SYDNEY, May 23, 2018 — Imagine Intelligent Materials (Imagine IM), a pioneering Australian graphene manufacturer and creator of smart materials, has opened its European headquarters in Finland, and appointed Jaakko Kaidesoja as Chief Revenue Officer for Europe.
Jaakko Kaidesoja was a senior executive in Nokia for 20 years. He held numerous senior financial positions before becoming VP of games and then VP of Portfolio Management, helping lead the growth of Nokia into one of the world’s great brands. He has held senior executive roles in Microsoft, and the Post Group in Finland. His passion is businesses that derive revenues from licensing, product sales and SaaS functioning in parallel.
“I first met Chris Gilbey at Slush last year and was excited about the Imagine technology,” Kaidesoja said. “When he approached me again during the spring I did not hesitate to jump on this fantastic opportunity to lead Imagine in Europe, and particularly in Finland, working closely with Finnish companies and engineers to establish Imagine as a global leader in Internet of Things and Materials.”
“I am delighted that Jaakko has joined the Imagine team,” Imagine IM CEO Chris Gilbey OAM said. “He has the kind of unique combination of financial and leadership skills that a company such as Imagine IM needs right now.
“We are on the cusp of closing agreements with several major global infrastructure companies. I firmly believe that Australia already has some of the most brilliant materials scientist graduates. Our intent is to identify and nurture the best talent globally as we build a valuable global business.”
Imagine selected Finland for its European base for a number of reasons, including the availability of talent, and Imagine IM’s success in working with former Nokia employees in the formative stages of the business.
“When Imagine was in the process of starting up, I hired several ex-Nokia people to do work for us, including engineering prototypes and branding development. I was not unfamiliar with Nokia and the excellence of the people who worked there and the way that they collaborate,” Gilbey said.
“Also, Finnish universities have a reputation for turning out the best digital signal processing engineers anywhere in the world. I have a belief that if you want to build a business based on excellence, you are better off starting with excellence.”
Gilbey attended the start-up and tech event, Slush, in Finland last year, and followed up with another visit in March.
“I met with heads of R&D and strategy for a number of Finnish companies and the responses I were amazing. I seemed like we were at the right time, right place, right opportunity,” Gilbey says.
Imagine IM has a smart-sensing geo-fabric product already in the market, produced from its Geelong industrial facility and used in the development of smart roads. The company aims is to be a part of the smart automotive supply chain, creating smart, sensing surfaces for both the interior and exterior of vehicles. It also has products in development for the aged care, mining, cargo transport, and rail industries.
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Executive chairman and CEO
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About Imagine Intelligent Materials:
Imagine Intelligent Materials was founded in 2014 by a group of engineers, scientists and business people with a vision of using graphene to deliver infinitely scalable sensors that will enable every part of the built environment to communicate. It has developed a vertically integrated business with the hardware that enables the materials to be interrogated and data to be moved into the cloud.
Its dashboards enable relevant data to be presented to the user in a variety of ways depending on the chosen application. Imagine Intelligent Materials built the first commercial graphene manufacturing plant in Australia. It pioneered the development of conductive coatings using graphene, and was the first to make leak detection geotextiles using graphene.
Imagine works with leading researchers at universities in Australia and beyond, including Swinburne University, Deakin University, RMIT, CSIRO, the University of Wollongong and the University of Oklahoma.
Its graphene plant was the recipient of the Innovation, Research and Development Award from Engineers Australia for 2016.