HIIT Focus Areas

The mission of HIIT is enhance the quality, collaboration activities, impact and visibility of research on information technologies. We have selected a number of strategic focus areas of research, where we believe the impact potential of our research community is particularly high. In addition to this, we can also support our ICT community more broadly and provide support for various activities in any ICT research area as long as they clearly support the general mission above (for more details, see https://www.hiit.fi/support-for-researchers/).

The current focus areas of research of HIIT are the following:

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is without doubt one of the most important factors in the development of modern digital societies. Our main research focus is to study methodological issues in AI, and their wide applications with partners, involving statistical or symbolic problems or their combinations. Focus Area Leader: Samuel Kaski (Aalto).

Computational Health

The focus area studies computational challenges faced upon the emerging digitalization and wide adoption of data-driven approaches in heathcare. The goal is to develop state-of-the-art computational methods and tools for large-real world data arising in biomedicine, pharmaceuticals and healthcare. Focus Area Leader: Juho Rousu (Aalto).


Cybersecurity is the protection of computer systems and networks from the theft of or damage to their hardware, software, or electronic data, as well as from the disruption or misdirection of the services they provide. This research area studies secure systems including human factors, software and hardware. Focus Area Leader: Valtteri Niemi (UH).

Data Science

The focus area deals with the task of extracting knowledge and insights from data, which is important across many fields of science. The aim is to solve significant societal and industrial challenges related to data analysis. Focus Area Leader: Sasu Tarkoma (UH).

HIIT Affiliated Units

HIIT has also been involved with the creation of several joint Aalto – University of Helsinki units that heavily overlap with the focus areas, but are not direct sub-units of HIIT (see the discussion at https://www.hiit.fi/new-organizational-structure-of-hiit-and-the-hiit-community-support/). In the organization chart of HIIT, these units are listed as affiliated units, and include the following centers/institutes: