Research Professor Ali Harlin describes himself as an industrial inventor. It is an apt description, seeing as he has created some 60 patented inventions. Harlin’s areas of expertise cover the petrochemical, machinery and forest industries. He is currently in charge of VTT’s bioeconomy research agenda, where his focus lies on, for example, developing substitutes for plastics. Harlin has an extensive career both in academia and industry. His focus in industry has varied from petrochemistry to cable machinery, giving him a wide perspective on innovation policy. Research commercialisation is also one of his main interests in his current position as a research professor. He has also been involved in several startups, where he has been able to apply his expertise comprehensively.