Annual Report 2020: HIIT Organisational Structure

The Board of HIIT, nominated by the host universities for a 4-year period at a time, decides on HIIT’s overall research strategy and research programmes. The Scientific Advisory Board provides scientific guidance and criticism for the Board a few times per decade. The Director, Vice Directors and the Programme Directors constitute the Steering Group responsible for inter-programme coordination and planning. The main instruments of HIIT are ambitious research programmes that bring together several research groups with different expertise. From 2021, the research programmes are replaced by Focus Areas focusing the strategic recruitment activities (see Section on Funded Researchers. In addition to these, HIIT is coordinating a lot of activities that support the Helsinki ICT community as a whole through the instruments Community Support, Distinguished Lecture Series, and Doctoral Education.

The organisation chart of HIIT in 2020.

At Aalto University, HIIT is administratively supported by the Department of Computer Science and the associated service personnel. Similarly, at the University of Helsinki the administration is handled together with the Department of Computer Science. However, the activities of HIIT span much wider beyond these departments, and HIIT actively supports the Helsinki ICT community as a whole (see the Community Support programme). In research, the activities of HIIT focus on supporting cross-cutting, grand-challenge type research programmes that involve people from not only the CS departments of the two host universities, but also researchers from the SPA and COMNET departments of the Aalto School of Electrical Engineering, and at the University of Helsinki people from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, the Helsinki Institute of Life Science and the Helsinki Centre for Digital Humanities. People participating in the research programmes have a double affiliation in the sense that they are first employed by one of the departments of the host universities, and they can then additionally participate in the wide research programmes of HIIT. In administration, the key people supporting HIIT activities were Miikka Miettinen (coordinator of HIIT until June 2020), Alan Medlar (coordinator of HIIT from August 2020), Mia Paju (communications specialist from May 2020), Jarmo Välikangas (industrial collaboration support from October 2020), Kaisa Pekkala (coordinator of FCAI), Hilu Kangas-Ranta (coordinator of HiDATA) and Aija Kukkala (coordinator of the HICT network, see Doctoral Education).