In ATARCA, Aalto University is the Coordinator and the main research partner. Aalto is an exceptionally suitable university for the present research, with its diverse schools. 

The COMNET department is a natural leader for this kind of a project, with their wide variety of expertise from DLTs and cybersecurity to techno-economic modelling.  The department of accounting brings in strong understanding of the current accounting practices and their connections with the business practices.  The department of management studies is not only very strong in business ecosystems research but hosts only a strong ethical mindset, looking at the problems companies face from a very wide perspective. Finally, the department of industrial engineering brings in strong theoretical knowhow.

Prof. Pekka Nikander

Professor of Practice

Professor Nikander has over 30 years of research and software development expertise. He is the founder of Nixu Ltd., today a leading computer and network security consultant company in Finland listed at Nasdaq OMX Nordic. Early in his career, he led Nixu for over 10 years, followed by another 10 years at various leadership roles at Ericsson Research, followed by 6 years in six different start-up companies, before being nominated as a professor at Aalto in 2017. Prof. Nikander is first and foremost a generalist in ICT. He has 30 years of experience, both at personal and at group-leadership level, on architecting, designing, and implementing secure and scalable distributed and decentralised systems, including protocol stacks. He has written some half a million lines of code. Prof. Nikander has authored or co-authored over 100 refereed scientific articles, with almost 10000 citations, is the inventor or a co-inventor in some 20 priority patents, and has a Google H-index of 42. Two of his peer reviewed papers and three of his Internet RFCs have each reached over 500 citations.

Prof. Nikander will act as the scientific coordinator with the project, working closely together with a project manager, who is to be nominated from Aalto Research and Innovation Services at the beginning of the project.  Together they take care of the Coordinator role within the project, Prof. Nikander focusing on the scientific and technical content and the project manager on the day-to-day management.

Prof. Vikash Kumar Sinha

Assistant professor of accounting

Professor Sinha is an expert in risk management and internal auditing. Vikash holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Economics and Management from KTH Royal Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering from Politecnico Di Milano. Vikash’s research focuses on practices, standards, regulation and digital transformations (such as DLTs) of accounting and audit activities, especially risk management, internal audit, and corporate governance. His research specifically covers institutional, social, organisational and ethical aspects of accounting and auditing activities. In his academic pursuits, Vikash also draws on his 8+ years of experience in Management and Technology consulting focusing on Operational Automation, Financial Assessment, Transaction Advisory, and Risk Management for clients in Banking & Financial Services. 

Prof. Sinha a first-time participant to FET under H2020.

Dr. Sonja M. Amadae

University lecturer

Dr. Amadae is an expert on political economy and computational forms of governance.

Dr. Amadae is currently employed at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki. She also has affiliations with MIT and Cambridge University and Stanford University. If ATARCA gets funded, she will work at Aalto University for the purposes of the project. 

Dr. Amadae’s current research at the Center for the Advanced Study of the Social and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford analyses neoliberal forms of capitalism which are characterised by highly inequitable distributional outcomes.  She is conducting research on the Nordic Model of political economy as an alternative to the deregulated global movement of capitalism which has little regard for the inclusive flourishing of local communities and diverse constituencies.  Dr. Amadae’s experience with algorithmic governance includes the role of computational forms of rationality in public policy, and the cybersecurity risks of automated decision systems in nuclear command and control.  

Dr. Amadae’s successful projects include the award-winning book Rationalizing Capitalist Democracy (University of Chicago Press, 2003, over 650 citations); and Prisoners of Reason: Game Theory and Neoliberal Political Economy (Cambridge University Press, 2016, over 100 citations).  Together these texts lay the basis for a paradigm change in political economic practices away from the hyper-individualism of strategic rationality to social forms of team reasoning and shared meaning-making. This research respects the important roles of advanced digital technologies for facilitating social exchange and governance, and also helps us to recognise its limitations for facilitating the sustainable and open access regeneration of culture and civilisation. At the University of Helsinki, Dr. Amadae is collaborating with colleagues to develop the MA program of  Global Political Economy in the Global Politics and Communications Masters Program.  This work has encompassed a collaborative research project with students which resulted in the edited volume Computational Transformation of the Public Sphere: Theories and Cases (Faculty of the Social Sciences, 2020) in celebration of the Faculty of Social Sciences 75th Anniversary.

She is a first-time participant to FET under H2020.

Dr. Ville Eloranta

University lecturer

Dr. Eloranta is an expert in business model innovation (ecosystem-level and platform business models), design management (connecting design paradigms to management practice), and transdisciplinary higher education.

Dr. Eloranta is working in Aalto University, School of Business, and teaches future transdisciplinary professionals in the International Design Business Management program, and business executives in Aalto Executive Education. He is also involved in the development of Network University FItech: a transformative education endeavour of 7 biggest Finnish universities, Technology Industries of Finland, and TEK). In addition, Dr. Eloranta develops UNITE! – University Network for Innovation, Technology and Engineering, which educates a new generation of European students in science, technology and engi­neering, transcending the traditional engineering education, with an entrepreneurial mind­set.

Before joining academia, Dr. Eloranta worked nearly 20 years as a service designer and programmer, and design agency entrepreneur (founder of a 30-person company in 3 countries), solving digitalisation challenges especially for big B2B customers.

Dr. Eloranta is a first-time participant to FET under H2020.

Dr. Esko Hakanen

Postdoctoral researcher

Dr. Hakanen as enjoyed a short but successful career in academia. His dissertation work, which focused on the effect of digital transformation on the business models of technology industry firms, was submitted for pre-examination less than two years after starting his postgraduate studies. As a vindication of the practical relevance of his research, he won the Pöyry Megatrend challenge in 2018 with the ideas presented in his thesis. During his short academic career, he has already published his work in an FT45-listed journal. 

In addition to his research activities, he has broad organisational responsibilities, acting as the Academic Coordinator for the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, as well as the research manager for the Service Engineering and Management research group. He represents Aalto University in the Batteries Europe initiative by the European Commission and in the Mobility as a Service (MaaS) Alliance.

In this project, Dr. Hakanen will focus on the research activities related to the emerging business models for anti-rival goods. With his colleagues, he already has an extensive background in the complex interplay of the business models between the firm and the ecosystem, and he will continue that research avenue in this project. 

Dr. Hakanen has a multidisciplinary background that he has actively utilised in his research career. Having a master’s degree in Materials Science has proven particularly useful for studying the business models change in the metals and mining industry. Dr. Hakanen is also affiliated with the Aalto Design factory. He has an H-index of 6. He is a first-time participant to FET under H2020.

Ulriikka Järvihaavisto

Doctoral candidate

Ulriikka Järvihaavisto is a Doctoral candidate at the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management at Aalto University. She will be defending her thesis during 2021. Her research focuses on the formation and orchestration of platform ecosystems. She is especially interested in organisational identity change in digital transformation. Her current research context includes industrial platform ecosystems as well as Google’s innovation ecosystem. In this project, she will explore the governance of decentralised platform ecosystems and study the organisational adoption of business models for anti-rival goods.

Her research work has been awarded with the Strategy Prize 2018 by the Strategic Management Society of Finland and she is a wanted platform ecosystem speaker among Finnish industrial companies and organisations. She is currently part of Digital Disruption of Industry -project funded by the Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland.

Ulriikka Järvihaavisto is a first-time participant to FET under H2020.


ATARCA has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The content of this website does not represent the opinion of the European Union, and the European Union is not responsible for any use that might be made of such content.