Maritta Perälä-Heape

Maritta Perälä-Heape

Professor of Practice in Data-enabled Healthcare and Innovation Ecosystems; Director, Centre for Health and Technology, University of Oulu

Maritta Perälä-Heape is Professor of Practice in Data-enabled Healthcare and Innovation Ecosystems as well as Director of the Centre for Health and Technology in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Oulu in Finland. She manages the OuluHealth strategic research, development and innovation (R&D&I) collaboration between academia, the business sector and the public health sector. She has over 30 years of experience in life science and the health-care sector, mainly in R&D&I management and funding, industrial R&D&I, business development, innovation politics and international network-building.

Perälä-Heape’s main interests are digitally aided person-centric care and data-intensive innovations and businesses. Her current focus is on building a national research and innovation knowledge hub (DigiHealth Hub) in Finland, and on creating synergies with European innovation partnerships and smart specialization strategies. She enhances open collaboration by bringing stakeholders together and building larger R&D&I programmes to address the future needs of society. She gathers top researchers, health-care providers and strategic business partners to solve problems and link multidisciplinary research to innovation activities. Perälä-Heape is actively influencing governmental and European Union strategies and funding initiatives to better harness emerging opportunities, synergies and complementarities with other policies.