Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT is a joint research institute of Aalto University and the University of Helsinki for basic and applied research on information technology.

HIIT’s mission is to conduct top-level research, seamlessly moving between fundamental methods and technologies to novel applications and their impact on people and society. HIIT is a strategic partnership of Aalto University and University of Helsinki for enhancing the quality, visibility and impact of Finnish IT research. HIIT’s research is interdisciplinary, operating across departments and with industry. The current foci of research are AI, data, security and health.

HIIT groups co-operate with the information industry and with sciences applying information technology. HIIT works in a multidisciplinary way, with scientists from computer, natural, behavioural and social sciences, as well as from humanities and design. HIIT partners with several international and Finnish companies as well as with universities and research institutions in Europe, North America and Asia.

HIIT is located in two different sites in the Helsinki Metropolitan area: at Aalto University’s Otaniemi campus and University of Helsinki’s Kumpula campus, co-located with several departments at both places. HIIT’s operating principle is that it adds to other departments’ activities, instead of competing with them. The institute is led by Professor Petri Myllymäki. HIIT’s research is funded by Aalto University, the University of Helsinki, Business Finland, the Academy of Finland, the European Union, private companies, and foundations financing Finnish hi-tech research. The research by HIIT has been assessed and deemed excellent by its Scientific Advisory Board, latest in 2020.

See more about HIIT’s focus areas in research here.

HIIT’s organisation

The Board, nominated by the mother universities, decides on HIIT’s overall research strategy. The Scientific Advisory Board provides scientific guidance and criticism for the Board a few times per decade. The Director, Vice-Directors and the Focus Area Directors constitute the Steering Group responsible for coordination and planning.

HIIT operates at the Departments of Computer Science, Communications and Networking (Comnet) and Signal Processing and Acoustics (SPA) of Aalto University and the Department of Computer Science of University of Helsinki.

HIIT was founded in 1999. Watch a video about the early years of the institution, interview with Martti Mäntylä, Director of HIIT 1999-2008.

The present HIIT regulations define the way HIIT works today: HIIT regulations in Finnish (PDF), HIIT regulations in English (PDF)

See also: Annual Reports