oy where he participated in the commercialisation of new measurement technology related to IVD (In Vitro Diagnostics), and also worked as the managing director from the year 2002.

"Labmaster operates globally, so I had the chance to meet representatives of big companies from all continents and collected experiences in selling of technologies and research reagents in international markets. I also got first-hand experience in the operation of a small Life Sciences company and creating operating prerequisites for it. In my new position at Turku Science Park I can efficiently use the experience and networks created at Labmaster and my other previous jobs."

At Turku Science Park Oy Mr Laaksonen works as the Business Development Manager responsible for Invest In activities. The purpose of Invest In activities in Turku is to market Turku to international companies that are looking for a good geographical location or area which can offer key expertise and labour for their business. The focal points of Turku Science Park Oy's Invest In activities are naturally ICT and Life Sciences.

"Turku Science Park Oy can take initiative in starting the co-operation. For example in Life Sciences Turku can offer international companies knowledgeable, highly educated labour with expertise in diagnostics, drug development, nanotechnology as well as biomaterials."

"As for ICT, the Invest In activities are based on different co-operation systems and projects that open up new opportunities for operations and growth to businesses in the field. There are interesting new opportunities related to, for instance, setting up different-sized data centres or computer rooms. Placing them near electricity trunk lines is currently a matter of interest to various major international players. The Turku region could have the potential to attract them."

Asia and Russia as focal areas

Mr Laaksonen says that he is enthusiastic to start work in his new position.

"It's a very challenging and interesting position, and I'm looking forward to getting started. It's great to participate in developing and attracting new businesses to Turku."

There will be plenty of travelling, meetings at international events, but also discussions with individual companies.

"This isn't something you can do at your office. You need to go and meet people. The focal areas are Asia and Russia; Europe is a more challenging area. Finnish know-how and the proximity of Russia are our key advantages. Access to the European markets through Finland is still an interesting alternative to companies based in, for example, Russia or Asia."

Health care and medicine stay close to Teppo Laaksonen on his leisure time, too. His wife works as a scrub nurse and they have three children. The youngest of the children is preparing for the matriculation examination, while the older ones have advanced far in their studies in medicine and dentistry. Mr Laaksonen lives in Mikkolanmäki district in Turku and his favourite leisure activity is music: a band called TOI consists of a group of friends who keep up the motivation by playing once or twice a year for family and friends. Outdoor activities in the archipelago are also important to Mr Laaksonen as he was born there.

 

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Teppo Laaksonen

- Born on 11 January 1959 and lived in Livonsaari up to the age of 10
- Biochemist from the University of Turku in 1988
- Production chemist, quality manager and production manager at Wallac from 1983-1995
- Production manager at Finnsusp by Piiloset Oy from 1995-1999
- Director at AboaTech Oy from 1999-2001
- E.g. managing director at Labmaster Oy from 2001-2012
- Lives in Turku, wife Taina and children Lauri, Katri and Liisa