RELEX co-founder and chairman Johanna Småros has been named Finland’s young researcher-entrepreneur of the year, 2014. The annual award is given to young researchers in recognition of their innovative work in the field of business. The award’s aim is to encourage more young researchers working in academia to develop their entrepreneurial skills and to put them to practical, commercial use.

In evaluating the nominees, the jury gave particular weight to the ambition of their research, its importance and potential. The panel also looked for researchers who had demonstrated courage, determination and other traits that lend themselves to success in business.

Johanna founded RELEX in 2005 together with Mikko Kärkkäinen and Michael Falck and developed the first seed of the RELEX forecast simulator when she was still a researcher at Aalto University. Johanna heads up RELEX’s Scandinavian operations and also leads the company’s business development. She has been the driving force behind the company’s rapid international expansion, yet remains actively involved in its research and development programme.

The young researcher-entrepreneur 2014, an award of €5000, is organised by the Finnish Startup association and the Special Fund for Academic Entrepreneurship, founded by the Finnish Science Foundation for Economics and Technology, KAUTE.